The Edge Magazine October 2018

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the ISSUE NO: 264


Telephone 01245 348256

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certainly don’t call it that in our house). But after a bit, I called up to her, “Everything alright up there, my angel?” “Yeah,” floated down her muffled reply (or at least it sounded a bit like it to me). I hadn’t heard the toilet flush, so I shouted back up, “What are you doing up there?” She replied, and I tell you, only a woman could ever make a reply such as this, and it tickled me no end: “I’m measuring myself.” S’truth! Apparently she’d seen something she liked on-line, so out of her sewing basket her tape measure had jolly well come.


The Edge Editor’s Column BADWING We have this youngish female starling (well, we’re pretty sure it’s a starling) that has a dodgy left wing (though it can still fly, a bit) that spends a fair amount of time in our garden, scavenging for grub/s. We’ve named her Badwing. Good name in a ‘say what you see’ type of way, yes? Although I also like to think it’s a got a touch of the Red Indian about it too (you know, Bald Eagle, Fat Belly and what have you). And that’s it, really. I haven’t got a point to make, not as such. But she’s always on her own, as though she’s been ostracised by the rest of the flock, simply for having a dodgy wing. Starlings can be such hurtful bastards.

SPEAKING IN MUFFLED TONES I was watching TV with my wife the other night, although she was twatting about on her brand new iPad at the same time, which she loves. Then, all of a sudden, she wanders off upstairs. Call of nature, I simply assumed (although we

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While we’re on the subject, the wife’s (although I never refer to her as that verbally, when I’m speaking to someone about her behind her back, I’ll have you know, as that would be far too disrespectful in my book) treated herself to an ickle mini sewing machine the other day too. Not for turning up, I dunno, curtain hems or anything major. Just so’s she can take care of, you know, little household running repairs and suchlike, in case you were wondering. Which you most probably weren’t.

THE WORD OF ROMESH “My wife’s a wonderful women. She deserves the very best. It’s just I can’t be arsed to do enough about it to get it for her.”

PET HATES One of my pet hates is when a bloke misses one of the loops at the waist of his jeans/ trousers and his belt goes on top of the loop, rather than through it - do you know what I mean? That does my head in, does that. Or a label sticking out of a woman’s top at the back of her neck. Learn to bloody dress yourselves, people.

CHEERFUL THOUGHTS This’ll cheer you up. Of late, I’ve found myself contemplating my own mortality. It’s not something I’ve deliberately sat down and made a special point of considering, but it comes to us all, right? And, if we’re lucky, we’ll never know when that’s going to be. It’s quite a permanent thing though, death, or so it seems. And with far less of my life (presumably) remaining than I’ve already lived, I’ve started to wonder whether I really have. Lived. Whenever I hear stories about young people leaving college and ‘taking a year out’ in order to travel, I’ve always thought (a) You lucky (lazy) swines, and (b) Why wasn’t that me? But that’s tempered with something I remember reading once upon a time, which is that every single one of us is responsible for exactly where we are right now, but surely that cannot possibly be true? The bottom line is that I feel both lost and confused. I don’t know what to do and I’m not even sure what I want to do, although it’s been gnawing at me, this feeling that I ought to figure it out and act upon it. Chelmsford isn’t my home, it’s just a place I happen to be that I have no particular allegiance to. Truth is, nowhere’s home, but I believe you can make a place home. Anywhere. How often do we ever take the time and the trouble to look at ourselves and say: ‘Okay, so this is what I’m doing. But hey, what did I really ought to be doing?’ And will we ever know? Some people’s lives are almost preordained, so I’m thankful that mine hasn’t been, thus far. THE EDGE Chelmsford CM2 6XD 077 646 7 97 44

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CENTURY 21 are the world’s largest residential estate agency with over 8400 offices in 81 countries. The latest UK franchise is C21 Chelmsford City. Century 21 Chelmsford City, which is run by local business entrepreneur Ryan Duddell, is based at the site of the old Bairstow Eves office in Tindal Square. Ryan explained that with the backing of the global, ever growing business, which is currently undergoing a major worldwide re-brand, tied in with the individual office offerings and high levels of client service, he feels confident he can stand out in an extremely competitive market. “By joining the Century 21 brand we can take full advantage of its industry knowledge, presence and marketing expertise, enabling us to focus on achieving the best outcome for our clients. With more routes to market than any other high street agent, we strive to defy mediocracy. We ensure that we will vigorously market your property to maximise its audience and to generate interest. We can bring a fresh, enthusiastic, but most importantly, a professional approach to help find the buyer you’re looking for. We have some fantastic marketing and sales tools which are unique to us, which we think could help turn your ‘FOR SALE’ status to ‘SOLD’. So if you’re thinking about renting, selling or moving, why not give us a call so that we can link you into our global network. More importantly, we promise to treat you as a person, not just a buyer, tenant, landlord or a seller. Ultimately, we want our clients to do the talking and leave us completely satisfied, feeling proud to have dealt with us.” Century 21 Chelmsford City have some fantastic launch offerings and are also the first agent to launch a £0 tenant fee option ahead of the tenant fee ban, due to come into effect next year. £0 sales commission option Fast cash seller – sell your home in 14 days £0 tenant fees £0 tenant deposit option Fully managed rental packages with the option of rent guarantee VR tours, 4D floorplans Professional photography and full colour sales particulars Access to our whole of market mortgage broker to find the best deal for you

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When you walk into any town or city centre, you don’t want it to be the norm, do you? ’Course you don’t. You’re looking for that extra bit of pizzazz to mark it out as different from what you’ve seen a hundred times already in towns and city centres the length and breadth of the country. And what could be better than ambling into Chelmsford on a Saturday or Sunday morning than seeing a load of enthusiastic blokes dressed up in Spiderman costumes, each beating a ruddy great drum? “I’ll tell you what!” shouts out young Tommy from the back of the class. “Oh dear. Go on then, Tommy?” “A load of fit women dressed up in Spiderman outfits bouncing up and down...” “Thomas! Go and stand outside the headmaster’s office this instant.” Dear oh dear, the youth of today. So where were we? Ah yes. Well, we all love the sound of a brass band, don’t we? But a brass band dressed up as Spidermen, or Supermen, or Batman & Robin characters, would be truly something both memorable and different, wouldn’t it, folks? So that’s just (yet another) thought as to how to put Chelmsford on the map. P.S. And if you think you’re completely nonplussed about the benefits of listening to a brass band, then make sure you tune your earlugs into the Grimley Colliery Brass Band in the outstanding movie ‘Brassed Off’, as those lads’ll definitely change your mind.



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It made The Edge truly dispirited to recently read that the vast amount of us Britons spend the majority of our time indoors. The average Brit apparently spends 142 hours per week behind closed doors, which is over 20hrs per day - so that obviously includes time spent being tucked up in bed - compared to just 26 hours outdoors. Yep, it’s yet another one of those dratted surveys, readers. But if you ask The Edge, 3.7hrs spent outdoors during our ’orrible, cold and nasty winter months (per day) is plenty, whereas only spending that amount of time outdoors during the summer would drive me totally doolally. In short, some 53 years of the average person’s life is spent indoors (inc. driving a car, being at work, shopping, watching TV etc.), as compared to just a decade spent outdoors (Christ, does the ‘average person’ generally croak aged 63? Because if they do, I haven’t got long left). Out of a survey or 1,500 peeps, 8% (120 peeps) said they couldn’t even remember the last time they’d been out for a walk, which is shocking, don’t you think? A lot of the blame seems to be laid firmly at the door of our grossly unpredictable weather and The Edge does have to admit that when it rains, it does rather tend to ‘piss on the chips’ somewhat. But ‘living indoors’ is also leading to us disconnecting with nature, such as riding wild horses, chasing geese and suchlike. It’s a fact that spending time outdoors benefits both our mental and physical wellbeing. So come on, folks, let’s make a particular point of making far more of an effort, even if it’s merely a brisk walk to buy a ’paper.

