Archive | March, 2012

A Quid for Freedom

29 Mar

We have mentioned Freedom Books, a super little anarchist bookshop located at Angel Alley near the Whitechapel Gallery and Aldgate East tube station. It’s a gem of a place and finding myself ambling down to Tower Bridge to see Mrs McClinton of the senior variety last weekend, I ensured sufficient time was available for a quick visit to the shop!

Our chums have been having a problem with the council who are objecting to the old wooden sign that has traditionally guided visitors to the shop for many a decade . It’s easily missed as Freedom is reached through an old doorway so the sign itself is pretty crucial!

Freedom have been told by the council that the sign can stay on the road providing they part company with approx £350 a year and it doesn’t take much to work out that this is about a quid a day.

I’ve got an empty Uncle Joe’s MintBall container from our trip to Wigan a few months back so I’ve cut a slot in the lid and I’m dropping a quid in every now and then and next time I go to the shop I’ll take it down so it can become the official “save the sign” fund.

I’m not going to “arp” on about the council being money grabbing tw*ts, I’ll just say Freedom Books is a cultural gem and needs the support of everyone who values the free press and independent bookshops.

Other shops are available so Housmans up by Kings Cross got a visit as well. Our house is stuffed with books!


Rolling back the years!

26 Mar

Both myself and Gill are 50 this year. Surely not I hear you say! Well it’s true. To counter this I’ve tried to stop the clock and reverse the ageing process. I’ve tried getting back into goth music again (if you look the CD re-issue of the album “Children” by The Mission you’ll see me listed on the tour crew poster*. The new electro gothy stuffs great until some dickhead starts growling into the microphone. I’ve tried graphic novels ( grown up comics) and I’ve tried the Beano (proper comics) but as far as becoming 30 is concerned it’s not working!

What has worked is this new tory scandle involving cash for access to the PM, all they’ve done is employ some dipstick and we are all back in the early 90s and just to show that it’s not just the tories if you scroll down a bit you’ll se Ed Milliband getting a free lift to the football in some geezers Rolls Royce when he was supposed to be to ill to attend a Save the NHS rally.

Now I can’t get worked up about this for the sole reason is that’s the way politics work. We have had bundles of cash exchanged for parliamentary questions, cash for honours, senior conservatives dodging tax liabilities and …there’s no point me going on, it’s the same old story, round and round and round.

The only saving grace to this was Cameron’s statement earlier today that he would reveal the truth behind the dinner parties held at number 10. WIth my 50th party looming I was hoping for a few recipies or just general housekeeping tips. Instead all it turns out to be is a list of the rich millionaires that have been wined and dined and at £50,000 to get on the VIP “Leaders Group list there’s no such thing as a free lunch!

You’ve seen Come Dine WIth Me, where four or five people chosen so that at least two of them rub each other up the wrong way take turns at cooking. Something like that might be at least of passing interest as Gordon Brown, Boris and Margaret Moran and the one that got rat-arsed and twatted a few others turn up with a bottle of cheap plonk.

*True and I also new most of the Happy Mondays when Shaun, Paul and their Dad worked for the Post Office in Manchester. Sorry I’m getting nostalgic again. I wish I was 20. I’m feeling sad…time to take the dog out and look at the stars. (You can see Mars).

Jimmy Boy!

25 Mar

Gormless looking local Councillor James Valentine has surprised no one by announcing that he wants to be the next Labour MP for Bedford. He as much said it last August and we have all been turning blue as we held our breath for his next statement. Very much a clone of the typical new Labour type I wouldn’t have mentioned it for the fact hat he’s so dull as to make me want to scream. Valentino stood for Mayor of Bedford in 2009 and did shockingly bloody awful, doing all the same tedious stunts like standing in front of the bridge for his official photo and “being concerned”. Shite campaign Jimmy Boy.

Looking very much like the grown up Harry Potter in those scenes from the third film, if it weren’t for two things James could have been a star, firstly they didn’t ask him and secondly no such scenes exist, I made them up. But he still looks like a typical new Labour twat.

Rumour has it that he’s up against Cllr Louise King from the deprived Harpur Ward where Debs lives and when you google her name (Louise not Debs) in search of pictures you get a rich choic,e one of which is actually Cllr King but I’ve included another to liven this blog up a bit as I struggle to adjust to whatever time it is.

Our expensive city based lawyers have asked us to ensure we make it clear the second photo showing some drunk lady happily warming the floor will not be attempting to make things better for us by becoming Bedford’s next MP. More’s the shame as if we are to play the parliamentary game it might at least add a bit more fun to proceedings.

Patrick Hall who got kicked out of the seat two years back is said to want his old job back as well. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz!

