Archive | July, 2012

Bouncing About!

31 Jul

I’ve met her dad a few times. Zara’s dad is called Trelawney, he’s into large scale organics recycling and he’s like a genetic fusion of Boris and Cameron. Zara Dampney is in the Team GB beach volleyball team. Zara was on the Radio 4 news last night saying that people should come and watch the volleyball for sporting reasons rather than the lack of material in the costumes. Here’s Zara encouraging people to come and support beach volleyball and obviously using the merits of the sport itself.

Or is it netball..? I guess all the people that are clammering to get in, including a handful of lager guzzling dickheads going “whooooar” “we wanna see buns” type of sentiments also interviewed on the same programme don’t care so long as they can have a good old gawp! In the meantime I’m hoping that I might generate a few more hits to Bedford Bypass by shamelessly jumping on the bandwaggon although I must admit to not knowing which one of the above is Zara!

Anyway lets crowbar Bedford in. Our Paula as she is affectionately known has called it quits. Game over. Paula Radcliffe lived in Bedford and although she wasn’t born here and moved up to Leicestershire some years back, the fact that she trained at Bedford Athletic Stadium gives everyone the right to believe that she’s indelibly part of the town. Bit like Carol Vorderman who unlike Paula was actually born here although we don’t say “Our Carol”. She came rolling back last month for some do and a photo opportunity.

I do like the “our Paula” tag. We strive to believe that the town itself has had some sort of influence over her. as if the greatness of Bedford seeped into her whilst she slept and that in turn we can reference her with reverence at every opportunity. We have all sorts of ex famous people or the marginally successful squirreled away around town. Punk remnant Richard Jobson of The Skids is local as is Samantha Womack (Janus) from Eastenders. To name just two. I went to a gig on Sunday and it turns out that John Verity from three hit wonders Argent is a neighbour of sorts and he’s a cracking guitarist although “D” soon cleared off when he plugged the electric one and went weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeyyyyyaaaaaaaaaa. A friend has been letting her house out to a famous actor and I’ve had to promise that I won’t say who she is. But none of them get to be called “our”. Only Paula and I wonder if the local newspapers where she was born and where she now lives do the same thing?

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Goodbye Chumbawamba!

30 Jul

Good eggs Chumbawamba have called it a day after 30 years. I’ll not bore you here, if you want to share my sorrow and tears I’ve posted a few words on the Beyond Bedford page (click above)! Sing when your winning people!

It’s not about politics!

30 Jul

 

Team GB egg and spoon race

Team GB egg and spoon race

According to one train of thought it’s all down to a bloke called Charles Townshend. He formulated the Norfolk four crop rotation system on his land, sparked off the agricultural revolution, those with the ability to invest in new concepts of farm machinery did so (Like a 1700s Dragons Den)changes sent thousands upon thousands of impoverished unemployed farm workers into the nascent towns and cities just in time for the industrial revolution to put them to good use, reduce life expectancy at the same time as the population boomed, created a new layer of the self made rich and subservience of the masses through the factory system, the threat of starvation whilst crop exports increased by 1000% over a fifty year period. Another train of thought is that the industrial revolution was totally independent of any agricultural development. Slight difference, same result!
Apart from the starvation bit, chronic living conditions, the workhouse and paupers burial pits you saw this in the Olympics ceremony on Friday. Fields of farmers, jolly cricket players and maypoles suddenly vanished and big chimneys popped up from nowhere. It’s probably the only thing I’ve sort of enjoyed from the Olympics jamboree up till now. When I say enjoyed, I’m still looking for a better word, what I wanted to see what we got for £27million.
I spotted the Jarrow marchers in the paper on Saturday but not on the TV the night before, I didn’t see the Tolpuddle Martyrs either , or 14 year olds being hung for stealing bread, I guess the recreation of the Peterloo Massacre was out of camera shot and maybe the clearing of fairly dire housing in London for the railways forcing people into higher overcrowding had to be cut to make time for Mr Bean to make his return. Or maybe it was just Rowan Atkinson.
Given the state of the NHS and the fact that what’s left is being slashed to ribbons and divided up so the profitable bits go one way and we get left sitting in A&E for seven hours, that bit with the nurses made me want to shout , scream and say rude words. In fact I did. The requisite amount of black people and well timed shots of wheelchair users. What a treat for a Friday!
James Bond, the Queen, Beckham speeding up river, where’s my flag when I want it. All human rights campaigners kept out of the way, stage managed shot of the Bhopal campaigners just to tick the box but as far as I could see no mention of the Dow Chemicals link of any real note. Syrian team parading about as another atrocity begins back home and not a whisper. Not one f**king whisper. It’s not about politics, just the sport. All the worlds despot dictatorships, the corrupt, the brutal were there grinning and waving! All sins forgiven!
Even Paul McCartney. So I’m told. By this time I’d given up. I really wanted the mystery flame lighter to be Tony Blair then everyone could have just walked out en masse, brought London’s creaky transport system to a grinding halt and we could have written the whole event off as a cruel joke!

