EDitorial ± 29-Oct-2001

Dark Means Danger

Bloomin' dark, cycling home this evening. At the end of my marathon daily bike ride (left work 6.10pm, in the house as the Simpsons credits rolled at 6.20pm) there's a right-hand turn into my road. Across the traffic. Of one of the main arterial routes into town. Stuck like Charles Kennedy in the middle of the road, you need faith in the power of your halogen lights, both front and rear.
Dark means danger
So get yourself seen!

That was the message from a public information film when I was a kid. Not to be confused with the one about mixing crossplys with radials, nor the one warning of the dangers of smoking in armchairs. Nor Charlie says, come to that.

Cat's Eye

Back in my early teens, my small-wheeled 3-speed bike was equipped with the very latest thing in 1970s technology, the dynamo. I'd guess that such an item is near impossible to find these days, like blotting paper and candy cigarettes (with realistic red tip). While the idea was sound - use the rotation of the wheels as a source of power - your illumination disappeared the moment you stopped at a junction. Where'd he go?

Riding home after 5-a-side football a couple of weeks back, I realised that I'd forgotten my removable front light. Luckily the rear light is permanently in place, and I reckoned that one to be the more important of the two. I hope that the drivers of the oncoming traffic saw it that way too.

If You Take Away With You Nothing Else

  1. always carry spare batteries plus a screwdriver, like I don't
  2. put your lights in a safe place over the summer
  3. be safe, be seen!

Be seeing you!


EDitorial ± 22-Oct-2001

Local Boy Done Good

Riddle me this, Batman: what links the Bard of Avon, a McDonald's drive-through and Terry "Curly Wurly" Scott?

Let's deal with that chap from Stratford first:

[Duke of Buckingham] I'll to the king;
And from a mouth of honour quite cry down
This Ipswich fellow's insolence, or proclaim
There's difference in no persons
— Shakespeare, King Henry the Eighth (act I, scene I)

You mean that William Shakespeare mentioned Ipswich, the pride of Anglia (though not on this year's performances so far), in one of his works? And who was this lippy local? None other than Ipswich's most famous son - no, not Nik Kershaw, whose mum used to cut my Nana's hair - but Cardinal Wolsey.

Wolsey and Henry mural, Ipswich

Thomas Wolsey, according to my Britannica, was born around 1475. From 'umble beginnings he gained an education at Oxford, was ordained, and came to be chaplain to Henry VII. Which saw him nicely placed to become very close to Henry VIII, who appointed him as lord chancellor in 1515. I may be doing it down, but I don't remember learning much of this from Carry On Henry, starring Sid James as the king and Terry Scott as our man, the cardinal.

As well as the Wolsey Press, the Wolsey Theatre and Wolsey the VW dealers, Ipswich also plays host to any number of businesses and sites with the "cardinal" tag. These include Cardinal Park, home to the UGC multiplex and that local burger-bar McDonald's. Famously Wolsey was the son of a butcher, hence Shakespeare's reference to him in the same play as "this butcher's cur". What goes around comes around.

If You Take Away With You Nothing Else

  1. arrested on charges of treason, he died at Leicester, by the way
  2. Orson Welles took the part in A Man For All Seasons
  3. meat pies today, meeting royalty tomorrow

Be seeing you!


EDitorial ± 15-Oct-2001

There Goes The Summer

Yesterday, Sunday 14th October, was officially The Last Good Day Of The Year ©, if you weren't aware. Previously this title had been bestowed upon Saturday 13th October, the almost-summery day before. Going further back it was first claimed by a particular Friday about three weeks ago. You pays your money, etc.

So the Broom clan, plus visiting cousin Jo (professional childcare operative), pointed the people carrier towards the coast. Forty or so minutes later we alighted at Walberswick. I hasten to add that we stopped in a legit space down in the beach car park, having tutted at the bad people who'd left their vehicles next to the "no parking" sign by the green.

