Saturday, July 14, 2007

Friday 13th

Absolutely exhausted after a really tough week at work, I hit the sack before 9pm.

Happily dreaming of "K" when I'm woken to the sound of drunken shouting outside (nothing unusual there, I live on the corner bracketed by a club and a pub).

What was slightly unusual was the sounds of someone kicking in the door of the disused shop down below. Fortunately "K" has been on an extended biz trip lately and we've been amusing ourselves with sultry chats into the small hours, so my moby was next to bed.

999 and a nice reassuring voice tells me I'm priority No 1 (or words to that effect). Outside/inside there's the noise of tinkling glass and splintering wood and my heart is thumping like a bass in my chest. Outside there are a group of teenagers, well pissed and enjoying the show. Needless to say I can't actually see who's breaking in because he's in the room directly below.

Within less than a minute I see a policeman sprinting down the alley, and I can breath again and think about getting dressed to check out the damage.

It's true that the Police get younger, but these two are great - fit, calm, wide awake and well in control of the situation by the time I go down to see them and inspect the damage.

Over the past couple of decades I've lived in all sorts of shitholes including Rusholme in Manchester, Chatillon, a 'red suburb' of Paris, and Lowell ('Hole') Massachusetts. None has ever compared to this part of Ipswich.

Over the past five years I've had the pleasure of:

2 successful burglaries
3 attempted burglaries
5 broken windows
2 attempted entries
1 crashed car into the corner (attempted getaway)
1 torched car in the club car park opposite
2 attempted arsons in the waste ground around the back
4 Police interviews concerning the murder of Gemma Adams (the accused, Steve Wright, lived at the end of the road).

Next time I stroll to the corner-shop after dark I'm going to request air-support...

There. I feel much better now.

Saturday, July 07, 2007


Just back from a great day at Wimbledon. Thanks to the miserable weather, what should have been a rubbish ticket on court no 1 (the day the ladies final was on centre) turned out to be a bargain as we saw a men’s semi-final for £27.

Djokovic vs Nadal was hardly a classic, but for a couple of sets we got glimpses of the horrifying power of Rafael Nadal’s ground strokes, and the wonderful touch and timing of Novac Djokovic – a possible future champion.


Friday, July 06, 2007

Max Gets It (again)

What is it with Max Hastings that makes him a piller of the right yet hold such eminently sensible views?

I've yet to read or hear anyone express so much sense about the bungling idiots who tried to attack London and Glasgow earlier this week:

A reasoned statement, following the weekend's events, might have gone something like this:

"After so much speculation about attacks on Britain by terrorists wielding weapons of mass destruction and biological weapons, it is a relief to see these attempts made with weapons as crude as cars filled with petrol and gas cylinders. The group carrying out the attacks are grotesque amateurs. At worst, their efforts might have inflicted the level of fatalities caused by a motorway smash."

In reality, of course, it would be unthinkable for anyone in authority to say anything of the sort. Spokesmen must talk gravely about "a threat of dreadful carnage", because anything less would sound flippant and irresponsible.

You can read the rest of this brilliant piece here.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Purple Prose

We’ve just started a new contract for a new client.

Already burdened with laptop, moby, samples, tennis kit and 2 liters of Coke, I grabbed a small notebook to take with me. Not used for ages (until this morning), it fell open at this bit of purple prose:

Larkhall Park, South Lambeth. 17th April 2005

Early for lunch, I killed an hour reading in Larkhall Park while a few miles away, Paula Radcliffe won the London Marathon.

I closed my eyes and heard birdsong, the distant thud of kicked footballs, the tap tap tap and quiet panting of joggers.

I opened them to perfect azure clarity and jets looking like scale models hanging overhead.

So idyllic, I didn’t want to leave and sit in a dark restaurant for a couple of hours.

Hummmmmm well it’s sort of OK, but it’s probably for the best that I never managed to finish that novel started in the 1990s.