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The Edge 280 new_The Edge 172.qxd 24/01/2020 16:16 Page 1

EDGE

the ISSUE NO: 280

‘THE CHELMSFORD FANZINE’

FEBRUARY 2020

that Slimming World feeling! MONDAYS Millennium Community Centre, Recreation Ground, Baddow Road, Great Baddow CM2 9RL 9:00am, 11:00am, 1:00pm Lucy 07801 433626

St Michael’s Church of England -XQLRU6FKRRO%DUQDUG5RDG *DOOH\ZRRG&055 7:30pm Lena 07939 675034

Springfield Bees Preschool 3HUU\Ê€HOGV6FKRRO/DZQ/DQH 6SULQJÊ€HOG&033 5:00pm and 7:00pm $QJLH

THURSDAYS

Millennium Community Centre Recreation Ground, Baddow Road, Great Baddow CM2 9RL 5:00pm and 7:00pm .HHOH\

TUESDAYS

Newlands Spring Community Hall 'LFNHQV3ODFH&KHOPVIRUG&088 5:30pm and 7:30pm -HQQLIHU

Broomfield Village Hall 0DLQ5RDG EHKLQG$QJHO3XE  %URRPÊ€HOG&0$+ 3:00pm, 5:00pm and 7:00pm Victoria 07823 441198

Moulsham High School %ULDQ&ORVH&KHOPVIRUG&0(6 5:30pm and 7:30pm Emma 07738 278911

Millennium Community Centre Recreation Ground, Baddow Road, Great Baddow CM2 9RL 3:30pm, 5:30pm and 7:30pm 6DPDQWKD

The Church Of Ascension 0DOWHVH5RDG&KHOPVIRUG&03% 9:15am and 11:15am 6DPDQWKD

Church Of St Augustine Of Canterbury 6W$XJXVWLQHV:D\6SULQJÊ&#x20AC;HOG&0*4 9:30am and 11:30am Emma 07887 692906 Writtle Community Association /RQJPHDGV+RXVH5HGZRRG 'ULYH:ULWWOH&0/< 3:00pm, 5:00pm and 7:00pm -HQQLIHU

www.theedgemag.co.uk

Telephone 01245 348256

North Springfield Baptist Church +DYHQJRUHRII3XPS/DQH 6SULQJÊ&#x20AC;HOG&0-3 5:30pm and 7:30pm Victoria 07823 441198

Newlands Spring Community Hall 'LFNHQV3ODFH&KHOPVIRUG&088 9:30am -HQQLIHU

WEDNESDAYS

slimmingworld.co.uk 0344 897 8000

Millennium Community Centre Recreation Ground, Baddow Road, Great Baddow CM2 9RL 9:30am 6DPDQWKD

FRIDAYS

Fit n Fab Studio 9LOODJH6TXDUH 1HDU$VGD  &KHOPHU9LOODJH&05) 5.30pm Emma 07887 692906

SATURDAYS Springfield Park Baptist Church 6SULQJÊ&#x20AC;HOG3DUN5RDG 6SULQJÊ&#x20AC;HOG&0(% 8:30am and 10:30am Emma 07887 692906

Boreham Village Hall 0DLQ5RDG%RUHKDP&0-' 5:30pm and 7:30pm Marie 07988 426728 Springfield Park Baptist Church 6SULQJÊ&#x20AC;HOG3DUN5RDG 6SULQJÊ&#x20AC;HOG&0(% 5.30pm and 7:30pm $QJLH

Mobile: 077 646 797 44

shaun@theedgemag.co.uk


Le Bouchon Entrance

Afternoon tea @ Le Bouchon

ENJOY A LUXURY AFTERNOON TEA

WHY NOT ADD A BOAT TRIP from the Le Bouchon Hotel’s private moorings

Prepared by our Executive Pastry Chef Paul Blackman previously of the Talbooth Restaurant and the 5 Star Goring Hotel, home of The Kate & William Royal Wedding

“Fantastic afternoon Tea as good as The Ritz” “Best Restaurant in Essex” “WOW! WOW and WOW” “Wouldn’t be out of place in Mayfair” “Deserves a Michelin Star” AS RECOMMENDED ON:

4 years running

Open Table & trip Advisor Diners Choice Winners

COMPLIMENTARY AFTERNOON TEA VOUCHER WORTH £10* Per couple. Valid until 29th February 2020

* Cannot be used in conjunction with a Gift Voucher or any other discounted offer. The £10 is off your total bill.

Both of our Restaurants open daily for Lunch & Evening Dining See our website for our Luxury Afternoon Teas

THE ORANGERY IS AVAILABLE AT BOTH RESTAURANTS For Baby Showers, Birthdays, and Receptions

Le Benaix Afternoon Tea in the Garden

VALENTINES BOOKINGS NOW BEING TAKEN FOR BOTH RESTAURANTS

Le Benaix Entrance

LE BENAIX BAR & BRASSERIE

Main Road, Rettendon, Chelmsford, Essex CM3 8DY Tel: 01245 987888 • enquiries@brasseriebenaix.com www.brasseriebenaix.com

LE BOUCHON @ THE HEYBRIDGE HOTEL The Square, Holloway Road, Heybridge, Maldon CM9 4LT Tel: 01621 856511 • enquiries@lebouchon.co.uk www.lebouchon.co.uk

ALL MENUS ARE AVAILABLE ONLINE


The Edge 280 new_The Edge 172.qxd 28/01/2020 14:05 Page 3

s m o Bott p! U PERSONAL VAPOUR

the e-cigarette shop Full range of warrantied ELECTRIC CIGARETTES from starter kits & variable voltage devices through to mechanical mods & accessories. British made e-liquids in a wide range of flavours & strengths. We are a family run business who are always happy to help.

