Friday, 28 September 2012

Sweet Friday Afternoon: Half-Arsed Weekly News Round-Up

A Mail reader enjoys the Gay Pride parade earlier this year

Despite unremitting complaints about London’s young people hanging about on the streets, smoking illegal herbal substances, committing petty crime, prematurely reproducing and publicly listening to terrible music which literally does all sound the same on their ipodphones, efforts to provide them with something else to do are being thwarted by people who want to live in a city but don’t want to be surrounded by other members of the public. Plans for a multi-use games area in Ham have been blocked by local whingers like Michael Burgess, who complained that a sports area would “stick out like a sore thumb” if it was built in the proposed location – next to a youth club. He’s a man who knows incongruity when he sees it. And then there are the protesters in Barnsbury, north London who believe children should be at home on the Playstation eating Quavers where they belong, and not out climbing trees and making a nuisance of themselves by providing career women with a constant reminder of the increasingly loud ticking of their body clocks.     

Not in my back yard

An unconvincing transsexual was found guilty this week of manufacturing improvised explosive devices in a mental hospital in Purley. Angie Dawes, formerly Mark Cann, made the devices in an attempt to prove that she would excel as an army bomb disposal expert after narrowly failing the exam and being told by the interviewer that she would never make it as an explosive specialist. Upon their discovery her devices caused the Southleigh Community Hospital to be evacuated and criminal charges were brought against her. Despite this, part of her sentence is to return to the hospital for treatment. Judge Jeremy Gold, who dismissed her previous conviction for manslaughter, when she killed her former partner, as “all in the past”, told her that “The workers at the Southleigh Community Hospital will no doubt welcome you back,” and instructed her not to do it again.  

If you have some time on your hands this weekend, are in the Potters Bar area and are not sure if you are breathing, why not visit the Furzefield Centre, Mutton Lane, and have your mind put at rest?     

Thursday, 27 September 2012

The End of the Road for the London Bus?

When most people think of Oxford Street certain things immediately spring to mind: endless clothes shops full of dithering half-wits standing in the most inconvenient places and breathing through their mouths, impressive Christmas lights, a tube station packed with mouth-breathing half-wits dithering in inconvenient places, January sales, the frustrating struggle along pavements teeming with half-witted ditherers determined to find the most inconvenient place in which to mouth-breath, pick-pockets and, of course, buses. Lots of buses. Big, red London buses are as much a part of the Oxford Street experience as the resolve to get away from it, but that could all change if the street’s store owners get their way.  According to some, the approximately 270 buses passing through Oxford Street per hour is too many, and there have been proposals to replace them with a tram service. This idea is clearly preposterous and would only serve to confuse tourists – central Amsterdam relies on a tram service, and look at how dazed and bewildered tourists there appear to be. Proposals have even been made to pedestrianise the whole street, forcing people to walk from one place to another. Is this really the direction civilisation should be taking – walking? What do these blithering idiots think fossil fuels are for? Do we really want to live in a place like Copenhagen where not only do people have to traipse about everywhere under their own steam, but, probably as a result of this, a pint of beer costs over £5? I certainly don’t. 

Copenhagen: shithole

And if Oxford Street is pedestrianised, would this spell the end for the London bus? How long would it be before the plague of walkists and pedalists spreads all over our city like a smug, muesli-fuelled, irritating rash? Moreover, the Tube would not be able to cope with all of the extra commuters as, despite moves to modernise the service, it can take quite some time to replace aging equipment.  Driving into the city on the few non-pedestrianised roads would not be an option either, as commuters would have to pay the daily £10 congestion charge. £10! You could almost buy two pints in Copenhagen for that. I suppose you could spread the cost by car sharing, but if you are the kind of person that has worked hard in the same sales job for twelve years in order to be able to drive around in a BMW X5 the last thing you want is a lift to work from some admin oik in their 1997 lime green Nissan Micra. No, you are much better off on a bus where people can see you conspicuously stabbing away at your ipad. And there are not nearly enough black cabs or right-wing opinions within them to go around everyone that works in the city. If Londoners were forced to rely on the black cab service commuters would have to queue for hours for their cab home and explanation of why the border control system has put this country up shit creek. 

