|Simon Moores - Cessna 208|
Lately, I've had some great fun, dropping parachutists our of a perfectly good aircraft at 10,000 feet over Headcorn, which, I've found, is highly therapeutic. For those on their first tandem skydive, it goes very quiet in the back, when that green light goes on and the door opens; it's along way down.
Back here on earth it's the last mass at St Peter's Roman Catholic church in Westgate on Sea today, after which it will close; leaving the community a little poorer for its loss.
Like the recent closure of Manston airport perhaps. it's a sign of the times and reminds me I'm getting older as both have played an important part in my life.
I have the church to thank for introducing me to public-speaking at a tender age, when I used to be an altar server and read the lesson on a Sunday morning; after having done my paper-round of course. I've much earlier memories before the existing church was built, when it used to be in a large house that was behind it.
Local parishioners will now have to travel to Birchington for regular services, which is hard for some of the elderly and like so much else in Thanet I've seen disappear during my own lifetime, I regret its passing as I'm sure many others will do too.
The Council papers on the floor next to my desk reflect the fact that this coming Thursday, we are to debate to loss of Manston airport. We can of course debate Mrs Gloag's predatory attack on our largest potential economic asset until the cows come home but the fact remains that we can do very little about it. It will be interesting to draw comparisons with the last debate on the subject, where the airport was roundly damned by Labour and the likes of Cllr Ian Driver but I suspect the tune may change somewhat on Thursday as history is cynically re-written by those usual suspect, who have played the greatest political part in its loss.
I'm encouraged to see news of a Parliamentary inquiry but I'm also reminded of Sir Humphrey Appleby in 'Yes Minister' and I've added the video clip to remind you. In regard to a compulsory purchase by the Council, this would demand having all the Labour members, who played a small part in exposing the airport to the predatory Mrs Gloag, on-board and behind a vote and that would demand a Damascene conversion worthy of St Paul himself. If I appear cynical then it's because after almost eight years in swamp which is local politics, I've every reason to be cautious about miracle-working.
Anyway, I'm taking my camera along to the Catholic church in Westgate shortly and so hope to record this memorable day with some photos to remember it all by. I'm not expecting any miracles along the way.