Archive | July, 2013

Smile for the (Bypass) Camera!

30 Jul
Safe behind a fence!

Safe behind a fence!

Just had a cuppa with a friend. His job involves him driving round various towns including Bedford to carry out essential works and he needs the vehicle close by a) so he can get his kit and b) to stop it being robbed. He’s now clocked up about eight parking tickets and it’s getting to the point where the company are now having to refuse to do work round certain parts of Bedford. Very simple, everyone loses out!
Here’s the culprits, the councils two CCTV parking vans returning to their lair in front of the town hall. They were having a real interesting chat. The drivers that is not the vans, this isn’t a kids TV series called Victor the Venomous Van. This was close onto 10.00pm on Saturday night. When the concept of council parking wardens was first mooted in the late 90s there were all manner of assurances as to what times the enforcers would be at large, daytimes mostly but 13 years later anytime of the day is fair game. Quite possibly even late at night on Saturday when people are picking up their curry from Tavistock Steet. I waited outside the yard for a good ten minutes having a real “earwig” as to their conversation, so intense was it they didn’t even come to investigate the camera flash, like I say a very interesting conversation!
Mr Pickles has spoken of the need to act on councils that use these mobile camera vans as a source of income and a well executed Freedom of Information request could secure the actual cost of having these vans out and about at obscure times of the day, the actual number of tickets issued as a result and the eventual income generated!
One of the sad things that the current incumbents at the top of the council don’t seem to appreciate is that they are slowly making town a no go area. They’ve sat about looking at their wage slips while the shops close and they now seem to want to piss people off in the evening and on Sunday morning. This is why we shop in Bedford very infrequently and my “guilt” over this is that by going elsewhere all I’m doing is ditching the town centre traders!
I guess they have to park these vans behind a lockable fence to stop some aggrieved driver from whacking the camera with a baseball bat and legging it! When I worked for the council some years back I’d spend insubordinate amounts of time shopping and just hanging round town. My council van got ticketed once and I was told to write a nice letter to a Mr Stewart Briggs and guess what…he cancelled the fine. I wonder what the current policy is towards council vehicles parked up in odd locations! Especially if the council is carrying out the same service as that friend of mine who keeps getting tickets! See what I’m getting at here?


Village Life!

29 Jul


I’m writing my first novel. It’s going to be called “Village Life” and set in a small er…village called Baddington in a place I’m calling in Kempstonshire. It’s coming together and the basic plot is as follows:
There’s a ruthless Central Kempstonshire councillor, I’ve modelled him on the Master from Dr Who,no one really likes him and he’s fallen out with some of the locals called Patty and Chrissie! After a village meeting Patty tells the Master that he’s horrid, whooah! All of a sudden Kempstonshire Police arrive at Patty and Chrissies door and arrest them following allegations that they have harassed the poor ruthless Machiavellian councillor in some way. Things get complex. There’s a bogus email with a rogue dot so somewhere in the story someone has assumed someone’s identity to make Patty and Chrissie send some documents over. These documents then end up in the possession of the ruthless councillor. Patty and Chrissie don’t take thing lightly and sue Kempstonshire Police and don’t intend giving up!

Then Kempstonshire Police start back peddling. I’ve decided to go for the full fantasy here and I’ve included bogus statements made up by the Police including in one part of the story a policewoman saying one thing in her statement and then CCTV showing the opposite.
All in draft at the moment but there’s another bit of the story where Patty and Chrissie manage to get a top notch legal team and then towards the end the police back down and make a payment for wrongful arrest. But just when you think that’s the end there’s another storyline in which Kempstonshire Police try to stick their head in the sand about the statements not matching and being contrary to other evidence. Oh and then just as an internal investigation is due to start, one of the arresting officers suddenly quits the force! All pure make believe!
In the meantime there’s another storyline in which the police eventually and only after they realise that the two heroes are not giving up, produce a letter to the ruthless councillor asking him how he came by documents that were sent to the bogus email address! The conundrum then in this fantasy is whether or not the letter was ever sent and whether the ruthless councillor ever responded.
I’m working on motives and I think I’ve come up with a good one about the ruthless councillor wanting to stand for the post of Police And Crime Commissioner but almost as soon as he’s thrown his hat in the ring he nips back in and retrieves it putting it down to family reasons!
Sounds complicated doesn’t it! I’m sure if I can get a publisher it’ll do well. Then I’ll go for a TV series so I’m looking for two people to play Patty and Chrissie!
By the way in a rather bizarre set of totally unrelated circumstance two nice people that run the Caddington Village News website have just been awarded damages for wrongful arrest, one at home, the other at work after complaints were made that they had harassed a local councillor! Knowing they were right they never gave up!
If you want to read more about this have a peeky at Caddington Village News. Pat and Chris have done a sterling job here!