Oxford Street: if it ain’t broke…

So come on London, support your local bus network before it’s too late. With doubts being cast over Oxford Street’s need for buses, the cracks are beginning to show elsewhere, and it’s causing absolute chaos.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Your Guide to Public Toilet Enjoyment in the Capital

Ruislip Lido in the north west of London has always been a great location for a pleasant day out for Londoners. It has a sense of ‘getting away from it all’ with its agreeable rural-feeling backdrop and large expanse of water supporting many kinds of wildlife. Locals and visitors alike have long been able to enjoy a number of activities, such as simply relaxing by the reservoir, swimming, boating, enjoying the thrills and spills that the Ruislip Lido Railway has to offer, feeding the ducks and, of course, indulging in lewd behaviour in the public toilets. But it appears that the last of these pleasing weekend activities is shockingly now under threat. Local killjoys have contacted Hillingdon Council in an attempt to put a stop to resident lewd behaviourists behaving lewdly in the public toilets next to the woodland centre in Reservoir Road.

The public toilet rudeness enthusiasts have even been branded sex pests in a smear campaign by the local press. The toilets in question have been a favourite with exhibitionists, gentlemen’s gentlemen, voyeurs, solicitationers, doggers, catters, suckers, lickers, fisters, feltchers, rimmists, nipplists, mustachios, pistachios, lotharios, chinos, solos, bummers, strummers, cummers, thumbers, bandits, handits, transits, intersexualists and priests for many years, but it now seems that these public convenience specialists will be forced to find an alternative venue in which to carry out their myriad adult activities. The location was particularly convenient as it was located near to The Water’s Edge public house, so hobbyists could pop in for a pint, nip out to the public facilities to indulge in their preferred adult leisure pursuit, wash their hands (hopefully), then return to the pub for a game of darts and a conversation about the Premier League or what a twat that Cameron is.

With the growing bigotry towards public convenience enjoyment, restroom aficionados are being forced to cast their net wide in order to find suitable locations in which to socialise. But with the help of the internet all is certainly not lost for the gentleman about town. In fact a simple search on VisitLondon dot com shows that there are many lavatories in London in which one may make friends, and further investigation rewards you with the knowledge that Boris has been making it even easier with his aptly named Open London scheme, which he introduced in 2009 as part of his “commitment to improve the quality of life in London for visitors and those who live and work in the city”. Nice one Boris.

Of course, with London being such an expensive city a WC socialiser may have to pay up to 40p to relax with a young friend surrounded by the smell of excrement, but help is at hand with this very helpful guide on About dot com which informs the public privy fan where he can find facilities for which he will not have to pay. Suggestions include the facilities in St James’s Park for those who just have to have the public recreation ground ambiance in order to get off; and the London Eye ticket hall has toilets which, according to the author, are not “particularly clean” but “do have those fun Dyson hand driers.” The author goes on to recommend the facility at the top of Carnaby Street which is, apparently, “a great place for people watching.” She really has done her research.

But for the lavatory socialiser who finds public toilets not public enough there really is only one place to visit.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Diabolical Suffering On Our Very Doorstep

Sometimes it is hard to appreciate just how lucky we are, but every now and again a story of human suffering and endurance comes to light and puts everything into perspective. All of the everyday worries and concerns that seem so significant and overwhelming can be thrown into the spotlight and revealed to be trivial and inconsequential when a tale that attacks the emotions so powerfully is brought to the fore and leaves an indelible mark on our consciousness. It is not unusual for feelings of guilt to manifest themselves within us when we hear of affliction and torment so great in another that our lives by comparison appear truly blessed. It was this guilt, this burning shame at my past complaints and feelings of dissatisfaction that I felt when I learned of the plight of the people of the Avenue Road Estate in Leytonstone. I was, in fact, almost physically sick when I found out that not only are they living in conditions so horrifying that it defies imagination, but they have been doing so for four years. It doesn’t seem possible that these people, these poor, desperate human souls, these fellow human beings, have since 2008 been living with a poor television signal. I was first made aware of the Avenue Road Estate outrage last week, but I could not bring myself at the time to share it with you. Even now I can hardly type because my hands are shaking so incessantly and I can hardly see what I write through the tears in my eyes. This, I hope, goes some way to explaining the poor grammar.

It is hard to believe that in so-called Great Britain there are people living without proper access to the basics that most of us take for granted, such as The Jeremy Kyle Show, Inspector George Gently and Alan Carr: Chatty Man. It is almost beyond comprehension that people just around the corner from where we live are experiencing a bit of fuzziness occasionally as they watch The World’s Tallest Skyscraper or How Clean is Your House USA. But this is reality for some people – and it is all the fault of the Olympics.