59 Moulsham Street, Chelmsford, CM2 0JA. 01245 490741 www.personalvapour.com

n r o H e i r Ma boutique

www.theedgemag.co.uk

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The Edge 280 new_The Edge 172.qxd 24/01/2020 18:49 Page 4

The Edge Editorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Column TOOTED UP Sâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;truth, I actually got tooted up by a reet old biddy tâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;other day. You know Chelmsfordâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s VWâ&#x20AC;&#x2C6;roundabout (for what else shall we call it - the one with the big Volkswagen dealership on it)? I was approaching it from the Tesco roundabout (as we can no longer call that one the Miami roundabout as the motelâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s been demolished), turned right down Westway (what the bloody hell is it called Westway for? It ought to be called VW Approach) and right again before the traffic lights, as though I was thinking of buying a gas guzzling 4+4 from Saxton, only I was going to the Clockhouse (love that name) Costa instead. But you pull onto that small road and thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s generally one of those big transporter lorries parked there, dropping motors off its back, isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t there? Which happened to be the case. So there I was, waiting patiently, with my â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;about to overtakeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; indicator light on, just in case anyone behind me was in any doubt. Only I couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t

as there was car after car approaching with those damn annoying gaps in between that were not quite big enough for me to overtake said lorry without irritating an approaching vehicle. So I was forced to wait for a break, by which time I had noticed that a fair few cars had built up behind me. Ho-hum. Only then, then, the car behind me tooted me up. FFS! So I looked in my mirror and it was some impatient old biddy in a little Nissan bloody Micra. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Well, you cheeky **** â&#x20AC;&#x2122; thought I. Anyhow, after less than a minute, I eventually got past the obstruction and indicated right once again into Costa. Only then had to wait at a mini-roundabout, with my indicator on yet again, and lo and behold, the old biddy was right up my backside once again. And the very second as I turned, she sped off like a bat out of hell in the direction of Aldi. me, thought I.

****

FLOSSING I have to admit, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m not the best flosser in the world. In fact, I honestly donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t like it at all and it makes such a mess of the bathroom mirror. Furthermore, I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t stick rotating brushes up my arse to clean that either, so why should I want to put lengths of fishing line between my teeth on a tiresome, daily basis? Only I had a check-up with my dentist last month and for the first time in years, I need to have a filling (actually, I need to have an existing filling removed and refilled), but I just hate â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;having the needleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;. It plays on my mind for days in advance. Honest, it does. So my dentist was showing me these miniature dental brushes and saying to me, â&#x20AC;&#x153;You really need to be doing this every evening, after dinner, while youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re watching TV.â&#x20AC;? And I immediately pictured myself, in my mindâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s

eye, cleansing my arse whilst watching TV. Because eyes would be raised if one suddenly started jet-washing the old Khyber Pass on oneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s living-room sofa, wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t they? But seemingly itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s alright to have a good old route around in your mouth.

LOVELY You often hear football commentators say, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Oh, thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a lovely ball.â&#x20AC;? But what do they mean? Does the match ball have grey hair, perhaps a goatee, and resemble George Clooney? Or maybe it looks like Pamela Andersonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s left nork, while her nipple is the valve used to blow air into it (as though she hasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t got enough of that already)? Such an innocuous comment to make, but also an incredibly strange one indeed.

RUBBISH WORLD OF DAVE SPUD Do any of you readers have bin lids who watch this particular Saturday morning show? I was brought up on the wonderful Banana Splits and that never did me any harm (much). But The Rubbish World Of Dave Spud just isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t in the same league, which is why I fear for our future generations. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s if Climate Change doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t get â&#x20AC;&#x2122;em first.

BREXIT Hello? Are you still there? Has it finally happened? Really? Well, best we all take note of what happens from here on in, over the coming days, weeks, months and years, as who can honestly say? THE EDGE Chelmsford CM2 6XD 0 77 646 797 44 shaun@theedgemag.co.uk

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Friday 24th January’s episode was RUBBISH tho’! The Edge most certainly is. At the time of writing it has only seen the opening two episodes, but it has seen them both twice, so that should tell you something. Not sure about you, but I’m always wary when anything ‘new’ comes along, particularly a comedy. And King Gary is sort of ‘in your face’ right from the off, isn’t it? But bugger, it made me laugh, and that is no easy feat to accomplish these days, I tell you. First of all, The Edge never saw a single episode of Murder In Successville, but if it had, it would have recognised Gary (Tom Davis) immediately, as he’s not someone you can easily forget. And Tom (and James DeFrond) are totally responsible for King Gary, which The Edge thinks is going to roll and roll and roll. “When we first started writing him, Gary was always a big, loud South Londoner who’s also a bit of a liar,” explains Tom, a former scaffolder, to The Edge, in Pret (as if). But what The Edge absolutely loves is some of King Gary’s facial expressions, some of the designer clobber he wears, the sheer SIZE of the livery on his truck, and, well, he’s clearly a man after The Edge’s very own heart. Because when he says he’s “leaving the Indian immediately”, he then makes absolutely certain that he finishes every last drop of his beer first, which actually ends up filling two whole glasses before he’s gulped it all down and his bottle is 100% empty. So if you haven’t yet tuned in, do give it a whirl.

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The Edge 280 new_The Edge 172.qxd 24/01/2020 18:49 Page 6

KERASILK WHAT THIS PICTURE SAYS TO THE EDGE... Luxury Smoothing Treatment

This offer is available with stylists Lily & Betsy.

Not available in conjunction with any other offer.

LONG HAIR £185 £155 MEDIUM £165 £135 SHORT £145 £115

STEPHEN ALEXANDER HAIRDRESSING 203 Moulsham Street, Chelmsford, CM2 0LG. TEL: 01245 494194 www.stephenalexander.co.uk EMAIL: sayhair@sayhair.co.uk

“SHOWING RUBBER WHO’S THE DADDY!”

A1£15

Posters Full Colour (on 165gsm Matt Poster)

£2.30

The amount of times I’ve picked up nails and wotnot in my car tyres over the years is a joke. So here’s Colin (“I don’t like having my photo taken,” he told me, ”it makes me look fat!”) of C&C Automotive Ltd. on Navigation Road fixing my most recent anomaly one winter’s Saturday morning while the sun was streaming into their all new flashy workshop, which was somewhat odd for January, but a most welcome reprieve. The Edge has been using C&C for yonks (since back in E-type Chris’s days and when Russell was still wearing short trousers) and cannot recommend them highly enough. Only these days, in their brand new premises, they’ve even got a waiting/reception room (they tell me they’re even considering doing the odd marriage at weekends) with one of them there wall-mounted TV sets and even a FREE coffee machine, which is a massive step up from the old days just around the corner. You can get an idea of the scale of things from the photograph below, readers - it’s a bit like a mini-aircraft hanger - and just check out the size of that, ‘that thing’ that Colin extracted from my tyre (bloody good job it wasn’t on the rim as that usually means a brand new jobbie). But back to Colin, bless his cotton socks. I think he once completed the London-Brighton charity bike ride on a Raleigh Chopper. Or maybe he didn’t? But he’s got one! And when his mobile ’phone used to ring, it rang to the theme tune of Laurel & Hardy, which I always thought was proper class. Oh and back in the day, he once fitted 4 tins of Fray Bentos to a customer’s car to ‘make do’ until his new hubcaps were in stock. (That last one’s actually a pack of lies. I just made it up for comedic effect, although I wouldn’t put it past him!) But you’ll definitely be in good hands at C&C.

