Archive | April, 2014

George Clooney Seen in Bedford!

30 Apr

Tonight is the night of the year. Red carpet, the flash of eager paparazzi, hoards of fans autograph books at the ready…yes! It’s the monthly meeting of the Mayors Inner Sanctum called The Executive Committee and I made most of the above up including the title. All except the bit about the Executive Committee that meets tonight at Borough Hall. I’d love to go but there’s a good advert on telly tonight for Shake and Vac on Channel 37 at 7.15pm otherwise…

Bedford! I know because it says so!

Bedford! I know because it says so!

Lets look at what’s been happening, these people, these good people that willingly give their time up in exchange for a paltry £20odd thousand quid and more a year have their finger on the pulse. They are the life blood, the beating heart of Bedford. So surely these get togethers must be veritable think tanks, streams of active consciousness…

Well the last meeting in March lasted a staggering 30minutes as none councillors on top whack talked about nothing of note and given that their combined “expenses” since they were elected run in several hundreds of thousands of our quids one could be forgiven for scratching one’s head! Surely this can’t be normal? Well the Feb meeting lasted a tad longer at 35 although it looked to be of reasonable interest as we got to find out that Café Thirteen, the councils very own pub is expecting an overspend and someone has suggested getting better acts on at the Corn Exchange. They have those psychic fortune tellers as guest turns at this premier venue and I bet they could have predicted both of these facts as every-time I peek into Café Thirteen there’s more staff than customers and there’s only so many pretend Roy Orbison’s and Sinatra’s that I can deal with!

Time flies by when you are having fun!

Time flies by when you are having fun!

Cllr Doug McMurdo who is boss of the Leisure Portfolio asked the Mayor for a pats on the back all round for passing off most of Bedford Borough’s Leisure facilities to something called Lifestyle Fusion. You might have read about them recently when the pool lifeguards resorted to industrial action after allegedly not being paid their overtime. Ungrateful sods! Not a happy ship so we hear from staff that have been transferred to this new private company, some people are never happy! And this quite possibly includes Cllr McMurdo who is on Police bail after a bust up in Sharnbrook. I don’t know what counts as leisure up that end of Bedford Borough but Leisure Guru Doug is facing a rap for Actual Bodily Harm! The Mayor has been a bit tight lipped about this!

And back to the Executive, it seems that both the Car Parks and the Controlled Parking Zones are losing money which comes as no surprise however much of one meeting was given over to talking about parking near Robinson Swimming Pool! Cllr Royden did a bit of a fire and brimstone speech that sounded like a pulpit sermon but didn’t mention why the recycling budget isn’t looking too healthy!

Cheeky Scamp Mark Smith!

Cheeky Scamp Mark Smith!

The 22nd January meet up lasted 35minutes, the 4th December meeting was cancelled presumably to allow the children to go shopping however they were given a detention on the 8th January with another Executive Meeting that stretched on and on into the dark night and clocked in at 17 minutes which is possibly less than it takes most of them to actually travel to the meeting.

So that’s why I won’t be going tonight as it really is mind numbingly boring!

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Beautiful Girls

29 Apr

beautifulgirls

A Poetry Book Society Recommendation

“Beautiful Girls is not a book for the faint-hearted. The reader has been invited to a sleepover at the asylum, a night in which five-year old girls drift alone through the wards, where the mentally unstable do sit-ups when nobody is watching and where heaven is a place between “the sky and the planets” reserved for those with personality disorders. This collection will be a home-to-home for sufferers and a journey through terrible night for those who’ve been fortunate enough to take the non-scenic route in life. Melissa Lee-Houghton significantly moves us on from any romanticising notion of the ‘mad’ poet driven through suffering to achieve their full genius. Mental suffering is here shown in all its nocturnal and diurnal detail: the nurses, the drugs, the lack of sleep; the disconnect from the yearned-for true self. Beautiful Girls will survive as a testament to poetry’s force in overcoming.” – Chris McCabe

There’s no way I could better the above review of Melissa Lee Houghton’s second collection of her poetry other than to say that the above prompted me to take a random chance on the book and it doesn’t disappoint. If like me you are still jaded from being forced to read stuffy bland waffle that was deemed to be “poetry” at school then you have probably again like me steered well clear of “poetry” in the mistaken belief that it’s all layered in dust, obsolete, meaningless and in most cases downright bloody rubbish (personal opinion before you start on me!).