Two like-minded gentlemen enjoy the Olympics. It was invented by the Greeks, you know 

Before construction work began on the Olympic site in 2008 residents of Avenue Road Estate enjoyed Diagnosis Murder and Extreme Fishing with Robson Fucking Green in complete clarity, but when the sporting venues began to go up the televisual misery began for people like mother and daughter combo Sue and Vicky Jewel. The family Jewel, however, refuse to take their plight lying down, having first complained to Ascham Homes, the corrupt, money wasting den of incompetence that ‘manages’ social housing in Waltham Forest, and which has been charging residents for an analogue aerial that hasn’t worked for ten years. When their complaints bore no fruit the Jewels decided to stand in front of a local press photographer with expressions of dissatisfaction etched firmly on their faces.

Telly. We want Telly

A sad, sad story indeed. Even as I write, the Jewels and their neighbours are probably watching Midsummer Murders with shadows flickering across the screen. And eating crisps. The last desperate, resonating words in this shocking case must go to Sue Jewel herself:
“It's being very harsh because people can't watch TV properly. It comes down to damaging their quality of life."   
There but for the grace of God.

Monday, 24 September 2012

London's Obesity Crisis: An Unlikely Solution

London is fat. Not ‘phat’, as in Professor Green, but ‘fat’, as in Professor Klump. According to a report by somebody somewhere nearly a fifth of the Capital’s kids are obese and more than half of its adults are in a state of fat bastardry. And this chunkiness among London’s residents has not gone unnoticed by slender, fighting fit, natural athlete Boris Johnson, who is understandably concerned about our health suffering, as well as the cost implications of repairing London’s pavements as we all lumber wheezily to the nearest fried chicken shop in order to satiate our horrific appetites with deep-fried dreadfulness. He is so concerned, in fact, that he is seeking help from fitness experts abroad. So which country has he turned to for advice on tackling obesity? America, of course. In a move akin to seeking Andrew Mitchell’s advice on humility, Boris has sent his chief of staff to New York to find out how we Londoners can become as slim and waif-like as the average American.

Boris gags after eating his fifth deep-fried chocolate Cornetto in ten minutes
Apparently we could all learn a thing or two from New Yorkers who, under the gentle guidance of Mayor Bloomberg, are not allowed to drink oversized fizzy drinks, eat trans fats in restaurants, no matter how delicious, smoke in bars, smile for more than 42 seconds consecutively or indulge in horseplay of any kind. Consequently the average New Yorker now weighs less than 6 stones, and those that exceed that weight benefit from further tender prompting from Bloomberg to get them to a size that he deems acceptable.

So can we expect to see this kind of diet related totalitarianism from Boris? It seems so; and he will be spending his £25 million public health budget on some adverts saying that being a big fat chubber is just not on, haranguing restaurants into reducing huge portion sizes and addressing the number of fast food outlets in the capital in a way that is as yet unclear.  

But is there a simpler solution to London’s plump population? Yes – over-priced, custom-made bread made by amateurs.  If everyone bought their bread from the growing number of micro bakeries in the capital at around £3 per loaf it wouldn’t be long until we all realised that we couldn’t afford anything to go with it. Instead of beans on toast we would just have toast. Instead of bread and butter we would just have some bread. And brochettes would be easier to make. Imagine all the unnecessary calories we would save by just eating lovely slimming bread all day; after all, as everyone knows, there’s nothing like a belly full of carbohydrate when it is weight loss that you most desire.

Some breads

If, like me, you want to cash in on the inevitable huge demand for costly loaves of bread that are made in batches of four or five, you can take a course in either north or west London to become a ‘Bread Angel’. During the 12 hour course – a snip at only £350 – you will learn the basics of making top notch expensive bread, including:
What is gluten and why is it important?
What is fermentation and why is it important?

And of course the question on every potential micro baker’s lips:
Why is some bread square with evenly spread, exactly sized little holes throughout and some bread flat and holey?         

I personally cannot wait to find out. And when I do you can be sure that I will use this information to produce literally dozens of pricey loaves a week, and do my bit to reduce the lard arsery of my fellow Londoners.  