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Call us today or visit us in store for details!

Prices inclusive of VAT subject to terms & conditions

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T. 01245 361201 Page 6

M. 0777 893 8920

We provide reliable and cost effective leaflet, booklet, menu and magazine door drop distribution. Distribute4u offer packages to suit every budget. Our clientbase ranges from well known High Street brands to tradesmen, local leisure centres, estate agents etc. WHY? Because leafleting works for all types of businesses! We cover Chelmsford and the surounding area, plus SS, RM and IG postcodes. Check out our website for more information and our Blog tips on what to include on your leaflet. 10% discount on your very first order when you mention The EDGE! Vacancies in your area - apply today on the Distribute4u website www.distribute4u.info Telephone: 0795 723 6299 shaun@theedgemag.co.uk


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Interview with Billy Jarvis and Kayleigh Thwaites of Cocktails & Calamari.

theedgemag.co.uk/subscribe receivetheedgedirectto yourtabletorcough mixtureorlaptopor whereverthehellyou wanttoreceiveit withoutleaving yourhomeoryour officeoryour deckchair. it’sverysimple. allyouneedtodo isSUBSCRIBE

Billy, a restaurant manager, and Kayleigh, an art teacher, both have an immense passion for food. They met at college, with their only common interests being far too many snakebites, pop-punk and a love of huge ‘EMO’ fringes. They then went their separate ways; Kayleigh following a pathway into photography and art education, Billy in and out of restaurant and bar jobs. In 2013 they began dating and with an interest in food blogs, vegetarian cooking and discovering new recipes, Kayleigh slowly led Billy away from his diet of baked goods and staff meals. Over the past 4 years, they have explored various new restaurants in London, Essex and abroad, working through a wish list pretty much every single month. They started a food blog Cocktails & Calamari - to network with like-minded people, share their own recipes, as well as reviewing what they eat and where. What made you both want to write about food? It’s what our relationship is built around. We spend most of our time and money on food festivals, restaurants and food orders! Our holiday destination choices are always based around food and where/what we want to try. When we have free time to spare together, this usually involves recipe searches for food to cook, a food shop, or an evening of preparing meals together and drinking wine. We both love our jobs, but in an ideal world we would be involved in food as a career, owning a little deli, or a restaurant, or perhaps a little wine bar. That would be our dream. Who taught you to cook/how did you learn to cook? We both grew up in the 90’s, an era full of packet sauces, microwave meals and school dinners. Neither of our parents were amazing cooks, but we weren’t too fussy either, eating whatever was put in front of us. As a child on holiday, Kayleigh loved the tastes of Spain and discovered new flavours away from the pies and roast dinners of home, but still had her Mum cooking everything for her, because as a teenager this was far easier! University was a time of learning for her, becoming pescetarian, and only really being able to afford fish once a week meant real change; meat alternatives just didn’t cut it. Reading food blogs and heading out to numerous vegetarian cafes and delis proved inspirational to Kayleigh. We still have the same rule of thumb to our daily cooking even now; what’s in the fridge, or garden, to cook with and how can it be made into a meal from scratch. Where did the Cocktails & Calamari come from? We wanted something that summed us up with catchy alliteration. Cocktails feature heavily in our house and on our blog. Not only is Billy a bar and restaurant manager, but we love mixing up new combinations and tend to spend far too much money on spirits to stock up our bar at home. Calamari is something we both love to eat, along with all seafood and shellfish, mostly leaning towards fresh fish restaurants at home and on holiday. The name is almost a representation of how we work together in the kitchen - Billy being the mixologist and Kayleigh the cook. Favourite recipe you’ve tried? Hmmm, this is a really tough question to answer as there are so very many! We love cooking food that’s simple and celebrates the natural flavours of the ingredients, often focusing on 5 or 6 elements. One recipe that works really well with a simple Thai papaya salad and a glass of prosecco is Korean Fried Cauliflower (even meat lovers will love tucking into it)! Where do you draw your inspiration from? Going to food markets, street food stalls and festivals is always an eye opener - seeing amazingly enthusiastic

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and passionate chefs prepping and cooking meals right there in front of you. Casual, yet exciting fresh food that can be shared with a bunch of friends is the kind of food we love. How do you both achieve a work/life balance? It’s definitely not easy! Being a teacher and managing a restaurant means we both work far too many hours and can get caught up in the stress of it all, ignoring what’s important. As we both relax and have fun through food and drink, it means no arguing over what to do with our time off - we definitely make sure that. A few times a month we always do something we enjoy together; whether it’s a food market, new restaurant, or simply cooking together. It means spending time switched off from work and focusing on our wellbeing. Also, having things booked up throughout the year always gives us something to look forward to - a holiday, a quick weekend trip away, or a reservation at a hyped-up new restaurant; it keeps to sane through work pressures. What are your favourite restaurant(s)/cuisine? Choosing a specific cuisine is impossible, but we always enjoy lots of flavour and spices, such as Thai, Indian, Mexican and Caribbean, although you can’t go wrong with a simple fresh piece of fish or an Italian vegetarian dish. But basically, we are greedy! Once again, we have a list as long as our arms when it comes to favourite restaurants. Ones that resonate with us are Blanchette in Soho, which serves French Bistro style food on small plates to share with a delicious wine menu; we would recommend sitting at the bar to get the best atmosphere. Dishoom in Shoreditch is somewhere we returned to time and time again when we lived in London, whether it was for the crispy calamari and okra fries, or egg naan roll and a delicious Chai tea. It always hits the spot. Finally, Bentley’s Oyster Bar & Grill in Mayfair has a lot of sentimental value for us both; Billy saved up all of his wages to take us there and blew a lot of money after a mere few months of us being together. We returned there in 2016 where he proposed. What has been your biggest achievement to date? Would have to be setting up as a fully functioning street food trader and trading at our first ever event last year, which was also our biggest - the Essex Food Festival. Finally, which one of you is the better cook? Ah, that’d be Kayleigh ;) The Edge 01245 348256


