Swimming pools, Littlehampton wildlife, postcards and dog day afternoons…

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October 24, 2015 by Whispering Smith

Whispering Smith Column published in the Littlehampton Gazette October 8th. 2015

CAUTIOUSLY optimistic that Arun have listened to the local populace, studied the unlikely alternatives and will decide to keep the Leisure Centre on our lovely seafront. The idea is, I believe, to move the new centre to the rear of the present site so that the facilities will remain available until completion. This  is a  welcome idea but, as one Gazette reader has pointed out, this will leave the old site vacant and again prone to housing development, this has long been one of my fears and I see a battle ahead for the foreseeable future to keep our tiny speck of coastline free from further unwanted development.

CAUGHT an afternoon train to Brighton last week much cheaper than going by car and forking out for Brighton’s horrendous parking. Just outside of Litthampton the lush green fields were littered with colourful animals: white cattle, a red fox, a fawn deer, white tailed rabbits and above them in the dark rain laced sky a very real red kite and an imagined fluffy grey elephant racing the stormy clouds. It crossed my mind how lucky is the farmer to enjoy these things and for a moment I envied him his idyll, but only for a moment. Hmmm, he has to get up very early every morning, go out whatever the weather throws at him and worry about his stock, rustlers  and supermarket pirates. Better the dream perhaps, in the warm and dry only venturing out when the fancy takes one… 

FRIENDS are away in Portugal and I volunteered to look after their dog for them, she is only as big as a decent sized rat so how hard could it be? Well size does matter, half the time I cannot find her, she has to be tucked in bed at night, you need a magnifying glass to find her poop and my cat who now hates me, has taken up residence on my top book shelf and spends most of her day glaring down at me…

MY thanks to Roger Mayhew who quite rightly asked me to point out that there was a lot more to the work of Donald McGill than saucy postcards. Roger sent me illustrations of McGill cards published during WW1 and remarkably well drawn they are, sensitive and quite meaningful portraying as they do the period and the plight of the  British Tommy. 

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