Friday, 21 September 2012

Sweet Friday Afternoon: Half-Arsed Weekly News Round-Up

There were concerns this week that during London Fashion Week catwalk models were becoming difficult to see. This was not a result of their diminutive waistlines, as one would expect, but due to their choice of clothes and make-up causing them to blend in with their urban surroundings. One unfortunate model seemed to disappear completely when her apparel caused her blend in with a London taxi. Others went unnoticed by the luckless taxi driver when they unwisely dressed as cyclists. Kelly Brook was camouflaged so successfully that her bodyguard completely forgot about her existence after attending a show by designer Philip Treacy. She managed to laugh the incident off in public, but I am informed that when she got the inattentive security man home she had him mercilessly flogged by barely perceptible models disguised as telephone boxes, zebra crossings and those bins you find in parks in which people deposit dog excrement.

Naomi Campbell lies in wait for incompetent bodyguards earlier this week

It was revealed that the Sutton’s elderly are happier than ever. The council carried out an old people’s happiness survey recently and found that 92 per cent of the elderly describe their lives as “at least alright or better.” The reasons for this euphoria are apparently high quality social services and budgetary systems put in place to encourage feelings of autonomy among the elderly, as well as the local shops being well stocked with custard creams and a bring and buy denture event held at the town hall on a bi-monthly basis. It appears, however, that some of the borough’s oldies are becoming somewhat over zealous in these times of plenty. One resident in particular has been causing a nuisance in Greenshaw Woods by exposing his lust for life to anyone willing to look.  Dubbed the “Father Christmas Flasher” due to his long white beard, police have advised local residents not to accept proffered gifts from his festive sack.

Tesco has come under fire as the second dead frog in a week was discovered in their salad products. Actress Sarah Moss was not nearly as amused by the incident as Mrs Smith, who found a frog in her Sainsbury’s lettuce last month. Ms Moss was eating spinach with her friend when they discovered the deceased on her plate. She explains, “We must have been eating it [the spinach not the frog] for five minutes when her fork pierced something that wasn’t supposed to be there. My friend was sick several times as she is a vegetarian.” Presumably had she been an omnivore her friend would have found the discovery of a dead amphibian in her lunch acceptable. Bloody veggies.

A fussy vegetarian spitting out a bit of frog yesterday

Bird-bothering body warmer enthusiast Bill Oddie has been engaged in a very public mental breakdown this week at London Zoo, where he has apparently been ‘translating’ bird calls and Twatting them on Twitter. The police had to put a stop the confused ramblings of Barmy Bill after a starling allegedly Twatted something racist about a footballer, and a bullfinch instigated a hate campaign against a fat teenager.

If, like mine, your car is a filthy embarrassment and you live near Potters Bar, why not drive to Potters Bar Fire Station in the attractively named Mutton Lane on Saturday and have your car washed by actual firefighters? The event for charity takes place four times a year but the last one was cancelled due to – and I’m not making this up – a hosepipe ban. Brilliant. 

Thursday, 20 September 2012

London's War on the Motorist

It is not easy driving around the capital with its congested roads, confusing one way systems and gormless tourists stepping out into the road, especially when you are trying to read a text message, tune the radio, eat a chicken or are drunk. It is no wonder that drivers are often stressed, angry and inaccurate when travelling by car, and things are not made easier by the unnecessary victimisation of the poor car owner. It seems that we are now under attack for even the most minor indiscretions, such as driving the wrong way up a one way street. Self-centred Richard Jarvis has been making a right fuss over a few drivers taking a short cut up Winstre Road, Borehamwood against the flow of traffic, despite the fact that the drivers were clearly in a rush to get to their destinations. He has sited concerns that there is a school up the road and cars pose a risk to children’s safety, but if the little scallywags aren’t looking where they are going or checking for speeding traffic coming the wrong way up the road, then they deserve everything they get as far as I am concerned. Mr Jarvis has become so embroiled in his petty vendetta against the motorist that he has taken to viciously writing down the date and time that he spots the minor indiscretions and handing over the data to the traffic fuzz. Grass.

