Sunday, October 04, 2009

The mean streets of Erith.

Terrible events took place in Erith last Sunday evening, which resulted in the death of Bexleyheath resident Charles Campbell, after he was viciously assaulted by the 229 / 99 bus stop in Bexley Road, Erith at around 5.30pm. A 23 year old man, Billy Williams has been caught and charged with Manslaughter - he's due to appear in the Old Bailey on the 6th of January, and has been locked up in jail until then. I am not going to make any comments about the case, as I was not there and don't know the details. It would appear that the Police reacted with commendable haste, and nabbed the suspect very quickly. You can read more about the incident by clicking here. There is a street meeting taking place at the scene of the crime (shown in the photo below) on Monday evening at 7pm, where representatives of the Erith Safer Neighbourhood team will be on hand to answer questions from the public, and to provide security advice. I will be going along there too. I am currently in talks with the local Police regarding various recent law enforcement issues, and will hopefully be making a big announcement shortly. Stay tuned for more soon.

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There must be something very special with the 99 bus route; it seems to attract every misfit, nutter and person with extreme hygiene problems in the whole area. On Saturday in the early afternoon I approached the bus stop adjacent to All Saints' church in Upper Belvedere to get the bus to Plumstead to visit my Dad. A lone figure was sat in the bus shelter, with a plastic carrier bag at his feet; I could read the label on the cans within clearly though the cheap plastic of the bag - "Frosty Jack's" - well known Trampagne. I stood quietly, minding my own business at the back of the stop, when the incumbent asked me loudly "what's in your bag?" to which I replied it was none of his business. From then on it all went rather downhill, with the wino accusing me of all sorts of imagined crimes, and threatening to call the Police - I invited him to be my guest.  He then went quiet for a while, before starting his questioning afresh. When I then ignored him, he switched his attention to a young African guy who had joined the queue. The new guy was bemused,  and I think a little nervous. From behind the wino, I mimed the universal sign for drinking, then wiggled my finger next to my head to signify a loony. The guy got the message. Fortunately at this point the bus turned up and we were able to get on - the drinker thankfully stayed put. On my return journey the same wino was now ensconced on the other side of the road, at the bus stop outside of the Cairngorm Medical Centre; this time he had obviously decided to pace himself with the (relatively) milder Special Brew. No naked lights near the area I reckon. I have seen the bloke before - shouting at the pigeons on Erith Pier.

Only the day before this encounter, another event occurred on the 99 bus.  A woman got on; it has to be said that apart from her rather unique dress sense, she did seem to possess more facial hair than teeth. She clumped down the bus aisle, towards the rear, her arms filled with a number of bags and packages; on top of this she had been sucking on a Sherbert Fountain; as she lifted her bags over the heads of the seated passengers, sherbert powder rained down onto a number of them, causing consternation and heated comments. I was standing to one side and so avoided the unexpected powdering, but had a clear view as events played out. The woman was agitated and began asking other passengers questions like "is it always this busy?" and "Will I get home in time for my tea at five?" Several passengers made rude remarks and began mocking her. At this point my suspicions began forming. A few minutes later the woman got up and started pushing her way through the throng of standing passengers - she was becoming increasingly agitated, which pretty much confirmed my amateur diagnosis. I became convinced she was suffering from Alzheimers' Disease. A small group of girls - hairdressing students from Bexley College were sniggering at the events. I quietly explained that I thought it very likely the woman had Alzheimers, and she deserved sympathy rather than ridicule. To their credit the girls immediately understood and helped the distressed lady get off the bus at Erith. I discreetly followed her and made sure she made it across the busy zebra crossing before making my way home.

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It is now over ten years since I had to give up drinking coffee; I used to love a strong cup of black coffee in the middle of the morning, but I noticed that drinking it seemed to increase both the regularity and severity of my migraine attacks. I cut it out completely and things have noticeably improved. As well as regular strong builders' tea, I also drink quite a large quantity of Red Bush Tea without milk or sugar.  It is packed with anti oxidants, contains no caffeine and very little tannin, does not get stewed, and is actually better for you than drinking plain water - about the only down side is if you drink too much of the stuff, it makes your wee smell funny.

Here is a video clip filmed last year; it shows celebrity Polymath Stephen Fry commemorating the 25th anniversary of Free Software. As you may be aware, I run an Apple iMac and also an Asus EeePC netbook, on which I run Ubuntu Linux. I have been using Linux and a wide variety of free software now for just over ten years, so one could not exactly accuse me of being late to the table in respect of free and open source software. Watch the clip if you don't have a clue what I am writing about; mister Fry will explain...

Something that I find absolutely astonishing is the way people treat their mobile telephones; they allow them to rule their lives to an extent I find utterly bemusing. As an example, I was in the gents loo at work the other day, when a hollow ringing began emitting from one of the cubicles - the occupant answered his mobile phone and conducted a business conversation whilst simultaneously (and noisily) evacuating his bowels! I feel that this is taking multi - tasking one step too far. To my mind the humble khazi is sacrosanct. Please leave your opinions and comments below.

At Ian's recommendation, I have started watching a show on Bravo TV called "Deadliest Warrior". The shows' own website describes itself thus: "Each week on Deadliest Warrior, a new episode will pit two of the most feared warriors civilisation has ever known against each other. Along with the use of 21st century science and the latest in CGI technology, each episode enlists warrior-specific world-class fighters and experts to provide insight into what makes these combatants tick, analysing every facet of their unique skills of destruction, culminating in a head-to-head final fight between two legends of the battlefield that will produce the deadliest warrior. Other highly-anticipated showdowns this season include: Pirate vs. Knight, Taliban vs. IRA, Yakuza vs. Mafia, Viking vs. Samurai, Green Beret vs. Spetznaz, Maori vs. Shaolin Monks, William Wallace vs. Shaka Zulu, and Ninja vs. Spartan". in essence it is no more than a classic pub argument between two blokes that has been writ large with a big budget - think Mythbusters with extreme violence and you get the general picture.

I have posted a handful of new photographs on my Flickr account. You can view all of my photos by clicking here

This weeks' main video is a ten minute clip from the BBC television series Micro Live from the mid 1980's.  Here you will see the very first appearance on British television of the then brand new Commodore Amiga. It is hard to stress how ground breaking this computer was - I remember seeing this demo on TV at the time and being utterly blown away by it. Have a wallow in geek nostalgia below.

1 comment:

  1. Hugh,

    I've been recommending your blog to some of my work colleagues because it's one of the best as far as I'm concerned.