What about that Steve Sparkes fella, eh? The blind chap who rowed the Pacific with his buddy, Mick Dawson, who admitted that he kept on closing his eyes whilst rowing, just to see what it must have been like for Sparkes, a Royal Marine Veteran, before admitting he “couldn’t have coped”. Some feats just blow your mind, and for The Edge, this was one of them. A couple of times a week, your editor ‘might use the rowing machine’ at Training Space, but to row 2,400 miles in the bloody sea? Give over. Eighty-two days they were at it, and the word bandied about to describe their endeavours is ‘gruelling’. Surely you saw photographs of the size of their carbon fibre boat (nicknamed ‘Bojangles’ and was fortunately self-uprighting) on the TV news and in the ’papers - not massive by any means - yet it had to endure Category 5 Hurricane Lane, just 5 miles from the finishing line at Waikiki Marina, Hawaii. Rough seas and cold weather also caused them to break two sets of oars, leaving them to finish rowing with little more than table tennis bats by comparison. Steve Sparkes was also thrown overboard by an almighty wave at one point, though fortunately he remained tethered to the boat. Sparkes and Dawson were even offered a tow to the finishing line when news that Hurricane Lane was imminent surfaced, but they declined. And remember, this massive row was completely unaided, so they carried their food and supplies with them from start to finish, as well as equipment to turn seas water into fresh drinking water. What’s more, Sparkes is shamefully exactly the same age as your editor.


22018 0

OFF YOUR R TOTTAL AL FOOD BILL Trading in Baddow Road for over 50 years (the Salvation Army side, as opposed to the Zagger side), The Edge would hazard a guess that many of you haven’t even known that Baddow Road Supplies have even been there at all, as they have no frontage to speak of, barring a tucked away doorway access. But those of you who’ve ever had reason to change a Calor Gas bottle in your time will definitely know of Peter (above), Mark and Ray. These ‘lads’ have been regular Edge readers for as long as your editor can remember, only they’d unfortunately like to report to the wider general public that as of 1st August they were given six months notice to relocate their premises in order to make way for a brand new super highway that’llh eventually (maybe?) link their particular part of Baddow Road up with Wharf Road (across the river, where Waterfront Place used to stand), so that’s what they’re currently desperately attempting to do. The Edge 01245 348256

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I said in my August Editor’s Column that I’d tell you more about our experiences during the weekend we hired a couple of electric bikes from Halfords on the Chelmo Village Rattle Park for but 1p each in last months editions, only I blinkin’ well forgot. So, how did we get on? Fair champion, it has to be said. E-bikes won’t suit everyone, but what they do is allow you to go absolutely anywhere, no matter what gradient of hill is put in front of you - whoosh you’ll be straight up there. For instance, North Hill, that damned hill up from Papermill Lock into Little Baddow, we cycled it with ‘electrical assist’ and we were both laughing and joking all the way up and weren’t a bit out of breath. It was incredible. It really blew us away. But here’s the rub. Some people are built like whippets and cycling’s their absolute thing, so they have 3oz frames built out of titanium, tyres thinner than a chocolate eclair and they’re lycra suits look as though they’ve been sprayed on and they’re looking for a work-out. And good luck to you. But e-bikes are not to be dismissed by the rest of you. You will get a work-out from them whether you want one or not, because they don’t just ride themselves. However, the thing is, for every once of effort you put in, they give you it it back( i.e. less, the same as, or more, depending on precisely what setting you choose). So let’s get real, shall we? Say you’re going away for the weekend and you’re the type of person that once you get there, you like to explore. That’s where an electric bike is absolutely superb, because you’re not out specifically for fitness, you’re simply out on a reconnaissance mission. In short, you’re out for a damn good nosey around. And an e-bike fits the bill perfectly because there’s nowhere you cannot go on one where you would have to get off and push. Where an e-bike’s concerned, there’s no challenge it cannot meet headon and conquer. Continued on page 21

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And what an absolute pleasure it was to sample at a special preview evening for invited guests. We were even granted our favourite table for two in the window, overlooking a decidedly autumnal New London Road. Choose 3-courses for £25 (additional sides are extra). First of all though, this was the first time we had visited The New London since it’s ever so classy revamp and it looks absolutely sensational. Cosy, intimate, luxurious. From our very first sip of their Alta Vista Malbec (£28) to our final delicious mouthfuls of cultured, delicate desserts, which can only be described as miniature works of art, the evening proved a huge success. Trapani olives...mmmmmm. For starters I chose Pheasant, Guinea fowl, poached pear terrine, pickled onion, parsnip jam and OMG, it tasted every bit as good as it looked. For all those of you who still haven’t ventured to The New London, let The Edge assure you that this local restaurant has become synonymous for both the style and taste of that which it presents before you. And if you think you can’t have Guinea fowl twice over, then think again, because for my mains I chose Guinea fowl, boulangere potato, chestnut crumb, mushroom ketchup with honey glazed parsnips and roast Chantenay carrots as sides. Let me repeat, because it’s an important point, the way the food is presented had me absolutely drooling. Everything on the plate is such a masterpiece, and then comes the taste; the taste is always exemplary. For dessert I had bread and butter pudding iced parfait, sultana, raisin gel. As you might expect, this was as far removed from a stodgy sponge pudding covered with lashings of lumpy custard as it is possible to get. My wife’s choice: Smoked salmon tartar, grapefruit, cucumber, salmon roe, crispy skin Pork tenderloin, crispy pig’s head terrine, pickled apple, braised celeriac Butter poached pear, frangipane, almond milk ice-cream


It’s the thought process that goes into everything they do and the attention to detail that clearly separates this restaurant from most others. The New London truly is a cut above.

Afternoon Tea from £18* All day menu from £6.95 (individually priced dishes) Sunday Carvery (2-courses) from £21.95*

147 New London Road Chelmsford CM2 0AA 01245 266288

Private Dining (3-courses) from £38.50* Christmas Party Nights from £50* Christmas Day Luncheon £99.50* (£39.50* child 2 – 10 years) *The above prices are based per person. T&Cs apply.

To make a booking or for further information, please contact Pontlands Park on 01245 476444 or email WEST HANNINGFIELD ROAD, GREAT BADDOW, CHELMSFORD, ESSEX, CM2 8HR

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Cheers! 5pm-8pm



t my tastings I am often asked the same questions, so I thought it would be a good idea to answer some of them here and also ‘debunk’ some other wine myths.