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Just look at the size of Jan’s breakfast compared to your editor’s??? Mind you, readers, he’s a much younger man who obviously needs to keep his strength up, so who can blame the lad. Any road, Jamaica Blue offers ‘an exclusive blend of coffee from the Blue Mountains of Jamaica and classic dishes with a twist’, so don’t pass it by next time you’re in our city centre, as it’s an ideal place to drop in and wet your whistle and refuel. As well as favourites such as Eggs Benedict and Fish & Chips, there are also some quite unusual options. Think Savoury Croissants, for instance, whilst there’s even a range of the ever more popular Vegan dishes. And that’s not to forget an ever changing variety of sweet treats and lunch items to take away with your coffee on the hoof. What’s more, you can now book Jamaica Blue for your own private function. For further details, simply contact owner Paddy (below). Speaking of whom, it’s Paddy who very recently purchased the business after being the manager of the franchise from day one. All full-time team members have also been retained and been with Paddy right from the very start, which helps create a great rapport with both regular customers and newcomers alike. Such as your very own editor, who was cajouled into the whole Jamaica Blue experience by columnist ‘Jan the Polak’ (see his column on page 11) who has forever been singing its praises. Paddy is indeed a grand chap who despite his name does not hail from Ireland. Nope, he’s a Glaswegian through and through, who now resides in Bury St. Edmunds, but makes the return trip to Chelmsford on a daily basis to help nourish all of you lovely locals. But not content with owning one Jamaica Blue outlet, Paddy already has his sights set on branch number two in the not too distant future, as “you can never have too much of a good thing”, he says! Located in Bond Street between Debenhams and John Lewis, but on the opposite side of the strada, why not pop into JamiBlu’s soon, readers, and experience its charms for yourself.

Free St. Valentine’s Chocolate & a Rose for the Lady

www.theedgemag.co.uk

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The month of February is already upon us and with it comes St. Valentines Day, the official day for lovers old and new to both show and celebrate their love for one another. But one might wonder how this national circus of over priced roses, heart shaped chocolates, plush love bugs and all manner of kitschy, furry, red paraphernalia, not to mention greetings cards for everyone from your wife to the neighbour’s dog, actually came about? Theories regarding the origins of Valentine’s Day are numerous, but most appear to be steeped in romanticism of some degree. One idea stems from the time of Emperor Claudius II, in the third century, who decided that

unmarried, single men in his army were far less distracted (without the obvious drama and complications of partners and families) and subsequently outlawed marriage. So a local priest (called Valentine), believing this to be unfair, married couples in secret, and was later ordered to be killed for defying Claudius. While the premise is that old Claudius clearly felt romance was a distraction on the battlefield, one can’t help but wonder whether quite the opposite would be true nowadays, given today’s single, young, virile males, mainly preoccupation with swiping left or right. Then again, an alternative theory, though somewhat lacking in romance, puts the origins of the day in Lupercalia, an ancient pagan festival which involved the sacrifice of a goat and a dog around the ides of February. The goat was stripped of its hide, which was then dipped in the sacrificial blood, followed by a procession around the town where women were ‘hit’ with the goat hide, as this was believed to improve their fertility for the coming year (apparently it was used for crops too - therefore one can only hope there were no vegans in Ancient Rome). But the fun didn’t stop there. The names of the single women were later put into a hat and drawn to make matches with the men for the coming year. It is reported that many of these matches resulted in marriage, so this early version of intense speed-dating would seem to have heralded at least some success, although one can only imagine the hellish alternative of being paired with a far less favourable match, for what would have undoubtedly felt like the longest 365 days of your life. In today’s world, many people are fully invested in the modern idea of St. Valentine’s Day as an official opportunity to show (and be shown) the measure of your love. Back when I was at school, the question of how many cards you received was definitely an indicator of popularity. In fact, I am pretty sure most of the kids sent cards to themselves, just to hedge their bets,

gracefully saved by the age old tradition of anonymity. Amidst the chaos of daily life, lots of busy parents seize Valentines Day as an opportunity to send a loving greeting to their significant another, and if they remember to make a reservation a month in advance, don’t double book themselves with anything/anyone else, and can manage to locate a babysitter, may well venture out for a meal in celebration of romance not being dead, rather just dormant - particularly on weeknights. Then there are those who totally shun the idea of having one official day to show the one you love how much you care. They proclaim “you should really do that every day!” But the question is, in reality, do they? If you are lucky enough to have a partner who offers regular tokens and demonstrations of their love throughout the year, then this viewpoint is absolutely valid. If, however, like most of the population, you could both do with a ‘nudge’ to send some sweet Hallmark sentiments, bribe someone to babysit, and possibly dig out some decent underwear, then the commercial fiend that is St. Valentine’s Day is definitely your friend. Stepping into a card shop during the first two weeks of February you could be forgiven for thinking there was about to be a Second Coming And if you do manage to survive the stampede with the card of your choice, a random teddy holding a love heart, or a glass that sings ‘Love Potion Number 9’, you will have just enough time to get round to the florists where they might have some roses left in stock at three times the normal price (all in the name of love, you understand - or possibly just supply and demand). So if you find yourself without cards, flowers or fancy chocolates this Valentine’s Day, whether you’re in a relationship, flying solo, or swiping right, at least you can look on the bright side and think yourself fortunate that you are not being flogged by a blood soaked goat hide, all in the name of fruitful procreation. Yet!

Chloe Elizabeth Lawrence (age 3) from Tiptree, sent in by her Grandma Sue & Grandpa Mick Wakeling of Gt. Baddow

Nyla Sherwood at just 10 months old is possibly The EDGE’s youngest ever reader! Unless, of course, you know any different, readers? Send your entries to shaun@theedgemag.co.uk Page 10

Simply forward your entries to shaun@theedgemag.co.uk The Edge 01245 348256


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Match of the Day 8/10 (no more VAR) Golden Globe Awards 8.5/10 Ricky roasts Hollywood Film Trailers No Time To Die 9/10 Bond is back!

