And So The Journey Begins


One of the major topics of conversation during the latter weeks of 2014, for me at least, has been retirement.

In June of this year I will achieve the grand old age of 63. This is significant, as that is the target retirement age defined in all my company pension bumf.

I started with the company back in July of 1977. This is also the year that I got married. So, when I retire

  •  I will have been employed by the company for 37 years and 11 months.
    and
  • I will have been married for 37 years and 6 months

1977 was a momentous year. It was the year I left the comfort of working for the MOD where I had worked for the previous 8 years. Starting first as a Fitter & Turner Apprentice in the training center at Flathouse Quay, then as a qualified Fitter & Turner working “afloat” in HM Royal Dockyard, Portsmouth. Finally, after a 6 months training course at Priddys Hard, as a Ratefixer Planner based in RNAD Frater, Gosport.

After an acrimonious year I left to join IBM as a Technical Analyst. I had no idea what one of those was, but it really didn’t matter. So long as I was out of Frater. Later that year, Christmas Eve, I got married at Portsmouth Registry Office. And here we are 37 years later, still together, and about to embark on a huge adventure.

Today, I received notification of my pension start date. Rather, I got asked the question, am I going to retire or carry on working.

I, of course, have responded that I am going to retire. The next stage of my life journey is definitely underway and I feel like I am just reaching the top of the Pepsi Max Big One.About to plummet down towards Blackpools Pleasure Beach.

Whooohooo !!!

Animals !!!


Thats the only word that can describe these teenagers and what they did to 50 year old Andrew Toseland.

I’d say that Brandon Fisher got off lightly with a sentence of only 27 months after an attack that left  Andrew Toseland requiring 24-hour care for the rest of his life.

And there’s the nub. What kind of life will that be. He cannot walk. He can barely talk. In my mind these animals have left Andrew Toseland in a living hell.

Fisher got off lightly due to his reduce role in this vicious attack.

I trust that the judges come down hard on the leaders of the attack.

The News has published an article entitled “He’s very sorry” Referring to Fishers remorse over his role in the assault. Sorry is an over used word that has been significantly devalued. It is too easy to say sorry. It is harder and takes a stronger person to prevent the actions that make its use necessary.

‘He’s very sorry’ – family speaks out after attack – Local – Portsmouth News.

http://www.portsmouth.co.uk/news/local/teenager-jailed-for-assault-that-left-victim-in-coma-1-5450425

Mindless Vandalism


Another example of the mindless perpetrating the unbelievable against the defenseless.

Vandals trashed the South Street centre by breaking furniture, smashing crockery and throwing soil from plants over the floor.

They made holes in the walls, broke windows and pulled things from shelves.

I can never understand the mentality of the people who carry out these destructive attacks on people and property.

When I was a spotty faced youth I lived in the village of Westfield just north of Hastings. Back then we had less to entertain us. There was no daytime TV and only two channels in the evenings. We didn’t have computer games in fact the only “electric” games available were our train sets. If we were bored we went down the rec, played football, dug up some worms and went fishing or just went exploring either on our bikes or on foot.

I recall groups of us going out and about when I was a teenager, hanging around on street corners in Battle. At no time did we ever consider going and trashing someones home or the local community centre or any other establishment. I do distinctly remember being challenged by the owner of the local dry cleaners, standing in front of a group of us with a large golfing umbrella, asking

Are you contemplating mayhem about my premises ?

I remember there was a friendly exchange of views but it was all light-hearted. Can you imagine the reaction of some members of our modern-day youth to any form of confrontation, let alone from someone using that sort of language. Yes we might have gotten up to some mischief. OK, I admit it, we did. We might have put out a window or two in a derelict industrial building but we never attacked people’s homes or places of work.

Now that I am much older and, hopefully, wiser I still can’t understand their actions.

Apparently police have arrested three teenagers, a 13-year-old boy and two 15-year-old boys who are being questioned on suspicion of criminal damage and theft.

If these lads are found to be the perpetrators then they should be made to help repair the damage. Fines or detention is not the answer.

They should be made to stand in front of the people who make use of this centre and explain why they chose to break in and trash the place.

Finally they should be made to spend a significant amount of their free time at the centre. Working there so they get a feel for what this place is doing for their community and what their actions mean to the folks that use the centre.

Anyone with information about the break-in should call Gosport police station on 101.

You can also give information anonymously by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Yobs trash safe haven for Gosport people with cancer – Local – Portsmouth News.

Plans for business hub at Daedalus given the go-ahead


Thousand of new jobs can be expected for the region after plans for the creation of a huge new business hub were given the green light.

Outline planning permission to provide more than 1m sq ft of business space has been granted for the former HMS Daedalus airfield in Stubbington and Lee-on-the-Solent.

Good News for the Gosport and Lee-on-the-Solent communities. Any potential for new jobs are always welcome.

Councillor Mark Hook, leader of Gosport council, said: ‘We are talking about creating potentially 4,500 jobs from this particular site.

‘What we are being asked is to kick-start the economy again here in Gosport. It’s jobs that are critical.’

4500 jobs is not to be sneezed at. I think the key word we should focus on in that statement is “potentially”. Nowhere do I see the local council publicising that any companies have committed to moving into the area.

There will also be more than 200 homes, some shops, allotments and a 34-acre public open space.

Nobody disputes that we need more homes in this area. More affordable homes. The big problem is where are all the jobs that are needed by the inhabitants of these homes. I refer you back to that word again ….. “potentially” 4500 jobs….

Another factor that might have slipped under the readers radar is a little matter of a new housing development planned for just north of Fareham. There they are planning to create over 7000 homes. The “potential” inhabitants of those properties also have their beady little eyes on jobs in the “The Daedalus enterprise zone”.

Underlying all of this is the total lack of infrastructure to support these plans.

Ian Lycett, chief executive of Gosport Borough Council, said: ‘The Daedalus enterprise zone is a vitally important project for Gosport. Not only will it create thousands of jobs for local people, but it will generate improvements to the surrounding infrastructure which will benefit all residents of the peninsula.’

Peter Grimwood, chief executive of Fareham Borough Council, added: ‘This is an important milestone in the development of Daedalus. We have always taken the view that the future of the site depends on the operation of a viable airfield.’

What I see here is, two different councils, each with their eye on the main chance.

Watch your backs !!!

For the moment, the only folks that I see will definitely gain from this is the developers.

Plans for business hub at Daedalus given the go-ahead – Politics – The News.