So here’s the first five. The remaining five will appear next month. 1. The more expensive the bottle the better the wine The ‘sweet-spot’ for wine is usually between £8 and £20. Under £8 and there is not much left after fixed costs and taxes for the winemaker to do much more than produce the wine and get it out on the shelves as quickly as possible. Over £20 and you enter the world of ego’s, market positioning, lack of supply and the mysteries of the fine wine market. This is something that we look at in more detail in our ‘Introduction to Wine’ evenings. 2. Really good wines come in a bottle with an indentation (punt) in the base Punts are often there just for marketing purposes. It could be argued that originally better wines came in heavier bottles with deeper punts, but the clever marketers were quick to pick up on this, making it impossible to tell if the wine was of a higher quality in a bottle with a deep indentation in the base of the bottle. 3. Old World wine will always be better than New World wines There is good and bad everywhere. Generally speaking, there are stylistic differences between the old and new world. If you read some wine magazine articles they say that ‘old world’ wine is in a more traditional style; more concentration of the flavours, heavier bodied and noticeable use of oak, whereas ‘new world’ wines are lighter, fresher and fruiter. However, some new world wines mimic the traditional style and some old world styles are trying to capture the popularity of the new world. I would always recommend that you try a selection from around the world to see which you particularly prefer. 4. You must drink red wine with meat and white wine with fish Most wines will pair with most foods, but there are one or two suggestions (never rules). Look to match the intensity of the wine with the intensity of the food. For example, a light white will go better with a grilled dover sole, while a full-bodied red will pair well with a beef casserole. Aromatic whites, such as Riesling and Gewürztraminer, work well with spicy foods, especially Thai style meals. If you want to drink wine with a food that is sweet, always ensure the wine is sweeter than the food, otherwise the wine will taste horribly tart and thin. This is discussed in a lot more detail at our ‘Introduction to Food and Wine Pairing’ sessions.

5. All wine improves with age Actually, nowadays around 90% of wine is made to be drunk young. It is only some of the most expensive wines, particularly from France and Italy, that are made to be stored for many years before they are ready to drink.




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ssex Wine School is an independent wine education company that offers fun informal wine tasting events and Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) courses, both in Chelmsford and Colchester. For more information please contact Neil Bull DipWSET, Certified Educator, on 01371 267260, or visit The Edge 077 646 797 44

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The Stores Coffee, brunch & lunch

Yes, The Dark Knight’s been great, if you’re a Batman fan, like The Edge has always been. But I was literally weaned on Adam West and Burt Ward and it didn’t do me any harm (much). So what I’d really like to see is a Batman & Robin movie that’s made in the same vein as Airplane, or the Naked Gun flicks. Do you readers see where The Edge is coming from? I want to see Batman & Robin getting caught in heavy traffic when the heavens open and they get absolutely drenched (because the Batmobile’s open-top, right?). I want to see them getting egg yolk down their fronts in a proper greasy spoon and then legging it, because like the Queen, I’ve never seen them carry any money. I want to see them getting kicked out of a supermarket for being inappropriately dressed. I want to see them in a nail bar with their gloves off, each having a manicure. I want Eddie Izzard to play Batman and Danny Dyer to play Robin. I want them to get banged up for being ‘Peeping Toms’ after doing their ‘walking up the side of buildings’ gig (when we all know that really the camera’s simply been turned on its side). I want to see them totally wrecked, dancing on a table in a gay bar on a Friday or a Saturday night. I want to see them get off a train and get their capes caught in the door when the train starts moving again. I want to see them chasing criminals whilst bouncing along Oxford Street on bright orange Space Hoppers. It could clearly be a really, really good movie, right? If the script’s clearly not written by The Edge, of course. Because playing things with a straight bat is all well and good, but when you proper belly-laugh at something, you pretty much remember it for ever and The Edge reckons that’s something we do far too seldom in our lives. So let’s get this chuffing movie made.




Opening Times

Tuesday- Friday 8.30am-5pm Saturday 9am-5pm Main Road, Great Waltham, Chelmsford, Essex, CM3 1DE Tel ǻ 01245 362649 Email-

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Call us for a fixed fee consultation today

Looking out for you When your home life changes, your world can be turned upside down. We understand this, which is why we’re here for you, whatever happens. Whether it’s a breakdown of your relationship, child arrangements, separation agreements, financial hardship, or even just advice on your situation, we can help.

Our family law department has over 24 years of collective experience. We have the understanding and knowledge to guide you through life’s twists and turns.

To arrange an appointment, please contact 01245 250066

or email






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For those of a certain age, the phrase ‘American road trip’ has a very alluring ring to it, writes The Edge’s San Diego based correspondent, Steve Ward. This romance has been fostered by dozens of movies think Thelma and Louise, Badlands, Easy Rider, Vanishing Point. (OK, granted Easy Rider hasn’t aged well). All these great movies have the human characters doing whatever they are doing, but with the expansive American wilderness as the co-star. One of the great advantages of living out here, on the west coast of the US, is that there are plenty of mountains and deserts to explore any time you feel like it. Now, the only way to do a proper road trip is on a motorcycle. A convertible Corvette with the top down may be just about acceptable as second best, I guess. Very second best, mind. The thing is, on a bike you are actually a part of the scenery. In a car you are just looking at it. There’s a whole world of difference. There is one indisputable rule about road trips that you learn after you’ve done a few. That rule states that the destination is immaterial the road you take to get there is everything. So, having learned that lesson, you scour maps, looking for traffic free routes through fabulous vistas, and if that means you have to stay the night in Nowheresville, Idaho, then so be it. As long as the day has been spent on an empty two lane blacktop in glorious scenery and under a clear blue sky, who cares if your bed is in a crappy $40 a night motel and the only food available is McDonalds. And even that shuts at 8:00pm. Through the years that have been spent exploring just about everywhere west of the Rockies, there has been one road that has remained unridden. It’s a road that has acquired legendary status amongst bikers - a road where only the brave or foolish venture. It’s been dubbed ‘The Loneliest Road in America’ and is about 500 miles of Highway 50 that runs right across the state of Nevada. That 500 miles is broken up by only four very small towns, so there’s a heck of a lot of nothing to negotiate. And when we say nothing, that’s exactly what there is - nothing.

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No gas stations, no rest stops, not even a shady tree you can stop under. Well, self-respect demands it’s just got to be done, hasn’t it? From here in San Diego it was a 2,200 mile round trip, taking 10 days and the Loneliest Road itself was friggin’ epic. Some of the getting there and back was pretty awesome too, but that was incidental - it was the legendary Highway 50 that needed to be ticked off the bucket list. For those of us that grew up in south east England, where it’s impossible to drive a few hundred yards without hitting the brakes, or screaming obscenities at some idiot motorist, it’s a real stretch to get to grips with the fact that you can ride your motorcycle for half an hour and not see another vehicle, nor any sign of humanity beside the tarmac itself. But surely all that nothingness gets boring, you might ask? Nope, not a bit of it. If you can’t wonder at the vastness of the Nevada desert, an empty road and endless sunshine, then there’s something missing in your soul. Additionally, there’s always a little voice nagging away in the back of your mind that says, “Jeez, I don’t need to break down out here.” That slight frisson of danger is all part of it. Sure, you could do this in an air conditioned car, but it wouldn’t be the same - there would be no feeling of accomplishment at the end of it. Anyway, your correspondent considers himself a very lucky bugger to have had the opportunity to undertake a huge number of wonderful American road trips over the years. ‘The Loneliest Road in America’ is probably the pinnacle so far though, just for the sheer isolation of it. So what’s next? Well, another legendary biking destination is Alaska. Cold weather, gravel roads and grizzly bears. Er, probably not. There’s challenging yourself...and then there’s downright stupid.

