Monday 3rd August 2020 - The Price of Fame and Rubbish
Ooh, that’s nice The Sunday Times has rated Overstrand in its top ten beaches in the south east of England. Well that is what you think the reaction would be but in actual fact far from it. The rating has done the village no favours at all. I say that because ‘fame’ has had a negative impact on a number of us who live in the village. I am not sure if this is the correct adjective but I can only describe Friday as; horrible. Vehicles piled into the village and when the car park was full, they were parked in every space the drivers could find. This included double parking, parking in private roads and bunking up on pavements etc. I don’t need to say any more, do I? Saturday and Sunday were slightly less manic but still way busier than a normal warm and sunny August weekend. The result has been, comments posted by residents on the social media group, Next Door, about the parking problems, with people not able to get out of their drives or roads safely, as well as speeding and near misses. I have also heard of instances of, refusal to wear a face mask, coughing over products displayed for sale, attempts to ignore the rules for numbers sitting at a table, sleeping overnight in the car park, and the bus being unable to pass through the village due to inconsiderate parking. Of course these have not been the actions of every visitor, it’s the old story of the minority spoiling things for the majority, but whether it’s the same old story or not, it has resulted in an amount of annoyance and frustration amongst villagers. Our village is not geared up for such numbers. If this is to be the norm, with more staycations and day visitors, we need extra facilities, such as an additional car park and toilet blocks, but where to put these is the question. Maybe 2020 is just a glitch and the summer of 2021 will be like summers used to be in the village.
For about eleven years Peter and I have litter picked each morning, either in the village or on the beach. We quite often went out of our way and varied our routes to clear litter, however there were certain roads, with low footfall, which we never picked. We have now reviewed and decided to only litter pick on our regular routes. This is partly down to feeling somewhat jaded. Seeing the way visitors are treating our village has gone a long way towards this, but there is another reason. We do wonder why residents who see rubbish dropped on the ground, in the vicinity of their homes, don’t make the effort to pick it up. It doesn’t take much effort, just carry a small biodegradable bag, put your hand inside, pick up the offending article, turn the bag over this, tie the top and drop the bag in the next bin, or the villager's own wheelie bin. No need to touch litter with your hands so therefore, no risk of picking up germs, or the Covid-19 virus. Just one piece of litter a day would make so much difference.
Feeling jaded or not, we have enjoyed being in our garden and our morning walks with Barney. Our walks have been either on the beach or along the prom. Each morning has been slightly different. Sometimes there’s a cool breeze from the north or east, mornings can be blue skies and sunshine, while other days a threatening rain cloud looms, or a good swell bringing waves onto the prom, or we watch the fishing boats and listen to the gentle putt of their engines, or we observe the butterflies and insects on the wildflowers growing on the cliffs. There is so much to observe and enjoy here in Overstrand.
Just one photo today, a Red Admiral butterfly resting on our garden fence.