LIFE LESSONS

POSITIVITY

Three words can be all it takes to create positive feelings amongst us. For example, "She/He said yes." Or, "I love you." Sports companies and athletes use the three word technique to create a positive mindset. Nike have ‘Just do it’ as their slogan. Or a coach might say, "We won't lose". Simple, but effective rhetoric. On the flip side, three words can also create a very negative feeling. Such as ‘Bus replacement service’, which often leads to these three other words: "For feck’s sake". The reason I mention this is after having a couple of Man Dates with Edgy (ice hockey and Jamaica Blue, mentioned elsewhere in this issue), something he was adamant about in 2020 was that he wasn't taking any more bullshit and was cutting out any crap from anyone and/or any negative situation. Meaning that 2020 is going to be his year for a positive mindset. So for Old Edgy, his motto, in three simple words, is "Take no shit". And I for one will also be thinking along these self same lines. So whatever situation, or whatever set of bad circumstances you may find yourselves in this year, try and take something positive from it and let's make sure that nothing brings us down. Let’s all learn not to ‘give a fcuk’ and ‘just do it’ instead. Following on nicely from three little words, here are some three word film and TV reviews (with ratings out of ten). Movies Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker 6.5/10 (not the best) The Gentleman 8/10 Very (bloody) enjoyable Knives Out 8/10 Cluedo, not clueless TV Golddigger 6.7/10 Above average drama How I Met Your Mother (series 1-9) boxset 8/10 TV comedy gold

www.theedgemag.co.uk

For any younger readers tuning in, when us parents advise you to apply yourself the best you can at school/college/university, please take our advice seriously and not think, ‘Oh, what does it matter?’ It absolutely does matter and can literally come back to bite you on the arse if you don’t, as I've recently found out in my quest for a totally different career path. After applying for a certain role back in August of 2019, there’s been numerous tests I've had to take online, as well as two assessment days, all of which I’ve passed with flying colours. So what's the problem, I hear you ask? Well, the problem is, after doing all of that, it appears that not applying myself better as a 15/16 year old has gone and pressed the pause button on a potential job opportunity that seemed as though I had it in the bag. My problem was not achieving the correct exam grade (a minimum of English grade C). After months of searching for my certificate and almost having to fork out £43 for a replacement jobbie, I eventually found it, and much to my despair, I saw to my horror that I‘d actually only got a bloody grade D. Gutted wasn’t the word, but what was simply cannot be used in print. When I’d applied I genuinely thought I had a grade C (it was 28 years ago after all). However, I won't let this stop me getting where I want to be as I will no longer ‘take any shit’ and ‘won't give up’. Therefore I will shortly be resitting my exam to hopefully gain the grade I need - ironically just as my daughter is going through her GCSEs at school. So just you listen to your Dad, oh daughter of mine, when he tells you to "try your very best" as your old man is speaking from experience.

H S I B B U R

IF THIS IS ART?

And whilst I’m talking shop, can I just say a big THANK YOU to the guys’n’gals at North Face in Bond Street - Ish, Hannah (a big Edge fan, as it turns out, and a bit stalky, come to think of it), Stefan, Emma, Mollie, the two Tom’s and Jasmine. You guys have all made me feel welcome from my very first day and it’s been nice being a part of the TNF ‘family’. Also Ish has kindly offered 10% OFF any North Face purchase to any readers who bring this copy of The Edge in with them! DON’T FORGET, it will most likely snow in March, so a nice warm jacket or fleece might be quite useful. Stay positive. The Polak x

Maurizio Cattelan Page 11


The Edge 280 new_The Edge 172.qxd 24/01/2020 19:47 Page 12

Last month, RS Scuff’n’Buff had their first ever advert in The Edge and it’s fair to say the response shocked us both, as you normally have to, you know, ‘give it a few editions’ to get your feet under the table, as it were. But enough of The Edge blowing its own trumpet, let’s instead get the bugle out for the team at RS (The Edge thought they’d called it that due to the fact they work on cars and RS versions are always the creme de la creme, as Del Boy used to say. But it’s simply Rob’s initials). They started out in Oyster Place (just down from where Audi used to be Audi, not bloody Aldi) three-and-a-half years ago as one of those ‘market leading franchises’ after Rob had spent years as a mobile repairer. However, they pretty soon realised that they’re ‘people persons’ who don’t like being governed by regimented rules. Hence, RS Scuff’n’Buff was born. Now two things are absolutely BRILLIANT about them. 1. The Edge is already booked in to have a couple of those infuriatingly niggling STD’s removed (supermarket trolley dents). You know the type, where the paint is not actually broken, but it looks as though a golfer has shanked his tee shot and after 200 yards of flight, the ball hits the side of your bloody motor.

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2. ‘Big Rob’. What an immediate and unadulterated legend. From the very first meaty handshake, your editor just knew it was ‘manlove’ at first sight. He is a proper man mountain of a geezer who coaches kids at rugby in his spare time (though not like King Gary does) and looks as though he could snap you in half with his bare plates (mitts) - although wife Jane, an ex-investment banker, insists he’s a ‘big softie’ really. (Really? The Edge definitely wouldn’t like to upset the big bugger. Not even by saying that he probably had his surname changed to Slade by deed poll, due to the fact he’s a massive Noddy Holder fan who does karaoke most weekends wearing a ginger wig!). But enough of the fantasy and back to the reality. It was a genuine pleasure to spend a couple of hours in the company of this particular crew as I trusted them immediately. They’re simply ‘good sorts’. And, when you come to think about it, before we ever buy anything, we always need to be sold on the people doing the selling first, don’t we? So you definitely won’t go wrong with these guys, readers. And have you seen their generous 10% OFF if you quote The Edge? It’s well worth taking advantage of, don’t you think? So why not have a good old look at the paintwork on your car and just have a think as to whether it’d benefit from being tidied up a bit. And if the answer is yes, then you know who to call, don’t you?