All those years ago!

25 Jul

July 6th 2005. I was walking down near the Liver building at the Pierhead. That’s Liverpool. My phone rang, a concerned friend asking if I was safe. Confusion. I am in London a fair bit as they pay better but on that day I was taking down time. As the day wore on, the full scale of what had happened unfolded. Many celebrated the winning of the Olympics from Paris and then sat open mouthed as dark clouds came over.
Many more alert pundits had expected this day for some years, payback for the devastation of huge parts of first Afghanistan and then Iraq. It’s widely thought that Britain winning 2012 was down to Tony Blair being present in Singapore and his presence on the world stage. Shortly after this victory 52 people died and well over 600 were injured as suicide bombers hit the core of London’s transport system.
Switch to Belfast 20odd years ago. We’d regularly go down the coast road very early to bag a good parking space but also at the time to get a fairly functional shopping trip over and done with. Fantastic view of the Mourn Mountains and at the right location you get the Harland and Wolfe shipyard cranes in front. Belfast at the time was like no other British city as it was regularly patrolled by armed troops. Helicopters roamed the skies or would sometimes stay static for what seemed like hours. You’d get stopped on the back roads, country lanes especially down near the border and end up with a young kid from Leeds pointing a rifle at you as his mate checked your driving licence. The fact that you’ve got two three year olds in the back didn’t seem to count. There was a tension all the time!
Even trying to visit the BBC Shop in Belfast to buy Blackadder on tape(!) made you feel vulnerable. Belfast city’s inner core was surrounded at the time by football stadium turnstiles, bag searches. Some of the older generation from the right side of the divide took pride in this ritual!
I thought all this was over however as the full scale of the militarisation of the Olympic zone becomes clear, I’ve done a Sam Tyler and am in a Life on Mars “back in time” scenario. What we never had in Belfast was a plan similar to that recently revealed, a plan to evacuate the whole of London, some 11 million people and 200,000 body bags on standby each big enough to hold four cadavers. April 30th this year was the date when if you read the right type of newspaper you’d become aware of something called Exercise Olympic Guardian so whilst welcoming the world to London we are planning for the aftermath of at least a missile or hijacked plane attack and at worse a biological strike.
The Belfast flats had an army base on top and that caused enough friction. London now has two block of flats with surface to air missiles next to the lift housing. Down on the ground and fairly much ignored are six Rapier warhead launchers. RAF Puma’s with machine guns will patrol the skies and anyone with eagle eyes might have spotted one flying towards the M1 at about 1.00pm today (Weds 25th).


18,000 troops have been deployed and the actual logistics make me, the cynic believe that was a long term intention rather than G4S bumbling. Whether this level of military involvement is based on actual know threat and deep nose soundings, preventative or just plain making the most of the occasion remains to be seen but with another G8 summit in London next year the Olympics have given the hawks a perfect stage to practice the total sealing off of a huge part of a major city.


As much as Tuesday saw a trial run through of the launch razzamatazz, majorettes and whatever they had, the whole Olympic project surely represents a dress rehearsal for something far greater.

Gill McC

More Kitten News!

24 Jul
Kittens

Kittens

Just to prove that there’s not much happening round here, we are filling the days with stories about stray / ferrel cats!