It may be an age thing but of late I’ve started appreciating the new wave of writers that don’t mince their words or feelings, Paul Farley is a name to keep tabs on! Roger McGough can move over, Poetry Please on Radio 4 can be a wonderful cure for insomnia, I want words that convey the reasons for self-harming and the distress that is inflicted on us without choice, I want wild plants growing on wasteland, a very urban fox that finds itself on the 27th floor of the Shard and the true desolation of being abandoned in an inner city sink estate where promises are so very easily made!

Melissa’s first published collection entitled A Body Made Of You has also joined the queue of “must reads” and if you want to read more about similar stuff you might find the small brochure from Penned in the Margins (publishers) of interest!

https://www.google.co.uk/search?hl=en-GB&source=hp&q=penned+in+the+margins+pdf&gbv=2&oq=Penned+&gs_l=heirloom-hp.1.0.35i39l2j0l8.2578.3672.0.5391.7.7.0.0.0.0.94.438.7.7.0….0…1ac.1.34.heirloom-hp..0.7.438.9o3EyHMSMw0

Where’s Humphrey Cushion?

29 Apr
Humphrey and Alan (holding the book) relaxing between filming!

Humphrey and Alan (holding the book) relaxing between filming!

I guess it’s sad news! We are pleased to welcome a Ms Humphrey Cushion to our readership! Now that’s very good news as our hits have doubled overnight but there are tears in my eyes as having peeked at Ms Cushions veryworthwhile and amusing blog I can find no mention of Mister Humphrey Cushion who for a few years in the mid 1970s kept me fixed to the telly (and away from weirdo’s on the streets of Liverpool) in a wonderful show called Hickory House. Maybe Ms Cushion is his daughter?

http://mshumphreycushion.wordpress.com/  (much better than Bedford Bypass and Ms H can use Twitter which both impresses and confuses us!)

Filling in the gaps between Rainbow and a very scabby hare in another show called Pipkins on the kids dinnertime telly slot Mr Humphrey Cushion and his pal Dusty Mop made dismal wet school holidays fly by which had the unfortunate side effect of sending us back to school near Toxteth far quicker. Humph’s  human buddy was a chap called Alan Rothwell who after Hickory House was demolished to make way for a bypass cut his hair and ended up as a drug addict on Brookside. Quite shocking! A pre Corrie Amanda Barrie also helped out! She didn’t take heroine she just said NO!

Dusty Mop and Amanda Barrie

Dusty Mop and Amanda Barrie

I never knew what happed to Mister Humphrey Cushion, one of my childhood heroes. Perhaps Ms Cushion could enlighten us as to his whereabouts unless of course the name is coincidence like me and Delbert McClinton! Ms Cushion is it seems a er…enthusiastic “follower” of Nadine Dorries MP and her parliamentary shenanigans like soddin off to the jungle and writing dire books and is very much on our wavelength!

 

See the great Humphrey Cushion himself in this clip, unlike Pipkins,  Hickory House has sad to say never seen the light of day on commercial release but snippets abound on Mr Gate’s Electrical Apparatus!

 http://www.tv-ark.org.uk/mivana/mediaplayer.php?id=29301ba7eed2823b342d5a043354a921&media=hickoryhouse1975-b&type=mp4

Hickory House. Time Team are searching a car park for its remains!

Hickory House. Time Team are searching a car park for its remains!

News Just In! MP writes book…

28 Apr

Great news for senile people that struggle with complicated words of over five letters and who have OCD when it comes to dross books written about working class lives in Liverpool!

imagesCATZVBBL

Just in case you’ve not read enough of these dreary novels about single mums, shoeless kids and scousers going hungry our local(ish) MP Nadine Dorries has jumped on the bandwagon and churned out the first in her new sideline (and money earner) called The Four Streets with yippee more to come. It’s a tenner from Amazon (signed) or just short of six quid from independent sellers. You might want to give it a year or two and it’ll be on BBC 1 on Sunday evening starring at least one of Nadine’s daughters who are or have been on the payroll for helping her out as an MP and also starring Miranda Hart as Chummy!

Books about Liverpool! Trees die for this bilge!

Books about Liverpool! Trees die for this bilge!

Another good idea would be to have a look at Mark Thomas’s website where you can obtain little stickers saying “Also Available in Charity Shops” which can be then added surreptitiously to the cover of Nadine’s contribution to the classics in Tesco or Waterstones!