RS SCUFF’n’BUFF 01245 463183 or 07799 711531 Page 12

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The Edge 280 new_The Edge 172.qxd 28/01/2020 14:09 Page 13

Making the most of your skiing holiday can largely be dependent upon having the right kit, writes Michael of Skee-tex in Battlesbridge. Staying warm, dry and comfortable goes a long way to enjoying the whole skiing shebang. But with so much choice, it’s hard to know where to begin. So let’s start at the top. Since they are now lighter, slimline and much more comfortable, there really is no excuse for not wearing a helmet. What’s more, it’s now compulsory for most winter sport insurances. So take your time and try on a whole range of helmets to get the best fit, as you will be wearing it pretty much all day long, so comfort is of paramount importance.

sweat going down the mountainside, but it also needs to keep you warm while you are going back up on a chair-lift. Your base layer needs to be a thermal undergarment designed to keep you warm , but at the same time wick away moisture, thus keeping you nice and dry. Cotton thermals are a complete no-no as they retain sweat, rather than wicking it away. It’s always very important to buy good quality thermals that keep you dry, as that is what is going to keep you warm throughout each day. Next you need mid-layers. Once again, it is important that these also wick well. Keeping warm is a case of using one or two thin layers, rather than one thick fleece, in order to best regulate your body temperature. Ski jackets come in so many different makes and styles, but all should do the job of keeping you warm and dry. Jackets and salopettes are always rated on how breathable and waterproof they are. As a rule of thumb, 5,000 is good, 10,000 is very good, and 20,000 is excellent. There are even a few rated at 30,000 on the market, but these are for exceptionally extreme conditions. Don’t forget gloves, which are an extremely important consideration, especially if you suffer easily from cold hands. It’s always worth buying the best gloves you can afford. Silk liner-gloves are a worthwhile added extra too and will be worth an extra few degrees if the weather turns really cold. Neck warmers are also another useful addition, with the option to pull them up to cover the face in extra snowy conditions.

Goggles are another essential item to help protect your eyes from the glare of the sun, or to help see where you’re going in snowy conditions. It’s also a good idea to buy your helmet and goggles together so that you get a good match, making sure you don’t have an exposed forehead and nor are they squeezing down on your nose. (And you thought I was implying colour-matching, didn’t you?). Skiing puts a lot of demands not just on your body, but on your clothing too, in so far as it needs to keep you cool while you are working up a

Finally, the feet. A good pair of fitted dual-density ski socks will help keep your feet both warm and dry, whereas thick tube socks are about the worst type of sock you can wear as they usually cause sore feet. One of the most talked about subjects is how uncomfortable ski boots are. This is generally because the boots are too loose, or the wrong size. The best investment you can make, once you have got the skiing bug, is a pair of professionally fitted boots. Investing in the right products can seem both daunting and expensive. But with over 50 years of experience kitting out skiers, together with a wide range of kit, Skee-Tex are here to help you make all of the right choices at all of the right prices.

R E P O R Y P A CIT

www.theedgemag.co.uk

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The Edge 280 new_The Edge 172.qxd 24/01/2020 19:49 Page 14

Remember this page last month, folks? When I wrote about my surveying trip to Marseille with Lengthy-Boy/Lurch? Well, I’ve done another couple of tours since then, but Newcastle was definitely the most memorable. That’s probably because I lived near County Durham for two or three years when I was a reet young lad (in reet short pants). The photograph below is of me, last month, outside the chippy I used to visit on my bicycle some 50 years ago, for a bag of chips and two large pickled onions.

Can I help you?

Well if you mind your own business that’d be good for starters.

That’s what they call nostalgia, is that. But what’s weird is that everything you remember as being big, when you were 3ft tall, generally turns out not to be when you go back. I emailed my old school about a week or so before our visit, only they didn’t get back to me and nor would they let me in on the day to go visit a couple of my old classrooms. What’s more, I was gutted to learn they no longer had a swimming pool. Can you imagine that, readers, a school with it’s very own swimming pool some 50 years ago? It was practically unheard of way back then.

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The job we had to do was in Sunderland on a property with one of those sinkholes. “A bloody sinkhole?” I exclaimed to Lurch, on the drive up. “Why didn’t you tell me that before we left Chelmsford and I wouldn’t have bloody come.” (Well, it sounded reet dangerous to me, but fortunately we survived so that we can continue our surveying jaunts throughout 2020.) Because I tell you what, readers, these little trips away are important to me, because (a) they get me out of Chelmsford, where I do spend far too much of my time. And (b) you get to catch up with your best mate, which is no longer so easy, not now that he’s married with a couple of bin lids. Another thing I was really looking forward to seeing was St. James’ Park, home to the mighty Newcastle United F.C., apparently the eighth largest football stadium in the country. Rather than being situated on some anonymous trading estate, the stadium is slap-bang in the city centre and you rather get the impression that everyone - and The Edge does mean everyone - is a Newcastle United supporter, which I happen to think is lovely. There are absolutely no replica Liverpool or Manchester United kits up in Tyne & Wear. Everything is black & white stripes, so me and Lurch walked all the way around the stadium’s perimeter to pay homage, taking in statues of Sir Bobby Robson, Alan Shearer and ‘Wor Jackie’ Milburn, afore checking into the Maldron Hotel in the city centre for the neet. The Edge 077 646 797 44


The Edge 280 new_The Edge 172.qxd 24/01/2020 19:53 Page 15

Falcon Bowling & Social Club is an indoor and outdoor bowling and social club based in purpose-designed premises on Channels Drive, off Essex Regiment Way, next to the Belstead Farm Lane development on the edge of Chelmsford. Club facilities include 8 indoor bowling rinks, 2 outdoor bowling greens (one grass, one all-weather), comprehensive changing facilities, a welcoming reception and administration office, ‘The Rinks’ restaurant, ‘The Falcon Club Bar’, club shop, as well as plenty of free parking and disabled accessibility to all areas. Founded in 1908 and set in beautifully maintained gardens, the club moved to its current location in 2002 where it was able to expand the range of facilities available to its members and visitors. Since the relocation, the club has been proud to host the The Home International Series for 2019, the Denny Cup Finals (the National Club Championships) on three consecutive occasions, the televised Premier Three Completion, plus the Short Mat National & International Series each year for the past 3 years. The club regularly welcomes new members and provides an inviting atmosphere for the many visitors it receives from all parts of the UK for inter-club matches. Falcon Bowling & Social Club also offers an interesting selection of social events for its members and guests to enjoy. From regular gatherings through to bowling tours, the club is enthusiastic to offer new opportunities and new experiences to help members and visitors socialise with others who share their interests. Regular in-club events include weekly Cribbage Nights, which take place every Friday throughout the year. Bingo nights, Tribute evenings and Quiz nights are also very popular occasions. FREE Taster Sessions are available every Friday evening at 6.30pm. Throughout the year the club is also proud to support youth development to help encourage the next generation of newcomers to the sport, whilst working in conjunction with The Chelmsford Schools partnership and hosting a number of events throughout the year, including the Schools InterChallenge Cup junior training sessions which take place every Friday from 4.30 - 6.00pm and are free for 8-18 year olds. Falcon Bowling Club’s team of qualified coaches introduce young players to the art of the sport and help them to realise their game potential for both indoor and outdoor bowls.