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We all like a good flick, surely? And with the winter nights already drawing in, it’s the time of year to curl up on the sofa under a blanket, light some candles, pour oneself a glass (repeatedly) from a nice bottle of wine and really immerse yourself into a truly decent movie. ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’ is precisely the kind of movie The Edge is talking about. I’m actually gutted that I’ve now seen it and unfortunately no longer have it to look forward to, because it’s an absolute belter in so far as, I’d say, it’s not quite as good as ‘No Country For Old Men’ - because I’m not sure they’ve yet made a flick that’s better - but it blows the likes of, say, ‘Hell Or High Water’ right out of the drink. Mildred Hayes (played by the excellent Frances McDormand, who you’ll no doubt immediately recognise from her roles in the likes of Raising Arizona, Burn After Reading, Mississippi Burning, and as the memorable Marge Gunderson in Fargo) is a hard-nosed, grieving mother seeking justice for her raped and murdered teenage daughter. With no arrests made after seven agonising months of her child’s death, she decides to rent three large roadside billboards right beside the road into town, in order to name, shame and goad Ebbing’s Chief of Police (played by Woody Harrelson, who is surely one of everyone’s favourite actors) into far more resolute action. But the law, and especially Harrelson’s deputy (played to aplomb by Sam Rockwell) don’t take too kindly to Ms Hayes’ provocation, and the local townsfolk remain steadfastly on Sheriff Willoughby’s side to boot. And so the tale begins...

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Mildred rents a trio of dilapidated hoardings on the outskirts of town on which she has a message pasted designed to shame, goad and kick Sheriff Willoughby and his deputies right up their ass. For Mildred, the Ebbing police force is “far too busy going around torturing black folks to solve any crimes”, while the Sheriff gamely counters with, “I got issues with white folks too.” But when you have someone on the force such as the the bozo-cop that is the dimwitted, blockheaded, racist, homophobe Deputy Dixon (Sam Rockwell), Sheriff Willoughby’s back seems well and truly covered. Both the script and the characters are exemplary throughout. ‘Red’ Welby, who rents Ms Hayes her billboards, is a fine, upstanding young man at heart, while family man Sheriff Willoughby attempts to find the best in everyone, even Deputy Dixon. This movie balances on a knife-edge between humour and horror, mayhem and melancholia, and it goes straight into The Edge’s ‘Top 5 Favourite Films’ of all time. Christ, there’s even a part for Peter Dinklage, Ebbing’s resident midget, who played the character Tyrion Lannister in ‘Game of Thrones’, which had Mrs Edge whooping with glee (although personally, I cannot abide G.O.T. or anything of that ilk). So if you watch it and you like it, please also take The Edge’s recommendation and seek out another little corker called ‘American Splendor’ starring one of its favourite actors, Paul Giamatti.

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Continued from page 9 So just think about that. Think about the freedom and the numerous possibilities that would offer you when it comes to exploring. They’d be a godsend, take it from The Edge. But what about for knocking on about at home, where you’re more familiar with the terrain and what roads lead where? Same again, really, because you don’t have to ride these bikes with ‘electric assist’ - it’s just there, at your fingertips, whenever you want it. For instance, going into Maldon on the back roads from Woodham Walter, London Road eventually dips down, where you can get some speed up, but then it’s pretty steep going up the other side into Maldon itself. So as a little experiment, I clicked the electric-assist off completely, to see how it compared with the Marin mountain bike I’ve had for almost 25 years - way back to a time when Marin built proper bikes, or so they tell me - and do you know what? It was better. Although I guess that’s because it had slimmer touring tyres on it, as compared to my chunkier mountain bike tyres. But it certainly got me thinking that an e-bike might very well be next on the agenda for yours truly, as Mrs Edge is absolutely convinced it’s the way forward for her. Another reason you might consider an e-bike is if you're a commuter who doesn’t want to arrive at Chelmsford train station all sweaty before your daily trip to London. Or perhaps you regularly need to carry a small but weighty load which you usually use the car for. But just think about it for a moment. Assisted pedal power might mean the difference between getting a certain amount of exercise as compared to getting none at all. What’s more, Mrs Edge is absolutely convinced we’d do more winter cycling if we had them, pretty much as compared to doing none at all, so that’s also worth considering in itself, isn’t it? Remember that the wind and rain is the cyclists worst enemy, particularly if it’s head-on and makes the road feel like treacle and for all of your considerable efforts, you just don’t feel as though you’re getting anywhere. Well, with electro-assistance, you can all but slice through that invisible barrier and just how good is that going to feel? Another consideration is that if you go out manual cycling in winter, but you’re just not enjoying yourself, the chances are you’ll wait until the spring. But hey, that can sometimes be 3 or 4 months away. So surely my wife’s right when she says that getting out there on an electric bike, in all weathers, is better than not getting out there at all. Perhaps you’re recovering from an injury or an illness?

Or perhaps, unfortunately like us, you’re simply not as young as you once were? In that case, having a bit of assisted-power at your disposal feels as though it’s a godsend. Only then you’ve got to go through all the rigmarole of trying to find exactly the right e-bike for you, so good luck with that, although the vast majority of us do have internet access these days, which makes the task easier. It does seem as though the starting price is around the £1,500 mark, while it’s also very easy to spend up to £3,000 and beyond if you’ve got it. But hell no, we won’t be doing that. But what we most definitely will be doing is hanging on to our old, trusty Marin’s, because we see e-bikes as an ‘as well as’ option, rather than ‘instead of’ bicycles...although we might well need a bigger shed.

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I've just seen Soppy Stuart stamping on a hedgehog. He said he was trying to get the conker out.

ADDRESS BOOK I accidentally sent a picture of my cock to everyone in my address book. Not only is it highly embarrassing, it cost me a fortune in stamps.

SACKED My husband’s been sacked. The up side is I now just need to find a deep enough lake and some bricks.

LIES, LIES, LIES Just watched another Lance Armstrong interview. He’s lied to us so much and for so long that I'm honestly starting to doubt he could ever play the damned trumpet.

DRINK DRIVING I'm starting to take the whole drink driving thing very seriously indeed. For instance, the other night I decided to leave the car in the pub carpark after a five hour session and take the bus home instead. I was quite proud of myself, all things considered, as I'd never even driven a double-decker before.

NEWSPAPER Don't take anything you see in a newspaper very seriously. Except fish and chips, of course. But even then you should take them with a pinch of salt.

LONDON DUNGEON We were having a weekend break in the capital, so we took the kids to the London Dungeon on the Saturday. They said it was alright, but they asked if we would take them to see something even scarier the following day. Fortunately for us, Arsenal were playing at home at The Emirates on the Sabbath.

POWER OF MUSIC It's amazing how the power of music can transport us to certain places. For instance, I went to my local chip shop after work the other night and they were playing Justin Bieber's latest single. So I walked down the street and bought a couple of take-away pizzas instead.

SHAKESPEARE I went to the library and asked if they had a book by Shakespeare. "Sure do," said the librarian. "Which one?" I said, "William, of course."

RUSH At a friend’s wedding reception, the best man shouted out, "Would all of the married men in the room please stand up next to the one person who has made your life truly worth living." Bloody hell, the bartender was almost crushed to death in the rush.

NUDE SUNBATHING The young lady next door has taken to nude sunbathing in her back garden. My wife thinks it's completely out of order, but I'm undecided, so I’m sitting on the fence.