Above are the two siblings of the little Kitty that are comrade Mr S had to take to a vet last week. These two cheeky rascals are doing fine and being treated every few days to supplemental food like the ham from Diane to give them a leg up!

We have called one London and the other 2012, giving us the joint title of London 2012. Pretty original eh!

There’s a plan to catch them, get them spayed and bring them back as official rat catchers. Might sound tough but it stops inter breeding and if there’s too many the local farmer bloke ends up using them for target practice so we need to raise funds to keep them looked after!

We are having a job lot of cheap iron on transfer tee shirts made which we aim to flog for about £25 a piece giving us some serious mark up and here’s our chosen motif! Its the sort of item that’s great when you buy it but soon looks old hat and ends up at the back of the draw or being used for cleaning your car! (assuming you do it yourself rather than having those nice Lithuanian chaps near Focus do it for you).Remember the kittens need your money more than you do! Watch out for the Bedford Bypass Shop coming soon!

Support London 2012

Support London 2012

Sneak Preview

24 Jul

Bedford Bypass’s roving reporter Debs was privileged to be invited to the preview of the Olympics launch event last night! Now we are under an “honor” not to give too much away but Debs reports back!
Absolutely stunning, that’s all I can say. The Hackney Hula Hoop team were just fantastic as they gyrated away more or less in time with Black Lace’s song about pushing pineapples and shaking trees.

 

International visitors are going to just adore this! Next up was the music, again just total joy from the second the kazoo kicked in to the last bang on the drum Never has Chariots of Fire sounded so inspiring, if this doesn’t get them running nothing will!

Feeling peckish we nip out to sample some Olympic food from the international food festival located just over Olympia Way. When you are dealing with people from 110 countries you need to be aware of cultural differences so we settled for a Hot Dog. With onions. And mustard! Oh and a cup of coffee.

What a brilliant night out! I can’t wait for Friday!

Debs

Batman on the Water!

23 Jul

My understanding of the River Festival is that in 1978, hordes of burger van people, balloon sellers and purveyors of cheap plastic toys descended on Bedford and over three days managed to cut a channel to the sea. We now call this the Ouse. To honour this monumental event, every two years we invite the descendants of the fast food and imported trinket stallholders back to the River Festival where vast numbers of people from well beyond Bedford mix with the locals to celebrate all that is good about the county town by shuffling around various big tents trying to find something that could reasonably be considered “of local interest”. Believe me it’s a challenge but if you persevere you will find representatives of much appreciated community groups seeking an audience! The event closes with more cheap nutritionally bereft food and tribute acts. This year it was George Michael and Elvis!

Busy busy busy!

Busy busy busy!

Yes indeed, look hard and you could find volunteers from homeless project Emmaus, from mental health charity MIND, all sorts of nice people in a tent at the arse end of the site. Close by but nearer the crowds was a “craft tent” stuffed with stuff that looked to be mass produced in China. Alright if that’s your bag but not my cup of tea! Over by the river was a line of local artisans selling proper home made stuff but located next to a relentless highway of human traffic so if you stopped to admire their wares you risked being trampled or at least jostled and glared at!

I want one!

I want one!

Some bloke takes off out of the water on a James Bond like contraption. We enjoyed that! The Mayor comes past on a boat waving to the crowds as if to assume that they actually like him! Reverend (fine them) Royden is on-board but rest assured as the camera traffic van is out taking pictures of people parked silly! Why let a great opportunity to boost council coffers go to waste when parking mayhem comes to Bedford!

Mister Knobhead!

Mister Knobhead!

Burger kiosks. Fried food. Fried burgers. Every combination! Rancid smellingt hog roast! Overpriced drinks. Queue’s. Shuffling to get over the pontoons like the factory scene in Fritz Lang’s Metropolis! Waitrose advertising their soon to opened store on the edge of Bedford. One more reason not to go into town! Car sales areas! Boy they know how to run an outdoor event here in Bedford. To be fair if they organised a public stoning at 2.00pm on a Saturday people would wander along to have a look!
There’s a Batman themed boat going up and down the river, spiderman is there just to confuse!, Batman is stying out of the way leaving Catwoman to gyrate rather sexily probably aware of the bad timing given the massacre the day before! Followed by the Wizard of Oz!