I do like Walberswick. First there's the vast sandy beach. Head over the small bridge, home to the annual crabbing championships, and you'll very soon be staring at the sea, much like Robert Smith of The Cure. A bracing breeze was blowing when we were there. Get a whiff of that ozone!

Walberswick village sign

Second, though perhaps it should be first, there's the Parish Lantern tea-room and gift shop. Now I'm a sucker for a half-decent place selling hot beverages and pastries, but the PL is 110% decent. As ever, top toasted teacakes, buttered crumpets and a luscious array of cakes were on offer. Forced to decide, I went for the cream tea: butter, strawberry jam and cream spread thick on two generous scones. Best I've had in 2001. Take that, arteries!

If You Take Away With You Nothing Else

  1. Charles Rennie Mackintosh was there for a wee while
  2. it's a great deal easier to park there than in Southwold
  3. Walber- meaning wall-to-wall, -wick meaning weekenders

Be seeing you!


EDitorial ± 8-Oct-2001

Spin Doctor

Growing up at home with my brother, the fold-away dining table in the living room got used for many diverse sporting activities. It supported the 5ft slate-bed snooker table that my dad built in the garage. It made an ideal surface for shove-ha'penny football, played with unbreakable plastic rulers, loose change from the phone box, and with small wooden goals clamped to the shiny topside (much to the annoyance of my mum). Despite being oval in shape, it also made do for ping-pong.

Me and my big bro' also played a bit of table tennis at our youth club, where I think he usually beat me. At college I maybe played twice in three years, then it was out into the big bad world of gainful employment. There, at BT Research Labs (as they were called back then) at Martlesham Heath, I stumbled across the BTTTC one lunchtime. Rather than heading for the canteen with everyone else, a gang of people would queue to play doubles on one of the two available tables. Then we'd go to the canteen afterwards.

Super Friendship 729 FX (black), Coppa (red)

I wasn't much cop, but I was keen, and joined one of the many BT teams who took part in the local Ipswich & District league, each named after a World War 2 aircraft since the BT site was on top of the old airfield. My lot were called the BT Defiants, who had finished bottom of division 6 the previous season. Above us were divs 5a/5b, 4a/4b, 3a/3b, 2a/2b, 1 and premier. There were no divisions beneath us.

This was October 1987. Fourteen years later, in spite of no longer being employed by BT - a technicality - me and the Defiants are battling on. As I write, four matches into the new season, we remain unbeaten. Although we do mysteriously find ourselves back in the bottom division. Still, it's not the winning, it's the taking part, at least if you're a member of the BT Defiants.

Fancy a knock?

Be seeing you!


EDitorial ± 1-Oct-2001

Change Of Address

As Caesar so memorably put it, "Veni, vidi, vici": I came, I saw, I conkered. For that was how this whole wordy business kicked off one year ago. Back in September 2000, I'd taken some digi-pix of a big bunch of conkers that me & the gals had collected, and was so pleased with the results that I egotistically posted them on the web.

'Course, I couldn't content myself with only the snaps. I looked up the only bit of Keats I know, about autumn being the "season of mists and mellow fruitfulness", threw in some vaguely relevant links, and voila! Needing some sort of title for this bite-sized page, the still-rampant ego suggested a name: an EDitorial.

I'd grown frustrated with a couple of my previous efforts on the web, largely because they didn't change a great deal. So, this time, I thought I'd try to do a weekly update, to keep things fresh. Monday night became web night. Assuming I can still count (A-level grade A maths, though never understood parabolas), this is EDitorial #51.

Official registration details

Oh, and hopefully you've noticed a few minor changes in the decor? Please say you have. Using subtle tones and tints, not to mention great swathes of MDF, Carol Smillie and the team have worked miracles. The chintz has been chucked.

Given that you've made it this far, you'll have alredy negotiated the other big change, that of the address. Yep, freston.net is now where it's at. Hands up who had the old address as a bookmark? Oh.

Be seeing you!