Wednesday, 28 November 2007

This is Saturday Morning - who's on line 1?

Let's be 'avin you........

I got a letter from the fuzz today, I thought, hey ho they had to catch up with me eventually, although I stand by the fact that as far as I knew those turnips were legit!

Anyroad, they were writing to update me on an investigation in which I had assisted with investigations. I had received a letter at work, well one of my senior managers had received it and I had opened it as part of my official handbag carrying duties, which was very racially offensive and purporting to be from the Police if you please.

Anyway they kindly wrote to tell me that a suspect had been identified and subsequently arrested. However the CPS had advised that there was insufficient evidence to proceed and 'therefore our investigation into the matter is now concluded.' So that's a shame that no one was banged up, less satisfying that way especially when you had been on their database as a witness.

But it was kind of them, keeping me informed and all that, and the villain, it was established, did not have any affiliation with knacker of the yard after all.

Oh yes, when did I contact them? November 1998!



Friday, 23 November 2007

He was like a black Danny La Rue

Picture the scene if you will, Brixton, 1981, there’s a riot. I remember the pictures on the telly; lots of youths throwing things at the police, lots of police hitting youths with sticks, lots of things burning. I vividly remember pictures outside of the ritzy cinema and the town hall opposite. Six years later when I left secondary school and moved to London, Brixton still seemed a strange and far a way place, as did most of London outside of the circle line. 20 years later, I have lived in Brixton and now class it as a familiar part of centralish London, rather than some far away suburb of myth and legend.

I wasn’t therefore in the riots, I have been in a riot mind, but the woman I met yesterday told me all sorts of tales of the kids she taught in Stockwell in the late 70’s and early 80’s. She told me about one instance when all the boys in her class were ignoring one of their cohort the day after one of the riots. When she asked them why she was told ‘because he’s greedy miss!’ apparently when the boys had gone a looting, a quaint local custom of VAT avoidance, they had only taken school uniforms, as that is what they knew their mums couldn’t afford. They were very clear that they only took one shirt each, but this one lad had taken 5. The moral affront of the boy beggars belief. I can just picture the scene, it must have been in Morleys, which is a sorry excuse for a department store on Brixton High Street, cars ablaze, police beating up the unemployed, bins hurled through windows etc etc etc, ‘just one shirt and one tie each lads then straight back to prep’. I think not, I bet they stopped off for some proper loot, sock garters, berets, tap shoes, that sort of thing.

The riot I was in was the poll tax riot of 1987 I believe or was it 1988. It was most surreal. I was meeting friends at a restaurant on Charing Cross Road called Le Renoir, no longer there, now a gay pub, (yes we wash everything by hand too). I got off the train at Charing Cross and to get on my way I had to squeeze through row after row of riot police. Walking up St Martin’s Lane, every shop window was smashed, cars were over turned and on fire, straight out of a tales of the unexpected, wiggly lady and all. So we arrived at the restaurant, and unfortunately re the riot we were about 10 – 15 minutes late. The stuffy nosed bitch, I mean the maitre de, said that due to our tardiness, she had given our table away! I faced her and said ‘my dear, there is a riot outside!’ and with that we all span on our heels and marched out. We finally found hospitality in the pizza hut on the other side of Cambridge circus. The dinner was most enjoyable and with the exception of the burning bins being thrown through the window, a pleasant and most memorable evening was had by all.

Further takes from yesterday include another story of one of her pupils. I shall leave it to her to tell this tale.

‘He was a very effeminate lad, big, loved singing - really scared people. He told me how he had been on the tube and it got stuck between Stockwell and Brixton.’

I asked ‘he didn’t decide to give them a tune did he?’

‘Yes, he loved doing Shirley Bassey you see. He said ‘miss I did them Goldfinger, all the actions’, they must have been petrified. He was just like a black Danny La Rue’

You couldn’t make this shit up, that’s the beauty of it all.



Wednesday, 14 November 2007

The Voices Made me do it!

Why do people talk to themselves?

I don't know why do people talk to themselves?

Well I do this blog and I haven't come to any harm yet - although I do mostly do it indoors where you are less likely to have an accident.

Well that's not strictly true, actually, as research has shown that most accidents happen in the home.

Really? Gosh!

Moving on, quickly, I don't have anything against people talking to themselves, I have been known to do it myself, although I do it a lot less now. Most of my solo conversations would take place with Dolly. Dolly was my maid and sidekick. A friend once admitted to having a similar assistant named Roger. In fact Dolly and Roger are living happily together in Deale, it's a bit of a drive but they do have a super shopping centre and the air is so much better.

I think having lived on my own for many years, and not always in the pleasant position I am now of having regular evening company, you do need to have a chat. Although my 'conversations' with Dolly were never really a conversation. They were more along the lines of me saying 'What do you think of that' or 'Did you see that' when something came on the telly which I felt required a Mary Whitehouse stylee response.

The very title of this little creative 'déviation' is both a reference to being charged with getting mum's bag, usually on her bed, so that she could open her purse to provide me with a green back, and my solo references a la Dolly to myself when talking to myself about myself. A sort of running commentary. 'Now mummy's just going to make a cup of tea' that sort of thing.

Am I sharing too much here? Can I park - are you bothered?

Now as I said I don't do it so much now as I have more regular social contact with other people and I can do my Miss Babs life observations on them rather than having to make them to Dolly. Also it is important to note that I only did this when on my own, in my own home, no prescription medicine was involved and I didn't have to see a lady at the Maudsley about it.

But some people do this in the real world. And I do find it quite annoying, (me annoyed whatever next!) The thing that people do which I find brain numbingly annoying is doing an out loud commentary of what they are doing.

Two examples, one from this morning and from from the past.

I am in the kitchen at work making myself and one of my team a tea. His was herbal but I digress. So there's this lady from another team, I don't know her name, as we have no need to interact on a professional basis and I'm too busy not talking to the people I know to have any room for chatting to unknowns. So she's got a tray it has about six cups on it. And it goes, Ladies an Gentlemen something like this.......

'So yes, that's right, Steve wanted milk, not too much, yes he prefers skimmed. Now I've got Jim's mug, he's having a coffee, 2 sweeteners. No Janine is just having a water today not tea, fine, right. June, OK, that's fine for her' and so it continued.

I once sat opposite someone who did this type of running commentary all day long for everything she was doing. I would often self harm in order to keep my mind on my work not the pointless chronicling of her every tedious move. In the end I just pretended that my computer was bust and moved to a desk on the other side of the office. To this day she thinks we got on very well, and that I enjoyed having her as a team mate. You'd think people would clock - but interestingly, they usually don't.

So there you go, but before I leave you there are a couple of very important things I need you to know. The important thing is, and this is the central saving grace in all of this.....


So there you go. In other news my new favourite website is

Look out for Christmas stylee fun coming your way soon, including the blue peter advent crown fact sheet and tip top nut loaf recipes.

All the best and toodles.