We go up the Yellow Brick Rd, Bushmead Avenue actually for carrot cake and real coffee at H’s place! Back to the festival and it’s wall to wall people being overpriced at all opportunities! There’s expensive copyright defying cartoon character shaped balloons heading up to the stratosphere leaving some devastated kid at ground level. That was me 45 years ago when balloons were much simpler!
Queen tribute act as it gets dark! We’ve departed the scrum and have headed for the hills again to the side of Sheerhatch Wood where Madam D, Gill and my good-self have come to watch the fireworks going off in the distance! That’s my view of the River Festival. The further you are away from the melee the more enjoyable it is!

Live and Let Die! 007

20 Jul

Anyone who thinks a licence to kill only applies to James Bond need think again. PC Simon Harwood walked away from a manslaughter charge yesterday. After the acquittal Harwood’s “previous” became public knowledge. A litany of thuggery and abuse of his position as a police officer. Having retired on medical grounds from the Met after accusations of discreditable conduct, he joined the Surrey force and sneaked back into the Met whereon that fatal day three years ago he used his baton on newsvendor Ian Tomlinson who then collapsed and died. Harwood cried in court. Afterwards it was revealed that in 2000 he was accused of an act of road rage. In 2003 he was accused of using excessive force by a fellow officer which says something if one feels inclined to break rank. In 2005 he stood accused of brutality whilst making an arrest. It goes on…

Brutal

Brutal

Inquest coordinator Deborah Coles has commented about inherent problems of investigating deaths at the hands of the police and Deborah Glass of the Independent Police Complaints Commission has stated that the decision which allowed Harwood to rejoin the Met after taking what amount to retirement on health grounds was staggering. Missing from the equation is any formal statement from the Met on why someone with form in brutality was allowed to leave before an investigation into his conduct was complete and why he was simply allowed to return via the back door without question. Harwood faces a misconduct hearing in September. Maybe he might take early retirement again!
Not a single Met policeman has EVER been successfully prosecuted for killing a civilian whilst on duty. The Crown Prosecution Service protects both the Police and by default their political masters in Whitehall from us, the public, the very people they are sworn to serve.
Our Police force is no longer fit for purpose. It ignores the 9 principles of policing as set down by Robert Peel. It protects and defends the criminals within its ranks. It abuses the powers invested in it by the people paying for it. It usurps the judiciary and is accountable only to politicians, elected by minorities.


Do not forget that last year’s riots started with the shooting by the Met of a man in the back of a taxi. This catalyst seems to have been excised from the history book and instead using that term “manufactured consent” those that became involved in the rioting became the villains to the exclusion of those that set the process off. Again as we have stated before this comment should not be taken as support for the actions of rioters. It’s a statement that seeks to highlight the fact that we have an unaccountable Police force at large!

Kitten of The Day!

20 Jul

Yes! This isn’t a cute Google sourced kitten, this is a real Bedford one! He’s now dead.
Now I’m not a big cat person, I’m more a dog type but I must have some gene that just prevents me from walking past any animal not doing too well!