www.theedgemag.co.uk

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If you ever find yourselves in Geordieland - and you never know, you might - here’s a couple of places that The Edge thoroughly recommends. First up is Zaap Thai Street Food. There’s absolutely nothing like it, or to touch it, in Chelmsford (Mizu, where the A12 meets the M25 at Brentwood, is as near as it gets - although why hasn’t Chelmsford got its very own Mizu?). It’s ultra fresh food, served in an instant, great value for money and Lurch and I both lapped it up. Then, for a couple of bevies, it’d be hard to beat (if not impossible, it’s that damn good) the Bridge Tavern at Akenside Hill (not to be confused with the bar at the Bridge Hotel at Castle Square, which is decent, but not in the same league). What’s more, the food there also looked exceptional, served on large, Alan Partridge style plates).

Have to say, from what I saw of Newcastle in but 5-6 hours, I was both surprised and impressed. It’s a proper city (Chelmsford’s a toy city) with bags of variety and character, plus it’s a really decent size (not too big, not too small). What’s more, the night views along the Tyne are truly staggering - I was clicking away on my phone like a proper gobsmacked tourist. Would I go back? You betcha. And, thankfully, we are, as the sinkhole job in Sunderland needs regular monitoring, so Lurch has already invited me along for round 2, and to hopefully visit Durham into the bargain. What’s more, I love the way they speak up there - I love the geordie accent - every bit as much as I dislike the scouse accent (although Length insists I should not judge a book by its cover and give Liverpool a go, as he reckons it’s well worth a visit. Lurch sure does get about a bit in Blighty, I’ll give him that). But these little overnight trips really do tick all the boxes for me, as I love seeing new places and, as I’ve said, it’s always good to catch up with your best mucker. And every now and then I also get to do a bit of the driving in his 2.2litre Mondeo avant which goes like shit off a shovel compared to my ickle motor. The only thing I don’t like about the north is the weather. Seriously, if you want to be reminded about why it is we live down here, book yourselves a weekend oop top in winter!

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Because it was reckoned to be good, The Edge figured it’d probably be disappointed. But what a wonderful, wonderful surprise, for once, to love every single minute of it, for this film certainly does not drag.

of marijuana plantations throughout Blighty, only he’s looking to sell them off and retire.

field? Hats off to him, The Edge says, for he’s played a complete and utter blinder with this particular flick. Watch out too for ‘Big Dave’ (Eddie Marsan - you’ll recognise him instantly when you see him, as he’s been in shedloads of stuff and never fails to disappoint) who is also excellent as Fletcher’s editor. Only my oh my, just you wait for the scene with the pig.

Why do I feel the urge to compare thee to a summer’s day? By that, I mean to compare Guy Ritchie with Quentin Tarantino? Probably it’s because, in The Gentlemen, surely the former’s greatest movie to date, our Guy gets the spiel/patter just right. Whereas in the last Tarantino film I saw, The Hateful Eight, OMG, I was bored to tears by the endless semantics he gave to his characters (apologies, I haven’t seen Once Upon a Time in Hollywood yet). While Matthew McConaughey is equally suave and menacing as drug lord Mickey Pearson, it’s Hugh Grant as Fletcher (a snooping hack with a long lens camera and blackmail on his mind) and Colin Farrell as Coach, who completely steal the show, so far as The Edge is concerned. Grant is as amazing as he was in his portrayal of Jeremy Thorpe in the TV production (“TV? I don’t do TV,” he initially said when offered the part) A Very English Scandal The Edge always told you Hugh could act while Farrell is plain deadpan and simply has a way with him (the leisure suits both he and his ‘Toddlers’ wear genuinely made The Edge LOL can you actually buy that stuff?).

Not being a fan of Downton Abbey, the part of Mickey Pearson’s wife, played by Michelle Dockery, was completely wasted on The Edge. “There’s no way in real life Matthew McConaughey would marry anyone as unattractive as her,” I quietly whispered to my wife, so’s not to disturb those movie goers who were avidly rustling their sweet wrappers.

THE GENTLEMEN

In short, The Gentlemen is an incredibly stylish, hilarious and foul-mouthed romp that The Edge most definitely urges you to see.

That’s what you choose, as you get older, isn’t it? And Guy Ritchie’s maturing nicely too. Sure, he has his fair share of critics, but thumbs-up to him for ditching the blonde singer, and hey, who doesn’t get panned in his particular chosen

Exist to Create

Does it really matter what the plot is? American expat Mickey has turned his back on The States in favour of a warm pint and a pickled egg - oh, and a rather large and highly profitable number

Truth is, The Gentlemen has all of the style and enough of the substance to make The Edge want to immediately return home and watch it all over again on DVD after yet again favouring Cineworld, up at Freeport, for their steeper tiers and far more comfortable seats.

When you cut to the chase, we like our movies the same as we like whichever food we choose to eat and whatever beer or wine we like to drink, so why do we ever need to apologise?

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The Edge 280 new_The Edge 172.qxd 24/01/2020 19:41 Page 18

You know when you get a dinner party invitation and you’re all nicely full after a couple of delicious courses and all you’re in the mood for is a nice, relaxing bit of chit-chat around the table, accompanied by a few extra glasses of wine? Only then the mood is totally shattered by the immortal words of your hosts: “Hey, let’s play a game!” What? Edge conversation skills are that bad, are they? But then it occurs to me: ‘Jesus, are they wanting us to chuck our car keys into their fruit bowl?’ which rather seductively happened to have a few highly polished pomegranates in it, I’d happened to notice. Stuffed to the brim, hideous thoughts of Twister crept into my mind. But thankfully we were in for a real treat and a game we’d never even heard of before called Balderdash, which involves the meaning of reet obscure words, so it does.