Dum de Dum de…

25 Mar

We missed the Archers this morning, bit of a late night and what with putting the clocks forward. Anyway the cast of the Archers seem to have visited us or at least close to where we live as you can see by the below photograph!

All Bedford Conservative Councillors namely John Gambold in the nice scalf, recently done for drink driving so he will have walked there, the big bloke leaning on the gate is top of the range Land Rover driver Tom Wootton who would struggle to walk anywhere and the other is Cllr Alison Field Foster looking very stylish with her collar up, no sign of her horse as they stand near the abbottoir and sewage works.

Now they are campaigning for a gypsy site to be built there and I’m very much in a minority round these parts in agreeing that it could make a good location however the three rural visitors, unlike me, don’t actually live near the location and I bet their intention is to ensure that having found one location for travellers in Bedford, the council don’t start looking at sites in their own wards.

There was a meeting in our village hall a year or so back in which I sat surrounded by howling “they’ll steal our stuff” types  and any hope of any common sense in finding a suitable site for travellers vanished. One dickhead who has since set up a sort of gypsy focussed version of HomeWatch had a view that crime would soar as the site would only be two miles over the fields from the Manor House although as we locals know there’s several seriously large drainage ditches and a quarry (rave on!) to cirumnavigate so that one goes in the bin as far as people sprinting off with your telly is concerned.

Local MP Alistair Burt turned up to advise the pitchfork mob that comments about dirty thieving stinking travellers wouldn’t have any sway on the planners and could land the sender in trouble and to be fair to our MP he did a good job at calming the nazi end of the spectrum down mostly by the threat of the police becoming involved.

Like I said, given one or two tweaks Meadow Lane could be a useful location for a gypsy site although the presence of a 24/7 slaughterhouse and a pervading stench from the sewage farm over the back on hot days don’t suit the “Meadow Lane” tag. So while I have no problems with any future use for travellers I do think a better perspective could be sought. The three Ambridge types above may agree providing its not near them, or more likely near the people that vote for them.

The Company of Wolves

24 Mar

Full marks and more go to the second year theatre and professional practice students at Bedfordshire University for their exceptional performance of “The Company of Wolves” last night. Originally a short story by Angela Carter using Red Riding Hood as a source it has been over the years a play, various albums and a film back in the 80s!

When you go to such an event you have to accept that these are people learning the craft of making a small space become whatever is needed to purvey the story, in this case a forest and the interior of a cottage using minimal props. This was no am dram, this was tight, well crafted, well acted and rich gothic horror! I counted 17 people on stage, very few costume changes and with various cast members taking turns at alternating characters so three people played the Red Riding Hood character and another three played grandma, I’ve tried to find out if this used in previous stage outings or improvised for this one off performance, whatever, it worked and gave six people pole position on stage. This was no fairy story for children crafting genuine suspense, the macabre and eroticism and an orgy of horror as the pack of wolves decend and devour! A decent bit of promotion in the papers saying the the performance contained scenes of an adult nature brought out a few blokes who looked out of place in the audience on their own however I personally like seduction and sex to be implied rather than graphic so sexual desire and lust was represented by the three Red Riding Hoods disrobing in silhouette to a snatch of music from The Wicker Man soundtrack (where Howie is being annointed). A very sexually charged scene with not a shred of flesh, excellent and theatre at its very best.

If I have a criticism of the positive feedback variety and I will write to them to suggest this, whilst the stage ensemble took a well deserved and appreciated bow, I felt the Director and lighting / sound team deserved our collective thanks. the Front of House team could have been a bit more communicative in letting first time visitors know where to go, no there isn’t a bar, and no there is no car park nazi on after 6.00pm.

But otherwise a storming good night out at £5.00 per ticket and £3.00 for the perpetual student who was nice enough to offer to drive there and back without having to drop hints especially after the usual driver had dashed back from London for the show!. We topped the night with a visit to the Wok Inn on London Rd where my sleak “bondage” style top with lace made people take notice!

Gill McC

The same team next production is Bertold Brechts “Caucasian Chalk Circle” Friday 4th May. Bert told Brecht, Brecht told Bert! (Chumbawamba!)

Proud Parents!

22 Mar
A street in Hemel Hempstead

A street in Hemel Hempstead

There’s a warm glow in the Bypass office today, we are proud parents!     came into the world yesterday’s brough tears to our eyes as it take’s it’s first faultering steps and tastes the sweet air. Its fun becoming a parent, you find all your hopes and fears have doubled in an instant!

Please take a peek at our offspring, stop to say hello and leave a fond comment for this sweet delightful youngster!

