A milestone missed and a milestone bringing me transient fame

Two things to tell you about. Both regarding milestones. No, don’t switch off please, I’m correcting a mistake I made when I said there were 10 milestones in Surrey Heath.

While correct that these are the only milestones connected with turnpike trust roads of the 18th century, there’s another milestone in Chobham. Erected in 1981 to “commemorate the wedding of HRH The Prince of Wales to Lady Diana Spencer”. It is none the less worthy of being included in the Borough’s list of milestones. So, we’ve 11 not 10. Here are some photos of this milestone, and Colin Woodward’s diagram of its front face [click on images to expand].

A big thank you to Colin for telling me, in his letter, about what I’d missed, and in such detail too. It’s a little humbling to appreciate that readers of this blog take time to correct my errors.

Now, about the transient fame. Another reader – Lightwater retiree – saw my photo hugging a milestone in the BBC News Surrey website. Here it is in all glory. Fame today, chip paper [or equivalent] tomorrow.

Milestone hug

Feeling whacked, floored, and totally listless

Feeling rottenThe intermittent nature of recent blogging is simply due to the effects of a rather nasty cold that has variously left me feeling flattened, floored and whacked out. I’m on the mend, so normal service, of sorts, will resume shortly. This isn’t a recent photo, but expresses how I’ve been feeling.

Here’s wishing you a happy, healthy, & fulfilling New Year

Be luckyMy very best wishes to everyone for a happy, healthy, and fulfilling New Year. Oh, and additionally – be lucky.

I’m a tad late sending this message as have been absolutely flattened by a post-Christmas cold, which my wife says is a result of my recent ‘flu jab’. Not so says I. But hey, there is always more than one opinion on everything.

Happy Christmas and every good wish for a New Year full of happiness, peace and fulfilment.

I thank you for visiting here in the past year, and for leaving comments. I wish you Happy Christmas and a New Year full of happiness, peace and fulfilment.

I considered leaving a Christmas Card here over the festive period during this blog’s off duty period.  On reflection this photo that I took in the year is, I think, one of peace and contentment, which is what I wish for you and yours this festive season.

Peace and contentment

Speechifying again and quelling the nerves

I’ve just completed writing two short speeches I’ll be giving this evening.

The first will be at the beginning of my last meeting of the full council of Surrey Heath Borough council – I’ll post it here tommorrow. Best not to tempt fate. Later in the evening, as Vice President of Camberley & District Probus Club, I’ll be offering up the toast to the guests.

I’ve written both my speeches, and practised them too. I don’t, though I wished I had, the memory or confidence to deliver them without having the speech in writing. Nerves are quelled by having what I’m intending to say written down – though even then I don’t always get it right.

Listening to Jonathan Aitken talk last night at St Paul’s Speaker’s Corner was inspiring. He talked engagingly, with occasional humour, and without notes, or any um’s and aah’s. He looked directly into the eyes of the audience throughout, and generously answered every question with respect to the questioner. Makes you realise what a skill this is, and the mental prowess it exhibits.

All I’ll just have to do is to make sure I reach into the correct inside jacket pocket for the appropriate speech.

Into the ninth year

Please indulge me for a brief moment. March 28th 2007 was the date of my first entry on this blog, which means I’m now writing here into the ninth year. Crumbs, this is my 4,515th article – never thought I’d still be at it, or that now around 11,000 views per month found stuff of interest.

I should thank those readers of this blog who occasionally introduce themselves, and encourage me to carry on.

Passing on the torch for Lightwater and all its residents

Perhaps I should’ve mentioned this before. I’m not a candidate for Lightwater in the upcoming local elections for Surrey Heath Borough Council. I’ve been delighted to be able to represent Lightwater for two terms – meaning 8 years.

The first entries in this blog were on March 29th 2007, and in the second entry – Why stand for office for the first time? I provided a bit of self-analysis, feeling I needed to tell people something of my views and outlook on life. I didn’t say why I wanted to be a councillor. The reason can be thought a little trite. I wanted to repay the village for being a happy place to live for 20 years previously, having worked long hours with plenty of unlovely business travel.

The remaining blogs in March 2007 were all about potholes, the reporting of them and my simple pleasure in seeing them being fixed. As I walk to the village, occasionally using Red Road, I pass by my very first pothole report. I look on it with affection – yes, yes, quirky I know. I’ll resist the temptation to add its photo here.

The tough question to answer is what have I achieved in 8 years as a councillor? Primarily to keep the needs of Lightwater at the forefront of the Council’s mind. Also, a relentless focus on the improvement in Lightwater’s flooding resilience, which I think has been a success. Any other achievements are much harder to quantify and even harder to claim any credit.

Enough – in a few weeks I’ll be off the council, though will find it hard to give up reporting on potholes and failed streetlights.

Oops, almost forgot. Being the Mayor for one year was a high point, and so rewarding meeting the volunteers for their communities in the Borough.