Aaaah! Well worth it!

Aaaah! Well worth it!

I wonder if Nadine, who claims to be very busy working her kecks off as an MP and appearing at the drop of a hat on any TV show that will have her wrote the book whilst listening to Dave and Nick droning on?

Helen Forrester ha written loads of Liverpool books. All tripe!

Helen Forrester has written loads of Liverpool books. All tripe!

Two Popes team up to fight the Daleks!

28 Apr

Still sod all to write about Bedford but I was amused to see that the Vatican’s Press Office have pulled a media coup by getting the current Pope chap and the previous Pope chap together and I can only assume after the way it worked for Doctor Who and Doctor Who* last year they’ve cribbed the idea from the BBC! And why not! Usually Pope chaps either die suddenly in suspicious circumstances or linger on with dementia or some similar degenerative process!

Look! Two of them!

Look! Two of them!

Now the previous previous Pope (John Paul II) was sort of there in spirit as he’s been promoted to being a Saint up in heaven where he has lived since his death from Parkinson’s since 2005!

You don’t just get made a saint without good cause, the criteria was you had to do two miracles but they’ve lowered the entrance requirements to just one and even though he’d been dead for six years he managed to speak to a woman with a brain tumour through a picture in a magazine and she was cured hence his promotion. And here’s me thinking it was all a load of tramps trousers. I would have thought that given is ability to cure people even after his worldly demise that he’d have saved himself from the full effects of Parkinsons!

The Tardis brought them together!

The Tardis brought them together!

It’s the miracle business that I like and I was talking to some good chums on Saturday over hummus about how nice that Greek chick pea delicacy is and I started a discussion about when baby Jesus fed loads of people, either 4000 or 5000 depending on which gospel you read, on a measly amount of loaves and fishes. Now given the stories about raising the dead, sight to the blind, water into wine and sawing that woman in half I’m sure he could have done far better than giving people a bit of bread and a fish. I’d have been well disappointed especially if the fish was raw in fact I’d have complained although I will eat sushi if pushed. A peanut butter sandwich would have gone down a treat. Maybe his dad could have helped and if it turned out that Jesus had invented peanut butter (Sun of God Pat) the Pope could have exclusively copyrighted the formulae and made a small fortune over time. A miracle that would earned every single Pope a promotion to Saint! What do Saints do I ask myself. Do they become Gods spin doctors or special advisors! By the way should I be using the upper case G when I type God or should it be just god? Does he get annoyed if you don’t type it right, does he read Bedford Bypass, maybe and if he does I wonder who the other three readers are!

*the special episode that also starred Doctor Who in addition to Doctor Who and Doctor Who although quite who Tom Baker was supposed to be I don’t know!

Creative Writing!

23 Apr

Blogging can be real easy to start with and then you go through barren patches. To get round this we have an archive of random thoughts that are typed up on foolscap and stored in a big suitcase that “Skip” Hunter found in a…er…skip behind my bike. The skip wasn’t behind my bike it was somewhere near Biggleswade when Skip chanced upon it but is now behind my bike.

Southport won Britain in Bloom!

Southport won Britain in Bloom!

Some months later when things are fallow something comes along that by itself isn’t all that relevant but when you add several bits together from the suitcae of delights and half sketched out ideas things take shape!

Mr Mayor Hodgson has been busy wanting to add to the list of things that are forbidden in Bedford and soon it will be deemed naughty if you take a wee in public! £75 if caught! Spitting is on the list as well. Dave the Mayor has said so and to show he’s not wrong two cases from Waltham Forest are quoted in the press release and the piss-poor Bedford Times and Citizen have duly obliged and reported. I don’t know about clearing ones nasal track onto the pavement.

Nottingham, home of Robin Hood. Allegedly!

Nottingham, home of Robin Hood. Allegedly!

Our Mayor’s determination to stamp out weeing and gobbing reached ITV and Bedford was on the telly again. A treat usually reserved for when someone has been murdered, kicked senseless or dragged dead from the river but this time we seem to be attracting people by announcing that our streets are paved with gob! The odd thing is that you can already be carted off if caught weeing in public in fact to our credit a 72 year old homeless man with bowel cancer was fined a few years back and one of our drug addicts has been collared several times however in this case the Mayor has found another bandwagon to jump on. Nothing more nothing less!