Rain Stopped Play!

27 Jul
Tiger Woods not welcomed!

Tiger Woods not welcomed!

Sad to say, one of the best “agit prop” stunts to have taken place in Bedford for some time, the creation of a mini golf course on a bit of wasteland on Midland Rd fell foul of the weather earlier today. I’d been watching the course take shape since Friday night with several visits, then again today but by the time we headed down there again at 8.30pm for a round plus a film show the rain had buggered everything up so I ended up commiserating with the M!MS team as they packed up!

Wonderful concept however as I talked to Andy, Dave the Mayors camera enforcement CCTV van went past just to prove that we are slowly ambling to a 24 hour surveillance state here in Bedford as the shops head skyward and all we rely on gets closed down!

Back to the M!MS and Bedford Creative Arts, well done people!

Six go to London: Icon of Coil

26 Jul
Icon of Coil!

Icon of Coil!

Five actually, Mon Pierre met us at Kings Cross. Visitors to the Latitude Festival a week or so back were entertained by four elderly men pushing buttons on various PC’s at the same time as pre-programmed synth music wafted out! This was Kraftwerk only one of the four is an original member and they haven’t produced any serious new music for decades! The reviews weren’t encouraging and I guess it’s like seeing the Mona Lisa, it’s a let down when you get to gaze upon that canvas!
Cut to the O2 Academy (Islington) last night and we were similarly entertained by two electro thrash combo’s, the support act was Terrolokaust with a lead singer quite well up his own rear followed by headliners Icon of Coil! This is best described as Kraftwerk on crystal meth!
Now I know a thing or two about live music. And this wasn’t live music. The respective singers were certainly singing / growling / shouting but as for the Terrolokaust guitarist he might as well have been playing a tennis racket as he wasn’t actually doing anything musically. Both bands had a guy at the back quite content diddling buttons on a PC, maybe doing his emails, online grocery order and on one or two occasions when he wandered from the console the music continued! No sound checks either! Bit like a burlesque panto!
The sound guy behind the mixing desk looked bored rigid and spent much of the evening texting. Basically apart from balancing the vocals with a DAT tape he’s got nothing to do, so six of us paid £16.50 for a karaoke. The venue was nice enough and the staff very accommodating as one of our posse needed disabled support but the actual gig itself never seemed to come fully alive. Even the little merchandise stall near the toilets was bereft of interest unless you like black tee shirts with skulls on! Then there was overpriced watery lager obtained after a bit of jostling and sign language with the bar staff!
The front man from Icon of Coil is Andy LaPlegua who also heads hard core techno group Combichrist and whilst their stage synth is almost 100% canned (pre-taped) they feature three pounding drummers and the Camden Electric Ballroom gig last year was buzzing with a capacity crowd of berserker extroverts. Last night’s event seemed to have something missing and I can’t figure out what it was! Maybe it was the rush to get down there, the trains running late, an under capacity audience, the humidity of the Pentonville Road!
The highlight of the trip home was some real entertaining banter with a man dressed as Odin the Norse God complete with pretend axe, a chartered accountant who’d been watching the cricket, a nurse from Papworth and various others, we waved them goodbye as they got off the train and at 12.20am we emerged from Bedford Station slightly wobbly and jaded with the final leg of the journey to go.

