Torbay Life

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Road Works in Melville St.

Melville Street in Torquay is a steep hill and drivers feel that to get up the hill they must attack it as fast as they can and drivers coming down the hill decide that reaching the bottom of the hill at 50 mph is good fun. Now there is an extra hazard, thanks to Torbay Town Hall.

As you walk or drive up or down Melville Street you will have to dodge the barriers outside the Clipper Pub. By now most people will be aware that they are there as they have been there for over 4 weeks. The barriers themselves have fallen over, been knocked over and been moved out of the way by well meaning persons. The Road Narrows ahead signs, of which there are two either side have been also knocked over, blown over, kicked over and are generally a hazard to passing pedestrians who may trip over or step out into the road in front of a passing car.
What has our ever alert Town Hall noticed about the footpath that is so dangerous that they have been forced to erect these barriers and signs in the first place and over the last 4 weeks visit the site to re erect signs and barriers on several occasions so far. Move down to previous post to find out.

Reason for the Road Works

This small hole in the pavement; which to my knowledge has been there for years. This is PC gone mad. If there is an accident in the roadway because of the barriers then some one in the Town Hall can say, "But we had to put the barriers there in case a pedestrian tripped and fell. We have to protect people."

Come on Torbay Town Hall, a hand full of quick dry cement over the hole until you can find the time to do a proper job would have been better than this mess.

Monday, December 26, 2005

looking for a film?

The nights are long and dark. TV is terrible. Why not a film? A new trick that I just discovered from Google is that if you search for
film: tq1
it will get all the films that it can find showing in all cinemas the close to the postcode. Replace TQ1 with whatever postcode you like to find what is on near there.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

The pubs of Paignton

It's that time of year, old friends return to the area, call you up, and a meet up is arranged. Tonight, I went across to Paignton to meet several old friends who've mostly moved away, and, well, we went for a wonder.

Started in the Isaac Merrit, the Wetherspoons in the centre. I can remember when it was a shopping arcade (not that long ago), and the decor, faux traditional pub with strange ceiling arrangements, has always bothered me for instinctive reasons. It's not a bad place, despite my misgivings over Wetherspoons as a company, they do make decent pubs. The bar area is crowded, horribly so; I got there first, and was absolutely convinced I'd never find people; the joy of mobile phones, a quick ring, they're nowhere close yet. So I stay outside, to wait. Good job I did, another old friend who I a) hadn't seen for at least 5 years and b) introduced me to the friends I'm waiting for, comes past with some colleagues; they're all coppers, but off duty, and not exactly sober from what I could tell. Always good to catch up with people; congrats on the baby Gareth, if you read this.

Eventually, everyone arrives, we go in, and try to snake our way through the packed crowd. It's at this point I realise the problem with the crowd. Bar area? full, completely, you can't move. But get past the bar to the seating area at the back, plenty of space. Why are people crowded at the front when there's seating going spare at the back? Beyond me. Drinks are cheap, the cider is good, the conversation enjoyable. However, the decision is taken to move on.

Pickwick! is the order. Pickwick, says I? I forget where that is. I live in Paignton. Pickwick is, of course, now Winston's, on Station Square. Unlike the Meritt, there's music playing. James Brown. Even this old goth likes James Brown, can't go wrong really. A bit chilly, the large doors are open, so we go nearer the back, where the music is a little too loud to have a conversation, but not horribly so. Not a bad place, overall, but again, after the drinks are finished (mine's a coke, I'm driving), we move on.

Henry's Bar. For some reason, I've never liked the place. No idea why, a number of friends (including an ex-girlfriend) have worked there at times, and it's not bad. Then I make use of the facilities. Can't speak for the ladies, but the gents could do with a refurbishment, and definately a good clean. Ah well. And since when was the arcade next door shut and turned into another pub? Didn't try it, just curious. We finish drinks reasonably quickly, and there's a small disagreement; do we finish for the night, split up, or go on?