Richard Jarvis: not a fan of motorists or lace-up shoes

If you think that’s bad, what do you reckon about the plight of the poor metal-encased, combustion-powered travellists in Croydon? Not only do the perpetually suffering unfortunates have to live in Croydon, but it appears that they are also being prevented from driving wherever they like. Croydon Bastard Council has made the frankly ridiculous decision to pedestrianise the busy market on Surrey Street from 5am to 8pm every day, even on Sundays when no stalls are out. Despite there being clear signage on both sides of the road to this affect, hundreds of distracted drivers are making the easy mistake of steering their automobiles down the road during the prohibited times and being slapped – not literally it must be assumed – with a whopping £65 fine. Madness. One such victim was displeased-looking Robert Vanson who raged, “I drove in from the bottom end by Church Street. I never saw the sign.” Who looks at street signs anyway? It later emerged that Croydon drivers have had virtually no warning of the car ban, with it only being advertised in the local press and on street signs, as well as Surrey Road being a motor vehicle free zone only since April 2000. Come on Croydon, give them a chance.

Mr Vanson has had to sell his shirt buttons to pay the fine

But this isn’t nearly as bad as the insidious goings-on in South Norwood. The local authority has decided to plonk a small bollard on the part of the road used by pedestrians in order to stop large vehicles getting too close to a local pub. That is the official line, anyway, but it appears that it is part of an underhand scheme to remove cars from the road, as literally dozens of preoccupied drivers have been crashing into it.

Local businessman Richard Hough has become so concerned about the evil bollard that he has taken to standing beside it with his mouth open to warn unwitting drivers

Worryingly civilians are not the only victims of the dastardly street furniture, there are reports that the police have collided with it too.

And if the police, with their peerless driving skills, are being caught out, what chance do the rest of us have?


Wednesday, 19 September 2012

London Fashion Week is an Inspiration to Us All

London Fashion Week drew to a close yesterday, and what a week it was. What a week indeed. One of the best. For those of you shabbily dressed ignoramuses (or ignorami as I like to put it despite the fact that it is clearly erroneous) that are unaware of the purpose of London Fashion Week (or LFW as I like to put it despite the fact that it is clearly pretentious) allow me to fill you in: LFW is one of the four major fashion weeks that take place around the world, along with Paris, Milan and New York. There are unconfirmed rumours that Swansea will be holding its own soon which will rival all others and so will complete the ‘Big Five’ global fashion centres. LFW is held twice a year, as once is obviously not enough, in September and February – one for lovely warm clothes, such as corduroy trousers and roll-neck jumpers, and one for the more clement weather, showcasing garments such as Hawaiian shirts and those trousers that have zips halfway down the legs in order to convert them to shorts should the climate become unexpectedly hot while the wearer is too far away from their wardrobe or shorts shops to be able to change.

Be prepared for literally anything with this trousers/shorts/shorter shorts kit. I bet Kanye West wears these when he’s on his holidays in Benidorm

The collections exhibited at LFW have traditionally been a good indication of the types of styles we can expect to see in the high street shops in the near future. For example these funky little numbers from Israeli designer Golan Frydman were showcased in February’s LFW, and now their influence can be seen in almost every shop in every town centre. Fantastic.

So what can we expect to see on prudent followers of fashion this winter? Tits and arses, that’s what. At least it will be if saucy seamstress Pam Hog gets her drafty way. Those outfits may look a bit chilly but the money saved on material can be spent on Lemsip and hot water bottles when the cold weather really kicks in. And there’s no denying that they look brilliant. But if your tastes are a bit more conservative you could always wrap up in a lovely outfit by Giles Deacon. A triumph.    

Of course LFW has traditionally been concerned with women’s fashion, so it was refreshing to see designers designing designer clothes for men at this autumn’s event. One such designer whose designs were showcased is Carri Munden, otherwise known as Cassette Playa. Cassette Playa has designed for rock greats such as N.I.A. Nicki Minaj and 2NE1, so she must be good. “Why have I not heard of this Cassette Player before?” I hear you wheeze. Because you are ingnarami what are not down wiv the kids, innit. And it’s Playa not Player. Let’s find out a bit more about this artist, shall we?

TRADEMARK PIECE: “The digital print silk oversized T-shirt.”

“A warrior and/or powerbabe.” 

“Spring/summer 2013 is based on a four week residency I am doing at the Weltkulturen Museum in Frankfurt - the museum has an amazing anthropology collection from which I have selected pieces on the themes of coming-of-age rituals, body adornment and scarification.” 

I think that tells you all you need to know. And I think you’ll agree that a designer who is not influenced by coming of age rituals and scarification cannot really call themselves a designer at all. If Cassette Playa’s spring/summer 2013 collection is anything like their spring/summer 2012 collection we may all have the chance to look like this:

But obviously with a bit more scarification.   