Given that the noble team of people that have the “lucky” job of dishing out fines to miscreants on the street are feeling well “pissed” off with Mayor for getting rid of people including long term staffer Larissa it’s an easy win for him. Publicity for free knowing that he doesn’t have to get involved except getting his mush on both the council website and his own personal “Vote for Dave” site!

He’s also been mouthing off tough words in the direction of gypsies who have left piles of crap in several localities around town however it’s nothing new! Gypsies come, stay until the bailiffs are due then move on leaving their spoils behind and I don’t like it. I don’t like litter and I don’t like spitting. But equally I don’t like politicians that use any situation to push their face and “strength” at us when the opportunity arises and in this case after the event and knowing full well that even the police won’t act in these type of situations. How they are going to deal with a parent dangling a four year old over a drain while junior has a pee will be amusing and will the enforcement team be out at 2.30am when the pissers and gobbers are at their maximum. I doubt it!

 

And what started this off? Well when you enter into many towns you find the council has used the street sign to say what it is proud of, what sums the area up, how we sell ourselves and make people feel they are visiting somewhere of note, a famous name or an award..”Hay on Wye…Town of Books”, Nottingham and Robin Hood. How does Bedford use the spare bit of a road sign? Bunyan’s Birthplace, Town of Markets” no…See for yourselves!

Bedford Tourist Information

Bedford Tourist Information

In the meantime see if you can spot the difference below

Spit

 

 

Margaret Smith (above) says that cleaning up spit makes her feel sick. Credit: ITV News Anglia

You can’t clear it up.”– Margaret Smith, Street cleaner (still above)

Happy Easter Car Boot Sale to all Bypass Readers

20 Apr

Round at mates on Good Friday there’s a gaggle of hyper active chocolate fueled kids running round the garden uprooting the plants in search of more chocolate to keep them awake into the wee small hours. We never had egg hunts when we were kids. What we did have was a weird thing called a “Passion Play” and in my small five or six year old mind seeing Roman soldiers and a bloke with long hair and a beard carrying a cross walking past the end of the road was evidence that each year Jesus had to come back to life and go through the whole being nailed up each year and then when it was done we could all to the fair down the bottom of the hill and have a try at winning a goldfish that might last a few weeks. I never actually wondered why the location had changed from the biblical lands to a suburb of Oldham. But it was still mesmerizing to see real authentic Roman centurians giving a real authentic sixties hippy a bit of a rough time until a few years back when I chanced upon some pictures dating back to the late sixties.

Jesus visits Bolton! Safer than Palestine...just!

Jesus visits Bolton! Safer than Palestine…just!

The hippy son of god was wearing a dressing gown, his cross was quite small in fact if they had nailed him up for dramatic effect he would have had to kneel down for it to work!

Best of all if the Roman soldiers were anything to go by when they invaded Britain some 2000 years back the locals would have pissed themselves sidewards at the sight of tubby men wearing old council safety helmets and towels which would I dare say explain why the Italians soon had us whooped!

I am more informed these days and appreciate that again some 2000 years ago someone called Jesus or thereabouts died so that 2000 years later we could all have a real long weekend to the point where you are having trouble remembering what day it actually is. I guess that after Jesus died up on that (full size) cross his Mum Mary decided to clear his room out so that’s exactly what we have been doing today, several large sacks going to the local charity shop soon and when Mary heard that he’d come back from the dead she went round trying to buy all his stuff back so tomorrow we are off car booting! Then its back to work. So thanks Jesus, not sure where the eggs and rabbits fit in though, it all sounds a bit “old religion” to me, spring, rebirth and so on!

(and certain bits of this blog have been removed on the grounds of taste)

Wong Direction…Bedford Bypass! Are they racist?

16 Apr
Tedford Bypass

Tedford Bypass

Bloody Hell! …help me out here brethren! Up in our reasonably cheap hotel last week I noticed that a big chunk of their guests were coach parties going to concerts at the Manchester Arena. On one night there were knocking on for 100 women going to see Backstreet boys. Most of the women were also knocking on and quite excitable when they arrived back. Another night there was a coach full of Chinese nationals and I made the quip that they were here to see number one Chinese tribute band Wong Direction and this kept me amused most of Sunday.

Wong Direction! Actually there's a business opportunity here!

Wong Direction! Actually there’s a business opportunity here!