Eventually, we all decide to go on. After all, what's a night out in Paignton without a stop in the Spinning Wheel? I've always loved the place, in the summer it's great to sit outside, the bands, while normally of varied quality, are at least trying (I'd rather a mediocre real band to piped music most of the time), the staff are normally friendly (except when busy, as tonight) and the decor and atmosphere just seem, well, right. But we're a bit cold, and it's getting late, so drinks are finished, and we walk back; as usual, it's discovered I'm parked nearby, so I'm volunteered to drive people back.

Maybe I should get used to taking the bus more often? So, four pubs visited, none of them awful, most of them crowded, and all of them a bit chilly. Anyone have any favoured pubs they'd like to recommend?

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Oldway Mansion, Paignton

This gentleman, a kindly soul, was out walking one day when he noticed a frog sitting at the side of the road. Being a kindly soul he picked up the frog intending to place it somewhere safe. To his surprise the frog spoke to him, explaining that he wasn't really a frog but a 25 year old prince of royal blood. A wicked witch had placed a curse on him and the only way this curse could be lifted was if some one (a kindly soul) would take him home and place him on his pillow whilst he slept. This the gentleman did, being a kindly soul, and in the morning he awoke to find a naked, handsome 25 year old prince of royal blood asleep next to him.

And his your Honour concludes the case for the defence.

It has been over 40 years since a law was passed which made this case for the defence redundant and to day 21 December 2005 another law, The Civil Partnership Act, comes into force that will allow the kindly soul and the prince of royal blood to have their partnership recognised in law instead of being persecuted by law.

Here in Torbay at Oldway Mansion, Torbay's Stately Home and Register Office there are 2 or 3 couples entering in to a Civil Partnership to day and a further 40 couples have given notice that they intend to form a Civil Partnership at some time in the near future, including a bus driver and his partner of almost 37 years.

Some times the government does get things right, even if they do take a long time doing it.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Bay born

I was born in Paignton, now over thirty years ago. My parents lived in Galmpton, I attended Galmpton and White Rock primary schools before going on to Churston Grammar, a few minutes walk from the house.

Since then, I've moved around the country a few times, having lived in Manchester, Salisbury, back to my parents and then to Exeter. Three years ago, I moved back here, and am now, finally, beginning to get settled back in. Every time I move away, I look forward to living somewhere different, with more things to do, more nightlife, more people, more events. So why is it I keep coming back. Why does the view from the crest of the Haldon hills and the drive back when I've been away always cheer me up?

Why is this place still my home? I guess because I'm used to it, I forget how nice it is. Because it's familiar, I forget what other people visit the place for. Because it's my home, the special places, the views, the beaches, even the people, seem so normal to me, it takes a spell away to remind myself what I'm missing.

People pay good money to visit here, to study here, to retire here. It's easy to forget, but it's a great place to live.

And so, to blogging. We're new here, we'll cover events and news, comment on things and generally try to add something. If there are any events you'd like us to cover, publicise or simply talk about, feel free to comment and let us know.

Monday, December 19, 2005

where to start

This is my first post to this blog, so where to start? The things that attract me most about living in Torbay are not the pubs and clubs, even through they are many, but the natural beauty of the area. Us locals may get jaded by living is such a beautiful place, resentful even due to the hordes of tourists that flock here every summer, but that does not stop it being so. Mat can deal with politics, he is more knowlegeable about it than me, but from the rugged cliffs of Berry Head to the rolling hills around Maidencombe this is what I shall be trying to write about.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Blogging the Bay

There's more to living in the bay than working, drinking and the Herald Express complaining about traffic wardens. I met up with Chris from Strange Stuff in the Hogshead this evening, we decided it was worth trying to set up a newsblog for the Bay. If nothing else, it's an excuse to try and get out more.

Just getting started, so until the template is sorted out posting will be intermittent, but in the meantime, welcome to Torbay Life: Blogging the Bay.

In the meantime, feel free to read Chris' blog or mine at Not Little England.