Peter Reynolds

The life and times of Peter Reynolds

Posts Tagged ‘drama

What Happened To The British Police?

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Another disgraceful example of the way the British police are going to the dogs.  So many of them, like these two, seem to be violent psychopaths. As a Welshman this incident makes me particularly ashamed.  Here’s two more coppers that deserve at least five years in jail.

In my local news, the island of Portland has been abandoned by Dorset police.  See here.   They’ve failed to respond to residents’ concerns about anti-social behaviour.  When a public meeting was held the police flatly refused to attend.  Now the residents are talking about setting up their own vigilante groups.  That, of course, will suit the police perfectly. They’ll be able to get their batons out and beat up more innocent citizens, confident that even if they’re caught on camera they’ll get away with it.

When I was driving onto Portland the other day I saw something which just sums up perfectly the state of policing in Britain today.  Four fancy BMW SUVs and a motorbike tearing across Chesil Beach, high drama, high speed, jack-the-lads, all of them.  Guaranteed no reason for it.  Try getting them to come out to a genuine emergency.

Theresa May!  You should be calling in Chief Constable Mick Giannasi of Gwent and Chief Constable Martin Baker of Dorset.  Both have some serious explaining to do.

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An Obama Of Change

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What extraordinary times.  An Obama of change.  For my father, myself and my sons, across three generations, British politics has never been through such drama.

Everything now remains to be seen but these are the “broad, sunlit uplands”.  I think it is crucial that we have faith in the good intent of the government.  A spirit of optimism, trust and co-operation has characterised these last few days.  Let’s hope it continues.

Now the work begins.

Written by Peter Reynolds

May 12, 2010 at 11:58 am

Walking The Dog 1

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When I first saw it, my heart went into my mouth and then dropped in to my stomach as I realised I was looking at a pterodactyl. Loping away from a low branch, it’s massive wings somehow rolling up and then unrolling in an unbelievably slow movement, it rose gracefully, magnificently away from me.

Regaining my composure, with my trusty Kodak Digital at my side, I still managed to miss the chance of a great picture and Capone, my faithful, four-legged companion, just looked at me in disgust before doing his own loping away towards the sea.

Ever since then I’ve been hunting the heron and its mate, for there are two of them cruising the farmland, woods and foreshore between Emsworth, Warblington and Langstone. I’ve seen it perhaps half a dozen times in as many months, once just three feet above my head as I walked down one of Havant’s more exclusive residential avenues. Every time I fumble for my camera, it uncurls those great wings, folds its neck up in dinosaur style and leaves me in disarray.

Every day produces something remarkable in this little haven on the south coast. Across Chichester and Langstone harbours the Portsmouth Spinnaker tower glints bright white in the sun. Crowds of brent geese grow bigger and individually fatter by the day and the oyster catchers screech low along the water’s edge, swinging in formation to display the dazzling zigzags along their backs.

When the brent geese first came in from their summer home in the arctic, they would gather in one huge flock of perhaps five hundred in a field just above the sea. Capone would put them up in a force five south-westerly and they would head seaward in a cacophony of honking, flapping wings getting them nowhere, directly into the gale. I would walk on with them above and all around me, hanging motionless, creating a world of noise and feathers and wind and dog and insignificant me.

Warblington cemetery contains a piteous children’s section where the gravestones are decorated with teddies, windmills, rubber ducks, Rupert and Peter Rabbit. Every day that two minute walk touches me but never more so than on Christmas morning. Then, the really remarkable thing was the intense, beaming smiles that both the bereaved mothers gave me as they tended their child’s grave. Walking into the south-westerly that morning made my eyes water as never before.

The March storms brought both drama and damage, the fields along the coast displaying lines of seaweed 40 yards further back than usual. Other dog walkers who live right on the foreshore told me their roof tiles were tinkling like a xylophone. Parts of Emsworth were flooded. The sea overflowing the mill pond wall filled the empty eight and a half acre pond in half an hour and brought down great lengths of the inner retaining wall. I found myself up to my knees in overflowing sea as it swept in round the sailing clubhouse and caused chaos in the dinghy park.

This morning I left the warmth of Nore Barn Wood and struck out across the most heavily pigeoned stubble field I know. Then to my right a white object caught my eye in the middle of the boggy area that runs down to the stream where the pterodactyl had first frightened me. Capone and I diverted and plugged our way towards it but it was still, inert, probably one of those plastic bags that Emsworth has virtually done away with. We trudged on, me avoiding the cow pats, Capone stepping in every one and relaxed into the warm morning sunshine, another storm promised for the weekend.

It rose again, elegant and yet ponderous at the same time, lofted up and away and gone.

Peter Reynolds 20-03-08