Bedford Bypass Kitten News!

26 Jul
Awwwww! Isn't he sweet?

Awwwww! Isn’t he sweet?

Always eager to capitalise on the “awww” factor here’s a picture of the latest kitten to be rescued by our Bedford Bypass stalwarts! It starts off sad, a bit like in Bambi with an adult cat (mum?) being killed on a main road and then this wee chap being spotted underneath some old pallets crying!
“H” springs to the rescue with some special formulae kitty milk, Debs provides some kitten food for tender tums and within days our kitten is doing better but still scarpering when you get too close!
Then comes the decision to catch him before he too falls foul of the road! “M” lends us a cage trap, we set it at 5.00pm and by 7.00am the day after we have our kitten. And a seriously disgruntled adult cat from the farm over the road which wasn’t anticipated!
Anyway Mr Cat senior was taken away by the Society for Cutting off Cats Bollocks and then returned as he’s good at keeping the rats under control but at least his kitten producing days are over and as for little kitten who was surprisingly tame, he’s been rehomed by the RSPCA!
So big awwww’s for Bedford Bypass who show that anarchists are really nice decent people that just want to end hierarchies of power, hate belligerent bullies and associated twats!

Incidentally when we phoned up the Cats Protection League Bedford Branch to say we had an orphaned kitten they said they were full and couldn’t help so next time I see them outside M&S shaking tins they can sod off!


Own a Piece of The True Towel!

24 Jul

Royal Baby fever is running through the streets and valleys of Britain (including Scotland and some of Northern Ireland) and Bedford Bypass is just about to make things even better! Your opportunity from heaven to own a small piece of history and our future!
Following a tip off that all the paraphernalia from the Royal birth had been brought by G4S (as in Olympics security fiasco) for secure disposal via the clinical waste bins at the back of Bedford Hospital, we have managed to obtain these most holiest of relics and now YOU can be a part of this special occasion! A feeling that will last for eternity!
Priced at a meagre £10.00 a section, a piece of the True Towel is yours. Guaranteed to bring you luck and cure even the most fatal of illnesses and embarrassing rashes simply by rubbing it against the afflicted part (unless it’s inside you) this cotton fresh piece of wonder from the hospital birth room will chase even the darkness of days away and bring you eternal joy! To enhance your pleasure the one True Towel has been freshly laundered to get rid of the goo and looks and feels like new, just like you will if you buy and believe in it oh! And they come in a variety of colours.

Freshly laundered, just for you!

Freshly laundered, just for you!

If you prefer a more inclusive memento we have in very limited numbers throwaway drinks containers from the room where Prince William paced about waiting for the reassuring slap and baby’s first cry, come with a variety of stains including soup, chocolate and Ribena ™. £5.00 each or a set of six for £20. Blessed by the Royal lips! Hold one and just feel the tension leading to the delight when he found out it was a baby!
The holy forceps. It doesn’t get better than this. For £1000 this piece of history could be yours and yours alone. There is one condition to this sale. If you become the lucky owner you must never ever tell a soul. If anyone comes along claiming to own the Holy forceps, they will be lying. Do not believe them. Our guarantee is sound! Please email us for availability. A snip at £400. Please state if you prefer chrome or stainless steel.

Can also be used on BBQ's

Can also be used on BBQ’s

Kate’s magazines of hope! Kate (Catherine) though in incredible pain managed to read various magazines whilst baby stubbornly refused to budge. You can own one of these very magazines and you can simply stroke the cover and feel all Kate’s hopes and aspirations seep out! Just £10.00 per magazine, touched by royalty, £20.00 if Kate has done the crossword.

Sorry the copy of Allure has already gone!

Sorry the copy of Allure has already gone!

Note we are not selling these through Ebay as that would be an insult to the Royal birth and might also get us into bother with Ebay’s policy on counterfeit goods!
Discounts for OAPs. Postage not included but it shouldn’t be that much!
Let’s just say that some of the original ideas for this blog were rather tasteless. Especially Lou’s idea about bottled placenta!