Aw…! Anyway we thought we’d leave with two delightful views of Hemel Hempstead, choose you favourite… and as I write, with that wonderful glow around me, I’ve remembered buying my first copy of Viz comic in Hemel 25 years back after making the mistake of confusing it with Aylesbury and wanting to see where Clockwork Orange was filmed. Wish I’d saved them.

Some nice people from Hemel

Some nice people from Hemel

Go on then!

22 Mar

Following our little game as it were in which we offered clues as to where you could find a free parking space literally on the edge of town, hits to the site went through the roof but while there were one or two requests for more info and one or two close misses no one actually got it right so here we are. Behind Salamander House on St Mary’s St there’s a car park. The building is empty apart from the odd bit of activity on the first floor. The car park is empty much of the time and the Bypass Mobile in all its finery has become quite at home there as we frequent the fruit and veg stalls on Saturday morning and the odd quick visit in the week. Salamander gives us the “reptile” clue, over the road is the graveyard of St Mary’s church (now the archaelogical centre) and it’s beneath the rather nice blue light of the old BT building which is slowly being turned into flats or at least it was till the builders went bust.

If we chirrup on about the council shafting its Agency workers and the usual ranty stuff we hovver at about 50 hits a day, when this free car park idea featured in the local paper with the Bypass address we hit over 300 in 36 hours so one of our options to build our profile is similar blogs every know and then so here’s our latest fund raiser. For just £10.00 plus £3.75 postage we will send you a genuine lucky charm. Guaranteed to bring wealth, happiness and untold sexual pleasures with a celebrity of your choosing*. We are working on Paypal but for the trivial sum this is what you get.

Pleaese note you only get one not the box as that would be just far too much good luck for a single person to cope with.

So there you are free parking, there’s no signs about clampers so if you like taking a chance and know the legalities of it all go for it!

*Guaranteed to occur within 50years of receipt of your lucky charm or your money back in full. Less what we paid in stamps. And the recycled envelope. And a few quid for our time.

All aflame!

19 Mar

The Mayor’s pissed his kecks. Honestly! They’ve just announced the route of the olympic flame as it comes through Bedford. It’s starts at Goldington Green at which point I ask how it actually gets there as I thought someone would come running over from Cambridgeshire with the thing, then it comes down Goldington Road and the press release says it will pass the towns iconic landmarks! given what I know of Goldington Rd that must be the big Tesco and the Berni Inn. It then misses the town centre as it takes an immediate left turn at the Embankment (they must have been reading BedfordBypass) before heading out to Cotton End and on to another bit of britain where someone else will piss their trousers as they struggle to contain themself and their orgasmic delight!

If that’s not enough there’s a number of events happening around Central Bedfordshire in which a load of kids hit the stage playing Chariots of Fire on cheap plastic recorders. Audiences made up purely of family members! You know what I mean. Bloody hell! with stuff like this going on I think I need to lie down for about a year!

Do yourself a good turn, go order Laura Oldfield Ford’s book Savage Messiah from Housmans or Freedom Books (your choice) and read about a future London of 2013 and the derelict rubbish strewn wasteland of the failed olympic site then imagine the sound of 30 kids murdering Vangelis…the horror…the horror….!

And now we go over to Ian Bone’s blog for a bit of “home truth!”

19 Mar

Here’s RED ED getting out of Hull City chairman’s roller to attend a match – at the same time he said he was ‘too ill’ to attend a Save the NHS rally in the city – the businessman had just made a £100,000 donation to Labour and wanted to enlist Ed’s support for a property development scheme.


Richard Bloody Stay Again

17 Mar

Our mate Richard Stay has thown his hat in the ring for to be the Police and Crime Commissioner. I’m not sure which Richard Stay it is, the internet Stay is portrayed as a right wing tosser, an over the top cartoon figure of fun, a dickhead of high magnitude and someone so right wing, fat and pompous that we saw through this portrayal and know in our heart of heart that the real Cllr Richard Stay is a sweet gentle chap and nothing like the awful dipstick on the tinternet.

Having plants all over the place, we got this snippet from well within Central Bedfordshire where the staff have been having a laugh behind Stay’s back which isn’t new.

It’s a totally fair election providing you have the money to get yourself on the ticket so that rules out anyone who isn’t part of the political party machine or well stacked.

I didn’t post this straight away as I couldn’t be bothered to be honest but it’s just come out through an official Police circular. The Labour Candidate )or one of them) is Adrian Heffernan who having got him trollied once a twice would do well in the post as he doesn’t take himself too seriously. A bit like Richard Stay who’s blog really is pant wettingly funny!

Stay has hit back at Adrian Heffernan already by detailing a situation from 1995 where the County Council with very limited funding and 29 applicants for the dosh to do a Doctorate in set subject chose….er….County Councillor Adrian Heffernan.