100% NATURAL A teenage boy was delivering papers to an apartment house. While there, a stunning lady came out of the door next to the mailboxes wearing only a skimpy silk negligee. The boy smiled at the woman and she started up a conversation with him. As they talked, her negligee slowly slipped open and it was obvious that she was wearing nothing underneath. The poor kid immediately broke out into a right old sweat, trying to maintain eye-contact. After a few minutes, she placed her hand on his shoulder and said, "Why don’t we go into my apartment, I think I can hear someone coming." So he followed her in, she closed the door behind them, leaned back against it and allowing her negligee to fall gently to the floor. Completely nude, she purred, "What would you say is my best feature?" Flustered and embarrassed, the boy finally squeaked, "It has to be your ears." Astounded, and not a little hurt, she asked, "My ears? Look at these breasts. They are a full 38DD and 100% natural. And hey, check out my ass. I work out every day and it’s firm and rock solid. I have a 24 inch waist and look at my skin, there’s not a blemish to be seen. So how can you say that the best part of my body is my ears?" Clearing his throat, the boy stammered, "Because outside just now, when you said you thought you could hear someone coming. That was me.”

IDENTIFICATION I went to identify my wife's body at the mortuary. "Are you absolutely sure it's her?" asked the policeman. "Yes," I said. "She's cold and she’s rigid and she’s not talking to me. It’s definitely her."

FANTA SIZED I've always dreamt of having a willy as long as a 2 litre bottle of orange soda and just as wide.

GOOD TIME Couldn't believe my luck last night. I met this beautiful blonde in the pub wearing just a skimpy vest, hot pants and trainers who said she'd show me a really good time. When we got outside into the car-park, she did 100 meters in 9.68 seconds flat.

PASSING SENTENCE A judge says to the accused, "Have you anything to say before I pass sentence upon you?" The prisoner says "F* ck all" The judge turns to the defence counsel and says, "What did he just say?" "F ck all, m'lud," says the lawyer. * "Really?" says the judge. "I'm sure I saw his lips move."

EGGS A wife asks her husband, "Could you nip to the corner shop for me and buy a carton of milk and if they’ve got eggs, get six." So her husband returned with six cartons of milk. The wife asks, "What are you doing, man? Why’d you buy me six cartons of milk?" Her husband said, "Because they had eggs.”



I ordered a Ploughman's Lunch in a pub in Lincolnshire the other day. The barman brought me Borscht & Vodka.

My Chinese neighbour told me he'd just opened a ‘crows shop’. I said, "Don't you mean a clothes shop?" He said, "No, a crows shop!" I said, "OK, I’ll pop down later for a rook."

I asked my son to describe himself in just three simple words. He said: “Lazy.”




The wife's cat died, so I bought her an identical one. She was furious! "What am I going to do with two dead cats?" she asked.

My wife said to me, "I’ll bet you a tenner that while I'm out working, you just sit there in your undies watching porn all day long?" "That's a tenner you owe me then, love," I said, "because actually, I wear yours."

CHOIRBOY An 8-year-old choirboy catches the priest knocking one out in the confessional booth. He asks, "What are you doing, Father?" "It's called masturbating,” the priest replied, "and before you know it, you'll be doing it soon." "How come, Father?" asked the choirboy. The priest said, "Because my wrist is aching.”

EPISODE Thirty years ago I murdered my wife and children. I stabbed them to death, including her parents, my parents, and all of our friends. It was an episode in my life that of course I regret terribly now. Particularly as I get released tomorrow and there's no-one to pick me up.

ANTI-DEPRESSANTS To the person who stole my anti-depressants the other day: I hope you’re really happy now.

TERRIBLE I gunned down 45 innocent people in Boots for my girlfriend the other day. Turned out all she wanted was a Valentine’s Day mascara. But what can you do? I feel absolutely terrible about it now though.

ORCHIDS Angelina Jolie goes into a flower shop and says, "I'd like to buy some flowers, please." "Orchids?" asks the florist. “No thanks,” says Angelina, “just the flowers."

CURRENCY EXCHANGE A Korean man walks into a currency exchange in New York City with 200,000 Korean won and walks out with $200. The following week, he walks in with another 200,000 Korean won and is handed $185. He asks the teller why he got less money that week than the previous week. The teller said, "Fluctuations." The Korean man stormed out, but just before slamming the door, he turned around and shouted, "And fluc you flucking Amelicans too!"

NEW BICYCLE A boy comes home from school and tells his parents he’s just had sex for the very first time. His proud dad says, “I'll buy you a bike to celebrate, but you’ll have to wait until pay day." The boy replies, “That's alright, Dad. My arse is too sore to ride it at the moment anyway.”

All jokes published are supplied by Edge readers. Please send your ‘egg yokes’ to

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Did any of you happen to tune into the end of August BBC2 one-off programme called ‘Drinkers Like Me’, courageously fronted by Brummy broadcaster Adrian Chiles? The Edge has to say, Chiles is very much its sort of bloke - I’d enjoy a few jars with him any day of the week. He confesses to being “a steady, (seemingly) moderate, regular drinker” and while he admits to drinking most days, he rarely gets drunk, doesn’t suffer hangovers, and alcohol has never got him into trouble. So here’s the thing, if Adrian’s got a problem, then surely so too must have half the people in the country we live in. The key to the programme was attempting to discover why he and so many others seemingly find life almost impossible to enjoy without booze playing a part, yet don’t consider themselves to be addicted to it, which is actually something to contemplate. So let’s discuss, because this is an interesting one and I’d be more than happy to devote a full-page to the subject in the forthcoming November editions IF you readers are happy enough to play ball and basically confess your drinking sins to The Edge, though of course you can remain anonymous if you so wish. Personally speaking, I’d be horrified at the thought of ever going tee-total and perhaps it’s because such a prospect scares me so much that I don’t drink much during the week, then tend to have a bit of a binge on Friday and Saturday nights. shaun

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ROAD RAGE I think I’ve just changed my mind as regards how I should go about tackling this article, so instead of just steaming in and criticising pretty much every other road user - because we can all do that, right? - let me first hold my hands up as regards my own particular failings once behind a steering wheel, because I’d never previously thought I suffered from road rage, but maybe I do.

“So when did you first realise you may be afflicted with this particular condition?” asks my shrink, as I am laying comfortably on her chaise lounge. Well, on the Sunday of the final Bank Holiday weekend of the year, I drove my ever so patient and placid missus (unless she’s on one of her ‘missions’ and then I just keep the hell out of her way), I drove the both of us up to Southwold for a few hours, and back. Being a first class driver, I clearly know without question that if your driving skills are anything less than perfect - remember, than my own particular skills - on a road such as the A12, then you’ll soon be found out. But then we’re all excellent/perfect drivers, aren’t we? Or so we like to think. So when I somewhat sarcastically asked my wife if she’d enjoyed our little Bank Holiday trip out, she slammed the car door in my face and reminded me that, in actual fact, no, she bloody well hadn’t. Which got me thinking... The reason a person’s driving skills are more readily exposed on a road such as the A12 from Chelmsford to Southwold and back is because it predominantly only has 2 lanes, instead of 3, although at least they’re both heading in the same direction. Nevertheless, the outside lane is, and always will be, for overtaking purposes, as opposed to dawdling along in, because it doesn’t take for very much bad driving to lead to frustraPage 24

tion, hold ups, and, as a consequence, yep, the dratted old road rage.