Since then my life is in turmoil as I can’t work out if I’ve displayed racist tendencies or if it could be deemed acceptable in a Father Ted way (series 3 episode 1). Now I’ve told this quip and my remorse to numerous people and they laughed making my misery worse as I appear to have delivered a brand new joke into the UK psyche. If I believed in god I’d be sat in some confession box pouring my heart out only to be told to Feck Off you proddy racist bastard. Please let me know what you think!

Support Your Local Buisness’s (unless you are a political party)

16 Apr

It would appear that both the local Labour party and Conservatives have teamed up to give a big “sod off” to local printing companies! That’s one option. The other possible but not very plausible option is that our local printers are so busy that they’ve told our local politicians to “sod off” and go elsewhere! What I’m talking about is that bumph that gets shoved through your door, calendars and those leaflets where “vote for me” types point at stuff on the off chance that the easily impressed and confused will be taken in by their false sincerity!

This Bedford leaflet was printed in Manchester!

This Bedford leaflet was printed in Manchester!

Richard Fuller MP for Bedford who earns more in consultancy work than he does for hanging around parliament (go for it Richard, rake it in then sod off back to the US with the loot when you get kicked out) has opted to have his Bedford related bumph printed in York whilst recent Labour waffle is printed on not very inspiring A4 up in Blackpool. Now it may be that Bedford Labour Group which seems to consist of vague looking people that are either already on or want to get on the expenses bandwagon are supporting the Marxist stratagem of the redistribution of wealth to the areas that need it. And believe you me, we were there last week and Blackpool needs it! But I doubt it and its more likely that they haven’t got the common sense to consider the contradiction in their repeatedly “arping” on about how Bedford needs support, support that can only come from them being voted in whilst quite clearly not giving two hoots in practice!

Someone's at the door mam!

Someone’s at the door mam!

I don’t know about Alistair Burt as missives from him are as rare as sighting of Elvis the solar wind! Here at Bedford Bypass we take a view that most politicians are two faced and they tend to sit on the best one!

Coast to Coast and the Victorian Dead!

15 Apr
Secure up until the point where the fence either runs out or has been nicked!

Secure up until the point where the fence either runs out or has been nicked!

And welcome back! Sorry for the delay in posts to Bedford Bypass, we have been away for a short break! Where you might ask? The Isle of Skye?…no..been there a few times though! Canada? ..no!…Paris?…not this time…we’ve been coast to coast in no particular order or defined route. One day we were looking out in the direction of Hook of Holland, then we were in Sheffield, over the hills and far away to Lancashire, there was a failed attempt to post a Bedford Bypass update in Susan’s front room on the slopes of the moors using something called a tablet which got the better of me…we watched the sun set over the distant city of Manchester…we went into the uplands beyond Blackburn on the A666 which is known as the devils highway or the road to hell although there’s no evidence that the devil or Chris Rea have ever travelled its route (and thanks to Maxine Peake for this)…we said hello to the Blackpool tower after a four year gap…down to Southport where we looked out at the north sea which held far more beauty than Southport did…I met up with my old walking and talking partner Croston from 30odd years back…Liverpool where the skyline is graced by the City tower and the opposing cathedrals of animosity and mistrust inspired by the love of the same god!

Apr 14 020

And back to Manchester. The Beatham Tower punctures the clouds, in the near future the entire human population of the city will reside inside this shrine to urbanism while feral regressed anthropoids roam the debris filled streets while armed mercenaries guard the doors nervously…but for now Manchester is still the buzz city…a vampire city of the present day as its vibrancy seems to be slowly sucking the life out of the communities beyond its immediate borders, where paunched shaven headed males with Staffordshire Bull terriers await the opening of pub doors at 10.00am a city that never sleeps has parts that never wake.

A paupers graveyard long covered over keep Croston and I tuned into the beauty of urban dereliction. For close on 100 years it remained the last dumping ground of the city poor, first those unable to afford a coffin and a prayer, just a sheet and quicklime and then later when cholera came knocking it earned its latter name of the plague pit. We walk to the Irwell where despite evidence to the contrary concepts of buried but viable Georgian streets persist to give the tourist board a goal! Of which more later!

The Happiest Place in Town!

The Happiest Place in Town!

And back over the Snake Pass via a wonderful town called Glossop and its close neighbour Hadfield aka Royston Vasey although the League of Gentlemen did manage to leave!

The M1 stretched out in front of us, memories of childhood, moorland birds, stolen cars ablaze on the crest of landfill sites behind us. People ask if I will ever return to live in Manchester. I tell them with genuine sadness hiding relief…no!