Today’s Kitten was spotted on Monday stumbling about near some pallets but still quick witted enough not to be caught. Kitten was eventually carefully captured on Tuesday and was clearly not in a good state. The first assumption was that as the other kittens (all feral and probably abandoned) seem to be doing well and are physically bigger and fitter then this one was the runt so attempts were made to hand feed with the correct milk just to keep Kitty going while help was sought, Kitty actually seemed appreciative. Phone calls were made, the RSPCA has one of those bloody automated systems that takes you several minutes to get through to someone. Then they tell you that it might be some time before they can get back to me and suggest I try any local animal charity.
Things get worse as maggots are spotted around Kittens rear end, phone calls are made to vets who are busy “Can you come at 5.15pm?” ” Is it your cat?” ” we are busy” so a seven hour wait… and then a phone call to something called HULA a local charity which stands for Homes for Unloved Animals which is literally 5 to 10 minutes max from where Kitten is actually on its last legs. Let’s just say that HULA are prolific fundraisers. “Sorry we are full up” says the HULA person. Now I’m not trying to palm Kitten off, Kitten is clearly in a very bad state and it looks to be terminal so I’m after someone to advise. Nothing forthcoming from HULA. I’m even prepared to pay whatever it costs but the response from HULA was nothing short of shite! Not even prepared to offer details of the nearest vet and the inference was that as I’d picked Kitten up it was up to me!
Trying to clean Kitten’s rear end in the ladies loo, Lucy comes in and stares. Me and Di eventually discover a small but deep and clearly serious wound infected by maggots under Kittens fur. Our pal “H” who is back in Bedford has found a vet prepared to see Kitten immediately and so we hit the road. Twenty five minutes later Kitten is being held by the Vet and the sad (and not unexpected) news is that euthanasia is the only option. After the event I take my credit card out and am told firmly but gently to put it away by the vet as it won’t be required. Thank you! She even says thank you to us for coming over. Bloody Hell, she’s actually saying thank you for our efforts! On the way back with our empty box, the odd tear and the odour of wee and what we now appreciate to be rotting flesh the RSPCA phone to say they are busy and I might have to wait some time!
So if you want all the crap and nice pictures, “how kind we are” and “give us your money” sort of stuff then look at the HULA website. If you have a seriously ill animal best go somewhere else or if its not yours well pretend it’s not there!
Beware, some Vets despite an oath of sorts not to refuse to treat any animal that is suffering will want £25 quid up front and having done a bit of homework I came across someone being charged £100 for putting an injured hare to sleep, a motorist found a critical dog in the road, taken to a Vet, credit card please! Much better if you have that “f*ck it” approach and can just walk away or drive past. Sadly I don’t! Kitten bit me so my arm aches through the tetanus jab but I will no doubt end up doing the same again someday!

Bedford Bypass: We will have a go at anyone who deserves it!

Under New Management!

19 Jul

Following a week’s worth of bitter internecine fighting Bedford Bypass is under new management. The old guard have been routed and have fled to the hills outside Bedford.One of them was found hiding in a pipe under Riverfield Drive. You don’t want to know what happened next! We saved her PC before things turned grim!

We tried to stop them!

We tried to stop them!

As from today your favourite Bedford based blog will become a beacon for praising the town and all its attributes. No more will you have to put up with all this baseless rant about councillors expenses, meetings that last two minutes, political groups selling out for power, supposed dawdling by staff, people being CRB checked without authority and all the other stuff! No, you want good news don’t you! You want cat’s being rescued by smiling firemen in perfectly staged press opportunities! You want to hear praise for Reverend Royden when he gets the green light to target and fine 10 years olds for dropping sweet wrappers!
You want faith that by leaving things to other people they won’t shaft you or leave you high and dry. You need to be able to switch off and not worry about the loss of essential services, closure of day care centres, vulnerable people being shifted from place to place. Look, there’s enough to contend with without some bunch of bother causers going through council minutes and pointing out what’s actually happening!
And those interminably boring Bedford Diary things in which some failed wordsmith wanders round bits of town inflicting his acerbic views on anyone unfortunate enough to stumble on Bedford Bypass!
Constantly trying to drum up support for some magazine from Norwich called Now or Never when what you really need is something you can get from WH Smith. Or that Dodgem Logic magazine that only lasted eight issues!
We will give coverage to people that believe in the Lord Almighty. The Big Cheese, he that tests our faith by creating holocausts, tsunami’s, famine just to prove his love for us all!
The new improved Bedford Bypass will give you exactly what you need starting with this “feel good” picture which we will call “Kitten of the Day”. Everyday we will show you a picture lifted from Google of a kitten. You will feel good! Other juvenile animals are available and if there is enough demand we will do “Puppy of the Day”. There’s no end to what we could do!

Kitten of the Day!

Kitten of the Day!

So let’s not have any more of this ranty shouty bollocks. Bedford Bypass produced by happy shiny people holding hands! Or was it shining happy people….Tune in soon for another kitten and some wonderful news about local animal welfare charity HULA!

Cynthia!