A Ray of Hope..Flickers in the SKy

23 Jul

A tiny star, lights up way up high! News of the royal baby has led to an unbelievable occurrences, around the world peace has broken out, global leaders have met to cancel third world debt and Mexican drug cartels responsible for thousands of grizzly murders have sheepishly said “sorry we got carried away we won’t do it again” All across the land dawns a brand new morn! 

Two Wise Men!

Two Wise Men!

And all of this happens because the world is waiting, Waiting for one child. In Afghanistan the Taliban have called time on the war with one leader saying “We were getting a bit fed up with it all, hiding behind rocks all day and when we heard that dear little Kate had delivered us a messiah we decided to throw our lot in with the yanks. We are playing a game of football with them later” he also said “A silent wish sails the seven seas, the winds of change whisper in the trees” which had us feeling like a big group hug!

We are off to open a girls school and we might take up knitting!

We are off to open a girls school and we might take up knitting!

Meanwhile in some tall building in the US, Anglia Merkel and Osama Obama have agreed to write off all debt in sub Saharan Africa and have fessed up that it was all part of a plot to keep them subservient, shackles and chains sort of thing, the US president said “I was watching News 24 last night and as soon as I heard that a child had been born, I came over all funny, weirdy nice so I’ve written off billions as gesture”, I’ve ordered the French president, what’s his name, to do the same. A rosy hue settles all around. You’ve got the feel you’re on solid ground
A proof that this miraculous birth has created a vibe of goodness in all corners, the gangs in Luton have weighed their handguns and semi-automatics in and have agreed to use the £75.97 in scrap value to buy a nice teddy bear, one ex gang leader called “Lenny the Hat” on account of him always wearing a hat said “Our random shooting sprees are at an end, from now on we are going to be building community centres and helping old ladies with their shopping, maybe the odd mugging just for old times sake”. This comes to pass when a child is born!
When asked about the blockade of Cuba being lifted a Whitehouse spokesperson told us to xxxx off!

Well done Uncle Obama!

Well done Uncle Obama!

Royal Baby: Exclusive first images!

22 Jul

Royal baby!

Royal baby!

In an exclusive to Bedford Bypass we present the first image of the freshly squeezed out royal baby! Mother and baby are doing fine but the father is apparently somewhat troubled!

M!MS, anyone for golf!

19 Jul

I’ve stayed well away from the subject of Discordianism, The Illuminatus Trilogy, the Goddess Eris of Chaos (or Discordia as the Romans called her) as basically its one connected very funny complex joke created by people who fully appreciate that your life depends on a piece of tissue in your brain that’s less than wafer thin not rupturing. If it does you might end up in a vegetative or “locked in” state or if you’re lucky you might make a recovery of sorts, if you’re very lucky that might be the end of things, wooden box time with a nice send off and you won’t have to spend your next few years shitting it in case you have another one!imagesCA3W15FW
Discordianism is described as the anarchists non religion and if you really want to waste a bit of your life in a quite enjoyable labyrinth of cybergumph may I humbly suggest you put your finery on, hail a taxi and tootle your way over to the Principia Discordia website which is available on special offer below!
I’m a Mancunian. My natural habit is wet rainy slightly humid streets. I’m the type that is quite happy from say March through to April and slightly into May and beyond that I just moan and slouch when it’s too hot. Give me Joy Division, black clouds and a queue for the bus anyday. That’s why Bedford Bypass has been on 1/3rd power this week. Apart from that I’ve noticed when I don’t blog the hit rate goes up so that if you follow the Goddess of Chaos (Eris) theory there’s the proof of perpetual weirdness! So Eris has tempted me out of my hammock! imagesCAFCEKNW
Talking of weirdness there was a “wrap round cover” on the free paper last week. From the casual readers perspective it was total gibberish and made no sense. From the enlightened readers perspective it was constructive gibberish and made no sense…and that’s the secret of Discordianism so I thought it was excellent and far more enjoyable than the rest of the paper which really is quite dire these days.Golf
A shady organisation called M!MS were the collective genii behind the four page cover and they have struck again, this time with Bedford Creative Arts but first a little preamble.