Only let’s immediately diffuse the situation somewhat, because The Edge isn’t talking about Kenneth Noye style road rage here. But if your driving is in any way, shape or form altered by other road users to its detriment, then yep, you need to take a long, hard look at yourself, which is what our little day trip out forced me to do. For instance, there were not one, but three people driving bloody Range Rover’s inadequately on our way up to Southwold, which certainly raised my pique. Now I don’t know whether it’s just me, or whether the people who drive such monstrosities think they own the outside lane, but if that is genuinely their attitude, as opposed to being simply poor drivers, then they have a massive problem of both ego and attitude. I happened to get stuck behind one such individual and I would never flash my lights or toot my horn, because that’s downright immature. However, if it’s a practice that’s been going on for far too long (hogging the outside lane when I want to get past) then that’s what I call being disrespectful, and in such cases I will drive as far to the right hand-side of the road as is possible behind them (without scratching my car doors on the metal barrier) and I will also, it has to be said, get on their tail, in order to make my point. Yep, you’re damn right it’s embarrassing just admitting to this, but it’s something I’m guilty of, if I feel I’m being wronged. But is that right? Is that the correct way to react? Indeed, is it even a safe way to drive? Not according to my missus, it most certainly isn’t, and I do believe she has a point. You see, her attitude in such a situation is to back off, whereas my attitude is to do exactly the opposite.

But it’s as I’ve said to my psychiatrist as I’m laying on her couch, “Hey, I am merely making a point in so far as I would greatly appreciate it if they would move the feck over as I would jolly well like to get past.”

“Oh,” she replies, “so you fancy yourself as a bit of a Road Captain, do you?” It’s all about courtesy, don’t you think, and it’s something that I feel is grossly and sadly lacking on our roads these days, so far as my own experiences are concerned. For example, in Guernsey, all of the natives know (plus the signposts are there to tell you) that when, for instance, two roads filter into one, it’s a case of one car filters from the right hand lane, followed by one from the left, then another from the right and so it goes on. Because that’s only fair and sensible, wouldn’t reason dictate? But left to our own devises and with no signposts whatsoever to tell us what’s fair, is that how we automatically conduct ourselves? No, is it bollocks. The vast majority of us are arseholes. So much so that in our shortsightedness and self-centredness we end up being a proper disgrace to humanity. In places like India and Thailand, yes, the roads are clogged, but the traffic seems to flow and there’s always an incessant amount of toot-tooting going on, which is friendly because it’s a helpful awareness kind of a warning, being made to other road users. Whereas over here the heel of the hand is placed firmly on the horn and there’s nothing helpful or friendly about any of it. You are being told that you are a twat, a bell-end, or a ‘ship’s anchor’ in no uncertain terms, and it’s all so very wrong, wrong, wrong. If you ask The Edge, fundamentally we really don’t like one another very much and you only have to get behind the steering wheel of any vehicle for that to become apparent. The Edge 01245 348256

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they are unlikely to be looking in that direction. Maybe his colleagues might suspect someone on a small salary shouldn’t really be going to Vegas every weekend, but what are they going to do about it? By far the most likely is that a local journalist who has a deep understanding of local issues will detect a bad smell, do a little digging and eventually dish the dirt.

You have to be a certain age to understand that title, but hey-ho, let’s assume you remember cockney newspaper sellers. Regardless, salutations from the west coast. Controversially we’re going to start this month by giving a shout out to the Essex Chronicle. Now, although that sentence is guaranteed to give the Edge Ed. palpitations, it’s really not that big a deal when you think about it. And anyway, he does all that fitness stuff, so he’ll survive a heart flutter or three. The two publications are serving completely different purposes. The Edge makes no pretense whatsoever to being a newspaper. On the other hand, even the most ardent Chronicle devotee would be hard pressed to describe it as entertaining; that ambition belongs to The Edge alone. Local newspapers, and we’ll get to the San Diego Union Tribune in a minute, are under a dual threat. Some of them have been around for centuries, but a combination of the internet and a changing culture that wants its news now, not once a week, have brought hard times upon traditional publishers. In fact, their very survival is in doubt. These papers serve a very important purpose though - let’s expand. In the US the existence of the fourth estate (newspapers) is held as an important foundation stone of the republic. The more you look at the US constitution the more your admiration grows for the foresight and wisdom of the founding fathers. Having just fought a war to free themselves from a UK king, they put a lot of thought and effort into creating a true democratically elected republic. The existence of newspapers to tell truth to power was enshrined very early as the first amendment to that constitution.

And, despite the lying orange ignoramus’ attempts to label every publication that doesn’t shower him with praise as ‘fake news’, his attacks have actually been good for the free press. Subscriptions have gone through the roof as everyone that is not part of the cult of Trump has seen how useless Congress has been at keeping him in check, and have gone to the New York Times and Washington Post, amongst others, as the main fact checkers to rebut his avalanche of lies. In the UK, with no formally written constitution, all the rights we Brits have are enshrined in individual acts of Parliament. Acts that a British Trump and a subservient party could easily undo at any time. Scary, right? A formal constitution has been talked about for ever, but nobody has got round to doing anything about it. Anyway, for now, Britain has a free press. Back to local newspapers. So why should you care if the Essex Chronicle goes out of business? Here’s why. Just say, and this is being used to illustrate a point, not cast aspersions, that a Chelmsford Councilor was fiddling the books. Let’s suppose he had a bad gambling addiction and had been skimming money for himself from your council tax. How is he going to get found out? Police budgets are being cut all over the place so

In Boston (the US one) in the early 2000s it was the local paper that uncovered the massive abuse scandal involving Catholic priests - the city elders had been more or less complicit in hiding it. Who would have exposed it if the Boston Globe hadn’t got nosey reporters? Out here in San Diego it was the local paper, the Union Tribune, that played a part in exposing the skullduggery of one of our local politicians who had been using campaign finance money (i.e not his to spend) to buy nice holidays and the like for himself and his family. He is a Republican, of course, as these corrupt ones usually are. And just to show what a lovely man he is, he laid the blame on his wife. She’s gone to live at her mother’s place, one suspects. The point is that without local newspapers such investigative reporting is likely to disappear and with it the chances of corruption and wrongdoing by powerful people going unpunished increases. Another little nail in the coffin of democracy and another little boost to those who use their public position for private gain. So, although local papers are, frankly, full of very boring stuff about Women’s Institutes, births, marriages and deaths and the like, it’s the run of the mill stuff that keeps the paper afloat and enables the important stories that come round only once in a while. Support the Essex Chronicle!

When you buy a complete bathroom during October.* (That’ll keep you toasty)

*Terms apply, see in-store for details

Pop in to our showroom on Springfield Road, Chelmsford, call 01245 287977 or visit

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t seems that every time I turn around lately, someone somewhere is busy being outraged about something. There’s nothing wrong with being outraged, of course. Indeed, when confronted with an outrageous situation, then outrage is the only sane response. However, people seem to be getting outraged at almost anything and everything these days. Usually this sort of accusation is levelled at millennials, the so-called ‘snowflake’ generation. But as well as labelling and generalisation being the last resort of the intellectually impaired, it’s also patently untrue. I see just as many, if not more, of the older generations getting their knickers in a twist about all manner of petty foolishness. Regardless of your age or your motivation for your explosions of outrage, I think it’s way past time people started getting a thicker skin and actually growing up a bit. You can’t walk more than two feet without tripping over the clutter of accusations of racism, sexism and anti-Semitism at the moment, and the danger here is that the real instances of these and other examples of appalling behaviour just get lost in all the noise. I heard far too many idiots screaming accusations of both racism and sexism over the recent hoo-ha with Serena Williams, when the fact is, she clearly broke the rules of conduct and simply got pulled up on it. Anyone saying it wouldn’t have happened if she were white or a man has conveniently forgotten all about Jonn McEnroe making a career out of having explosive meltdowns and being censured by


ME & MY  adamantium skeleton

Certain policies of the Israeli government absolutely need to be criticised and yelling “Anti-Semitism” doesn’t drown out the sound of gunfire as you shoot some more Palestinian civilians. People saying things you don’t like and things that might offend you is a right enshrined in the laws of free speech and hopefully that will never change. People offending us is something we’re all going to experience pretty much on a daily basis, so surely it’s better to learn to deal with it sensibly, rather than shouting people down and complaining that it hurts your ickle feelings?