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Your Favourite Rodent Makes an Unwelcome Return to the Capital

Having returned to London from my travels outside of the M25 (never again – the food was weird, the people spoke funny and all that fresh air gave me the shits) I decided to relax for a day or two by playing croquet at my local club, immersing myself in fine literature, attending the theatre and catching up on all of the Jeremy Kyles that I’d Sky Plussed. It soon became apparent, however, that I was in danger of running out of vitamin C tablets, having taken more than the usual amount over the last couple of weeks in an attempt to combat the effects of the foreign fresh air, so I popped over to my local branch of Holland and Barrett to stock up. But I wasn’t prepared for the frosty reception that I received from the previously accommodating overpriced sunflower seed emporium. Apparently a jobsworth from Islington council had kicked up a fuss over a few droppings discovered on the shelves and fridges full of out of date food. Having bought food from Holland and Barrett in the past I really don’t think that its being out of date would have any effect on either its flavour or its typical influence on the bodily functions. Furthermore, despite rigorous tests, it is still unclear as to whether the substance found on the shelves was actually droppings or in fact the result of a packet of delicious sun dried goji berries splitting.

Sun dried goji berries are an appetizing bargain at a mere £24.95 per 25g pack
After being rudely shooed out of the door of Holland and Barrett (relieving myself on the display of baked carrot and beetroot lemongrass Omega 3 crisps on the way out), I decided that I’d take a stroll around Richmond Park to take in the scenery. But no sooner had I set foot in the borough than I was accosted by a man wearing a face mask and long rubber gloves swiftly exiting the public toilets with his friend. Apparently this kind of thing is now common place in Richmond, as the council attempts to rid itself of what it calls pests. And it seems they will stop at nothing to rid themselves of rats, having last year taken action in 448 of the 734 reported cases of rat ‘infestation’. That means that a mere 286 (39%) of the cases reported by residents were not responded to. Impressive stuff.

I decided that the odds were (just) against me in Richmond, so I made my way north to Barnet, where I discovered that the housing associations there take visitations by ‘pests’ almost as seriously as their south London neighbours. Indeed, one satisfied resident, who has two children, reports that it only took seven years and an interview with a local journalist for her complaints of unwanted guests in her house to be listened to. Louise Parker said that her family had recently been experiencing stomach upsets while living in their flat. She said, “Rats are constantly weeing and I wonder if that is what is making us sick.” Perhaps she is just getting too much fresh air.

Beware the laxative effects of fresh air
With the rapid response rates to rat sightings in Edgware being what they are, I though it best to make myself scarce and head east, where I could be confident that I would not encounter problems. Rats and people have coexisted in east London for many years; you could almost say that East Londoners have acquired a taste for having us around.   

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Farewell For Now, London

I regret to inform you, London, that I will not be furnishing you with my insightful commentary on life in the capital for the next two weeks, as I will be leaving our great city on a mission of utmost importance, during which I hope to discover what people are like outside of the M25. I suspect that I will not like them very much. Anyway, I will be returning to your computer screens by the evening of Tuesday 18th September to update you once again on the varied and exciting issues that Londoners are facing. “But what will I do until then?” I hear you yawn indifferently. Fear not, there are over one hundred other websites on the internet – most of which are far better than this one – so why not peruse one or two of them while I’m away? Or why not play with your children, talk to your wife, husband or civil partner, get on with some work or go dogging with a chum? If you don’t fancy doing any of those things may I suggest a few activities to occupy your mind, such as it is, until my return?

Someone from outside of London. I’ll probably meet him on my travels.

Are you are the partying type? Then why not relive the early nineties by turning up to a lovely illegal rave? Apparently they are making a comeback in fields in and around the capital, but be sure to remember your dose of amphetamine/rat poison mixture, glow-sticks, Adidas Sambas and set of ‘African’ bongos manufactured and purchased in Camden.

If you prefer a more civilised outdoor activity, how about a spot of al fresco dining in Chelsea? If nothing else at least your outside meal will annoy the twats that live there, who are worried that people sitting outside will “chip away at the character of the area.” If you really want to make an impression with the locals why not open up a McDonalds next door?

But if you can’t afford to eat outside a Gordon Ramsey restaurant why not have a picnic in a local park? If you turn up to Mitcham Common you don’t even need to bring food with you, simply borrow a gun from a local teenager and shoot your lunch. Mmm.