M!MS, not to be confused with M&Ms

M!MS, not to be confused with M&Ms

Guerrilla Gardening is the art and act by which people sneak out under cover of darkness and beautify bits of wasteland. Mostly urban but if you get the timing right Mr Oswald Repents and another chap covered in ink out in the sticks of Norfolk can be seen with an almost translucent Oswald planting veg on otherwise unloved roadside verges!
Back to Bedford…”Oh must we ?, we were so enjoying the journey” Yes I’m afraid we must, this is serious. Now I truly believe that golf is a good walk spoilt but mini golf was always fun when I was a kid. So stick the whole lot into a big pot, add a bit of turmeric and you’ll find that M!MS and BCA are taking over a derelict piece of land on Midland Rd and turning it into a mini golf course for the day as part of the Bed Fringe festival! Now that will be fun and worthy of a piece in the paper! The actual bit of land has been vacant for years, ephemeral plants litter the broken bricks. Nature abhors a vacuum. Wiz the dog doesn’t really like the vacuum either, she runs away when I use it which is a rarity!
All Hail Eris Goddess of Chaos!

Golf Course coming soon!

Golf Course coming soon!

Golf Course coming soon!

Bedford: A Call to Arms!

16 Jul

This is it! Readers of Bedford Bypass, citizens of our “rough at the edges” town, the day is dawning…as foretold by legend…a time to rise and defend the reputation of our abode!
Despite our stand as atheists we do actually revere two books which we believe to be hallowed and of spiritual status. The Old and the New! They are to found in that most noblest of place.. the charity shop quite often both together apart from down London for some reason where you tend to find large quantities of Volume 2 but not the other for some weird reason. The words contained within are passed down the generations in both the original text and via that floaty internet thing …and by word of mouth. Actually that makes three! We are talking about CRAP TOWNS!

It brought us glory!

It brought us glory!

And now after decades of waiting, with a feverish anticipation bordering on that usually associated with Star Wars films…the return is nigh, on bended knee, sword and shield at our sides and packed lunches at the other we await The Return of Crap Towns! (to be published in October it says). Crap-Towns-Cover
Bedford stands on the brink, a new future beckons providing we recognise it. But there’s evil present, like Lord Saruman in his tower trying to stop the Ewoks from finding that crystal skull! There’s a very real possibility that other more vociferous townfolk could denigrate their respective hovels and sink estates better than us and Bedford despite its bus station, periodic murders (as in “regular” not in Henry 8th fancy dress) and closed down shops might not appear in the Volume 3 when it arrives! Given that someone in the past, we can’t remember who* said “there’s no such thing as bad publicity” and that Oscar Wilde seems to have gotten in first by saying “The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about” if you actually look at how much publicity is being generated across the UK for these dire towns then actually getting in the final tome can only be seen as a force for good even if it is just in increased amusement!

Blandalf and The Bedford Bypass Warriors of Light!

Blandalf and The Bedford Bypass Warriors of Light!

So that is why we need you to fight, we were Crap in Volume 2, we reaped the rewards and we deserve to be crap in Volume 3 and to emphasise this struggle against the massed forces of officialdom and tedium we have at no expense at all included a picture of a digital skirmish from Lord of the Flies, a battle of light versus darkness! There can be only one victor. Some of you will not return! We salute you and hope you go quickly and without much fuss of the AAAAGH! variety !
So vote with your keyboards and warped sense of humour. If you don’t live in Bedford and take more civic pride in your own town that we do please support us, pity us even. Take a shufty wufty over to the Crap Town website and have your say. I shall endeavour to provide the link but if I fail miserably could you Google ™ “The Return of Crap Towns” and it should come up.       (I nearly forgot this bit!)

*Debs says it was Mae West possibly or maybe Phineas T Barnum! Brendan Behan that celebrated drinker with a writing problem came up with his own variation which goes “There’s no such thing as bad publicity except your own obituary”