The Kingmeister reports

OUTRAGEOUS the umpires. Everyone knows you never argue with a grown man in a high-chair. Yes, I know he was an amazing tennis player, but let’s be honest, we all used to watch McEnroe because we knew we were going to be treated to: “You cannot be serious, man!” at some point during the match. The fact that Serena Williams is a black woman should be neither here nor there. She had a tantrum on the court and got told off for it. That’s the sum total of the incident and it should have all been forgotten about in five minutes. I know this next bit will probably

make me very unpopular, but I also think it helps illustrate my point. I’m sick of hearing about anti-Semitism in the Labour Party and pretty much anywhere else at the moment too. So Corbyn wanted to put the internationally recognised definition of anti-Semitism in the Labour charter with a caveat saying that definition shouldn’t stifle legitimate criticism of the Israeli government? So what? That’s seems perfectly reasonable to me. But somehow that gets Corbyn compared to Enoch Powell! Yes, anti-Semitism is very real and totally unacceptable and only the most rabid bigots don’t think the

In a perfect world, we’d all just get along. But hey, it’s never going to be a perfect world, chiefly because everyone’s idea of a ‘perfect world’ is different to everyone else’s. So be outraged if you like, but be outraged when it counts. Fight your battles, but make sure it’s a battle that actually needs to be fought. Choose the right hills to die on and never, ever play a race or sexism card to try and win an argument, because in the long run you’ll do more damage to your cause than your opponents ever could.


ou’re probably already aware of the recent controversy surrounding Elon Musk, when, during a live interview he was handed a joint and (gasp) took a single puff. This ten second segment of an interview that ran over two whole hours, almost broke the internet and caused Tesla stocks to plummet nine points because people are absolute idiots. Musks’ behaviour has been reported as ‘bizarre’ and even ‘unhinged’, all because during an interview in California, where weed is now perfectly legal, he took a drag on a joint. Never mind that after inhaling the ‘Devil’s Lettuce’, Musk carried on with the interview speaking intelligently and rationally, and showing that he was clearly unaffected. No, he smoked a bit of weed, so that makes him ‘unhinged’. What else was he doing during the 2+ hours of the interview? Oh, that’s right, he was drinking whisky with the host, Joe Rogan, but that’s completely different, right? I find it hard to believe that in the 21st century we’re still holding on to some really outdated and backwards attitudes towards recreational drug use. I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again: Criminalising drugs simply doesn’t work. It has never worked and it will never work. Not admitPage 26

Holocaust was an atrocity of mindboggling proportions. On the other hand, you can’t dine out on it forever, Judaism, and you certainly can’t wave the Holocaust around every time someone says something you don’t like.

ting this and painting ourselves into some ridiculous moral corner is both irrational and detrimental to us all, and while attitudes do appear to be changing, they’re still being held back by the accepted tenet of ‘Drugs are just bad, okay?’ Well, caveat that with ‘some’ drugs are bad because, as we saw in the interview, and as we see every day, it’s perfectly alright to ingest some mind-altering substances that are proven to be bad for your physical and mental health, just as long as they come out of a bottle and they’re properly taxed, of course. It's true that attitudes are changing, but they’re changing far too slowly and I think we’d all be better off if we learned to embrace change a little bit more than we do. After all, change is a constant and it’s also inevitable, so surely it’s better to learn to go with the flow than hold on to things, just because that’s they way they’ve always been? I’ve heard a few older people lament that they don’t really recognise the world anymore and I think that has been the refrain of every aging person down throughout the centuries. Maybe the fear of things changing is really a fear of being left behind and becoming irrelevant?

energy worrying about it. At some point the world will leave us all behind and we’ll all become irrelevant. That’s just the way the world works and the new replacing the old is the way it’s supposed to work. Even at the grand old age of 43 I listen to the twentysomethings in my office and I don’t have a clue what they’re talking about half the time, so I can understand that for someone in their seventies it must be even worse. And with an increasingly aging population, perhaps the divide between young and old will become even more pronounced? I hope not, because divisions like that don’t do society any good, particularly not when it leads to holding onto things that have been proven to be demonstrably useless. At some point in the future, you and I will wake up, look at the world, and wonder just what the bloody hell has happened to it. The world will be speeding by, just as we start slowing down, and it will be all too easy to think that things were just ‘better back then’. And when that day comes, I think it will be better for everyone if those of us approaching our use-by date can accept that the world has changed and it’s not ours anymore, but that that’s okay, because that’s just the way things should be.

That’s understandable, but it’s still a waste of The Edge 01245 348256

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Now that’s what you call a flat-top!

RIZE FESTIVAL V Festival had been running since 1996 and had hosted bands such as Pulp, Blur, The Verve, The Red Hot Chilli Peppers and Oasis, so following in its footsteps was never going to be an easy task for the Rize Festival. However, I was lucky enough to get myself tickets for the Friday at Hylands House and I was most pleasantly surprised. The main criticism of V Fest in recent years was that it’s line-ups mainly consisted of pop bands rather than the traditional rock bands that the festival had once been famous for. In turn, this attracted younger crowds that alienated traditional festival goers and so turned it into a circus of vests, nitros oxide canisters and Instagram pouting. The fact that Rize opted to draft in Liam Gallagher to headline on the Friday and Stereophonics on the Saturday was a masterstroke. It set the tone perfectly and hopefully is a sign of things to come in the future. When I arrived I was surprised by just how small the crowd was. It was a difficult one to gauge because I couldn’t work out if there was a lack of interest in the event, or whether is was the odd decision by organisers to commence proceedings during the

middle of a work day. I can’t help but feel that everything would have got off to a bit more of a bang had they chosen the traditional Saturday and Sunday format. However, having said that, the lack of a big crowd made it far easier to grab a pint and go for a pee, which certainly made a refreshing change to V. As the day progressed the crowd inevitably got bigger and there really was an air of anticipation to Liam as the headline act. Granted he is only one half of Oasis, but in choosing to perform a number of their biggest hits really did get the crowd on-side. The ongoing ‘will they, wont they’ saga surrounding Oasis really is depressing because any reunion would be incredible and a true ‘must see’ for music lovers. On the food front, when I got peckish I had a pizza and, later on, some noodles that set me back about £10 each, but both actually tasted pretty decent to me. A pint of Carlsberg was £5.50 - although I found the Carlsberg Export to be a better drink at just 50p more. I’m not really sure whether the beer tasted that much different, but the Export was available from a pretty cool wooden pop-up bar that hosted an array of acoustic acts, which well and truly sealed it for me.