Should you find yourself in the Finchley area over the coming month you could do worse than drop in to Avenue House, where enticing events such as a talk by Sir Michael Bear, former Lord Mayor of London, a ‘gardening day’ (cake provided) and a champagne tea with Mr Carson, the butler from Downton Abbey will be taking place.

Mr Carson has everyone in stitches with his jokes about dead prostitutes

Still feeling cultural? Get yourself down to Buckingham Palace, where for a mere £31.95 you can wander around the Queen’s house and look at all the nick nacks that she has picked up over the years, including her priceless collection of rare jewels. Hasn’t she done well for herself? Don’t forget to wipe your feet.

If all this seems a bit tame why not live it up at the Borehamwood Autumn Flower and Vegetable Show? For just £1 you can gain access to a show that displays not only autumn flowers but autumn vegetables too. And autumn fruit. Not only that, but you can “enjoy a cup of tea and listen to the Borehamwood Brass Band when your money and energy is spent!”  Good times indeed.

Whatever you decide to do during the next two weeks please take care, enjoy yourselves and for God’s sake stay away from this.

Monday, 3 September 2012

Who Will Replace London's Young Miscreants?

Great news: the capital’s young people aren’t killing each other as much as they were a while ago according to the Met. The police have been working hard to crack down on gangs recently, and their efforts appear to be paying dividends. In the last six months there has reportedly been a 34% decrease in ‘serious violence’, although figures for humorous and indifferent violence are as yet unpublished. Since April more than 1,500 gang members have been busted by the Feds, and 125 weapons have been confiscated and presumably given to more responsible people. In addition to dragging them off by their hoods and headscarves and treating them to the full force of the long arm of the law, the fuzz have been working closely with agencies to put youths on the straight and narrow through various workshops to instruct them on how to function in society without stabbing people. Noticeably there was none of the expected recurrence of violence on the anniversary of last year’s riots. At least part of the credit for this has to go to once again to the police and their anti-gang music campaign in which they commissioned a song that conveyed the message that rioting and gang violence is ‘wack’, whilst a peaceful and productive existence is ‘sick’.

The 5-0 aim to completely stamp out gangsterisation amongst the young

This is all very well but if young people are now not terrorising our streets, who is? Who can we, as Londoners, trust to roam the streets in a feral manner scaring the bejesus out of the middle classes who believe everything they read in the Daily Mail, or at least give them something to moan about?

How about self-satisfied, malnourished, odorous environmentalists? The irritating, bongo playing tree dwellers seemed to be getting a foothold on street terror when they decided to hang a banner from Tower Bridge recently. Two activists caused holdups in traffic heading both ways (unfortunately resulting in people sitting with their car engines idling or forcing them to take a longer detour which made them pump out enough additional exhaust fumes to comfortably gas three baby seals) when they abseiled down the bridge and put up a banner about the world dying or something. They were subsequently charged with criminal damage and causing a public nuisance, and were not expected to emerge again until one was seen on the shard today. Luckily the buffoonish insurgent forgot his banner which read “Cutting Down Trees is Very Bad”, so no harm was really done.

A militant environmentalist digs a trench around a petrol station yesterday
Perhaps even more disturbing is the news that charity fundraisers intend to rampage all over the streets of Bexleyheath. Under the guise of raising money for a hospice the gang plan to terrorise the area by wandering around at night with torches having a lovely chat. Police have warned the public not to approach the gang as they may become engaged in chirpy banter against their will. Apparently only women are allowed to join the gang, so they are sexist as well as intimidating. Tut.

And what about these fucking idiots? Yes, on Saturday the streets of Enfield were terrorised by people who like cats. Not only that but the rampaging halfwits were dressed as the furry malevolent kebab ingredients, and actually extorted money from vulnerable shoppers to help Greek cats – Greek, not even English ones. No arrests were made, despite the gang getting away with an estimated £277 of the public’s money, as they escaped capture and are thought to be holed up in a misguided stranger’s house being fed for nothing and ruining the furniture.

But perhaps the biggest threat of all comes from disabled people being transported around the capital. Having been at a disadvantage for years in terms of mobility, the disabled and their co-conspirators have decided to go wherever they please, mowing down able-bodied people with impunity. It is thought that the disabled are using the Paralympics as bait to draw people in and then run them over in the car park.

I think I preferred it when youths were running amok on our streets. At least they were too young to drive.