All things considered, I thought the Rize Festival was a pretty decent success and I’ll certainly go again next year. Like with anything new, it will take time to grow and if the organisers can attract some even bigger names, then it really could become a huge success in the future. ‘Definitely Maybe’, as Liam might say.

HELLO FRESH So I was taking the bins out the other night and being the nosey neighbour that I am, I noticed that Graham at number 26 had left a box outside for recycling from a company called Hello Fresh. Intrigued, I went back indoors and immediately Googled the company and found that they sell meal preparation kits. The concept is simple. You select the type of meals you want to eat, how many you want and how for how many people. Hello Fresh then provide you with the instructions and the exact ingredients required for you to create your very own culinary masterpieces. It’s a subscription based service where you pay weekly for the food you order and you have the ability to change, pause or cancel your subscription at any time. The subscription I chose was the family box for 4 people for 4 days. The weekly cost of this was

£55.99 but there was enough in each recipe pack for me and my wife to have dinner and lunch with a small portion left over for our two-and-a-half year old daughter. I have to admit I was sceptical of the service to start with and slightly put off by the fact that the ingredients get delivered by DPD courier (I’ve never had chicken in the post before). However, the food arrived as scheduled, was packaged well and kept cool in an insulated bag. The instructions are incredibly easy to follow and the preparation time is minimal. Perhaps, most importantly, the food is delicious. Genuinely some of the recipes provided are better than high-end restaurant food. No, I don’t work for Hello Fresh, nor am I on commission, but you should give it a go. I promise you, you will not be disappointed.

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Man on the Clapham Omnibus

ARE WE BEING SERVED? We all know the answer to this and you have probably already answered this internally by shouting ‘NO’. However, that would leave the EE with an article some 756 words light of his expectations. A negative of the wonderful summer we have enjoyed has been watching on both Anglia and the national news the almost daily stories about Stansted airport. The luggage fiascos, the passport queues, our favourite ShiteAir cancelling flights and abandoning people to their fate whilst ‘supporting’ them with their legendary customer service. Naturally they all constantly blame each other. ‘Oh, its nothing to do with us’ blah blah blah. So it is us poor saps, as customers, who bear the brunt. Then we have our old friends at Abbot & Costello not GREATer Anglia, where it’s down to the ‘wrong type of heat’, short formation trains that leave you unable to travel, or jammed in beyond safety levels. Why? Because they had some trains refurbished that now have the ‘wrong type of software’ (fact). You write and complain, only to get a standard corporate BS letter back informing you just how wonderful the future is going to be and how much money they are spending to make our lives better in the long run. Yes, and that’s my money btw. I think our train company mainly believe that if they turn every bit of spare space in Chelmsford station into a coffee shop, all will be right with the world! Of course, cock-ups such as we have seen and endured are always accompanied with the most empty and meaningless piece of corporate nonsense. Insert any company of your choice here, followed by: “...would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused.” Yes, those poor sods stranded at Stansted who have been saving for five years for their first holiday with their children, only to be abandoned by ShiteAir, obviously feel so much better for that piece of news. This, of course, is after they have been told they now have to go to Luton and pay twice as much for their flights, as well as losing three days of a week’s holiday. No doubt Gobshite O’Leary will tell you that’s the trade-off for low fares. And do not even think about being ill and ringing your GP. A member of my household recently needed an appointment and made over 60 calls in a very short period of time to get through to the usual ‘helpful’ receptionist.

potential frustrations and disappointments to encounter. There’s the minefield of menu options in order to get to who you need to speak to. Then the wait. Recently Mrs Mott spent fifteen minutes on hold, only to then be automatically cut-off and directed to the website for FAQ’s. Murder was in the air! The sad thing is that very often there are good people at the end of the phone who do want to help, but are hamstrung by the system and processes they have to abide by. They become the unwilling victims of angry people who, by the time they get to speak to a real person, are close to total exasperation and like Mr Creosote are just one wafer thin menu option away from exploding! The supreme irony is that all these second rate suppliers and so called service providers will bombard us with ‘how did we do?’ messages and surveys. I just don’t know how some of these companies have the satisfaction rating they claim to have. Most of the time they qualify for a rating about the same as a piece of cold broccoli, although on reflection, I think the rating for a piece of warm broccoli would be about the same. We, as a nation, are badly let down by a lot of our service providers, failing in this technological age by their inability to resolve even basic issues, despite having everything at their fingertips. I can video call my brother in Australia on my mobile phone Star Trek style, but can I get a leading Chelmsford estate agency to stop sending me letters about becoming a landlord, despite the fact I have never owned a rental property, though presumably have the same surname as someone who obviously does? Anyways, after reading this article I would like to ask you to complete a very quick survey to help us amuse you better. If you feel you have wasted five minutes of your life that you are never going to get back, then MOTCO International would sincerely like to apologise for any inconvenience caused. Press 1 to hear ‘Yours aye’....

If one tries to actually deal with these issues, there is a whole new field of

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he was a good boy. I used to give him a bit of paper to hold in the traffic and pretend we had a ‘Fast Pass’. Then when we went over the flyover, he would raise his hands in the air over his for an imaginary photograph. (He will kill me for revealing this story, but its true. As a mother, that's how I rolled!)


This month's column is dedicated to all the brave men and women of Chelmsford who have risked their lives putting bread on the table and a roof over their family's heads without no thought of the danger that lay ahead of them each and every morning. Yep, I’m talking about the Army & Navy flyover. For the past 9 months it's been hell. Forget the ‘Highway to Hell’ - it’s been ‘Chaos to Chelmsford’!

But now he’s flown the nest and grown up into a lovely young man, whilst the flyover has become old and decrepit and seriously needs replacing; it has served its time. So I am proposing it be sold off for housing and the money used to build an underpass. Surely such an idea has potential? A block of flats slap bang in

What’s been going on? We were once a great nation, conquering empires and performing magnificent feats of engineering to defy the world. Yet now we seemingly cannot even manage to get the traffic to flow in one direction. Heads should roll! (Come on, get angry with me. If you are reading this online, at least bang your desk in protest, or if you are packed in on a train like a sardine, raise your arms in the air and let out a scream worthy of a banshee, as you will get some extra space next to you at least!) I am talking about the City of Chelmsford for pities sake. We need it sorted pronto. We built the bloody Burma Railway and planned an escape from Colditz with a tunnel dug with bare hands, so surely we can get people safely across the road and onto a train that is running on time each and every day in the 21st Century? I have to say, I have a bit of an odd affection for our flyover. When my son was but a bairn, I used to be able to fob him off with a McDonalds ‘Happy Meal’ and the promise of a ride over the (flyover) rollercoaster on the way home, if

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the middle of a busy junction where the flyover used to be, with outstanding views of Frankie & Benny's and, if the rumours are true, a state of the art Aldi's right on the doorstep. What more could anyone ask for? (In fact, I'm surprised no one has even thought of it and already whipped in a planning application!) In the meantime, I think we need to ‘turn the frown upside down’ by reopening the flyover and renaming it ‘Only the Brave’ (as though it were an Alton Towers ride). And if the council are worried about potential claims, then simply get disclaimers signed as you enter that say ‘Ride at your own Risk’. I am reliably informed that weight bearing on the stanchion is the problem. Well, bell ban fatties from riding on it then! Oh and those flash gits in their 4x4s as well. Install a weighbridge. You simply have to think outside the box and get the good people of Chelmsford moving!


The Edge 264_The Edge 172.qxd 21/09/2018 00:21 Page 31


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