Page 18

How the game works is basically thus. Each player takes it in turns to draw a ‘definition card’ from the pile (loads of these cards are supplied) which has 6 words on it to choose from, plus their meanings. The other players then write down their own definitions of the dealer’s chosen word and the dealer collects their answers. So, for instance, if 4 peeps are playing, the dealer has collected answers from the other 3 peeps, as well as being in possession of the word’s correct definition. The dealer then reads out the 4 definitions to the other 3 players, including the real one, and they must decide which definition they think is the correct one, knowing that one of the definitions was their own, so they know that one’s incorrect. (We played for a couple of hours and none of us were familiar with any of the words Balderdash provided). For example, one word was: chinchery, which none of us had a clue what it meant. Of the 4 definitions read out to me by the dealer, I obviously discounted my own suggestion, which was Tatting/Needlework (my Mum used to do something she called ‘tatting’ when I was a kid, so as soon as I heard the word chinchery, I figured that ‘tatting’ would do for me!). So I now had 3 definitions to choose from, which consisted of the correct definition, which was penuriousness (extremely poor, poverty stricken), plus two other false definitions from the other 2 players (excluding the dealer). Only muggins ’ere didn’t choose the correct definition at all. Instead, I chose ‘a small door leading to the basement of a church’, which was a completely fabricated answer from one of the other players (Lurch, as it goes). So as regards the scoring, I received nil pwa in that particular round. But as well as those peeps gaining a point for selecting the correct definition, any peeps who supplied an incorrect definition that was chosen by one of the other players (in this case Lurch) also gains a point for their extremely inventive efforts/answer. Are you following? Balderdash is truly a belting game (Mrs Edge is going to procure us our very own copy), only trust The Edge when it says you honestly don’t have to have dictionarious prowess to enjoy it. You see, the true skill is coming up with your own suggestions as to what a word’s definition might possibly be, every bit as much as it is deciphering a word’s true meaning. Like cobbing, which means ‘a form of spanking using a type of paddle known as a cob’. Once again, I fell for Lurch’s ‘brick finish to a mansard roof’, which sounded plausible to me, while ignoring my wife’s offer of ‘the joining up of a patchwork quilt’ which was probably far more realistic. However, the way not to play Balderdash is to offer a meaning to a word such as bisturi (scalpel) as a ‘small French restaurant’, simply because the first 4 letters happen to be the same as bistro! We’ve got an evening lined up with the wife’s sister and her hubby soon, so I’m genuinely hoping we’ll have our very own game of Balderdash to play by then. The Edge 077 646 797 44


The Edge 280 new_The Edge 172.qxd 24/01/2020 19:42 Page 19

TO HUG OR NOT TO HUG Are you a hugger, a kisser, or a traditional hand-shaker? Personally, I’m all three, in so far as I tend to adapt to whatever I think the situation calls for. Although I don’t always get it right. To such an extent that I sometimes find myself clashing body parts with the person I am greeting, or saying goodbye to, when they go for a cheek kiss at the same time as I am going for a hug. Sometimes I think we should all wear a lapel badge that indicates our preference in order to avoid any embarrassment. After all, we’re still far more British reserve than European passione, no matter what 31st January has delivered. However, I do think we’re getting a little better at it.

ARE YOU SITTING COMFORTABLY? A friend and I went to the panto put on by our excellent local theatre on Boxing Day. Although our main theatre is very well maintained, there’s the usual bugbear in so far as whatever time patrons take their seats, there’s always a jack-in-thebox effect, as there’s never quite enough room to squeeze past without the already-seated having to stand, often scattering their precious chocolates and dropping coats and bags. My other lamentation is the seat signage; how many of us seeking our seats need to bend almost

double, looking for tiny row indicators, and then for the tiniest of numbers on each individual seat. And this is even more of a bugbear if theatregoers arrive after the lights have gone down. Considering we’re often allowed to take drinks into the theatre, would seat cup holders be such an exotic suggestion? Cinemas seem to have got this seat gap/cup holder issue sussed, so isn’t it time our theatres got up to speed? Or will profit always be the victor over comfort when it comes to packing in the punters?

DON’T BE SO TRAD, DAD! On the subject of looking at the back of people’s heads, it’s reminded me of something that often exercises my mind - abysmal haircuts of the male population! Mainly on the older man, I have to say, as younger fellows these days seem to be as particular in looking and smelling as good as their significant others. But have older wives and partners given up in their struggle to drag their man to the barber (we have to say barber as I’m sure most men would shy like a startled horse if ever the word hairdresser were mentioned to men of a certain age)? Or do older men simply not look in a mirror? I also very much doubt if any barber now whispers “Anything for the weekend, sir?” After all, all those

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AND FINALLY At the risk of repeating myself, I was recently trawling through all of the dross on my Freeview box and I was just about to give up all hope of finding anything without a heavy body count, or a hero/heroine bat-

tling aliens, when I was rewarded, oh joy of joys, with the brand new series (for me at least) of The Marvelous Mrs Maisel. Have to say, several hours later that same day, I felt completely sated and happily exhausted. I’ve also come upon another little gem of a programme that I’d like to share with you. It’s Richard Osman’s House of Games (BBC2). Admittedly I’m not in general a fan of ‘celebrity’ programming, but I’ll make an exception for this particular quiz as it’s not full of histrionics and breath-taking unnecessary pauses before announcing the eventual winner. Instead, it’s calm and clever, and also fun. Do check it out.

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little extras can now be purchased in any supermarket without fear of censure. And believe me, guys, even facial moisturiser is used without anxiety by ALL sexes nowadays, so isn’t it time you got up to speed? But seriously, you’re absolutely fooling no one with your tacky comb-overs. They’re hideous. Please be brave enough to have those ridiculous locks shorn. There’s no shame in being follicly challenged these days. On the contrary, it can even look very attractive. But for heaven’s sake, do not delude yourselves with the idea that a lack of hair on top of the bonce can be made up for by overgrowing the hair at the side of the head and then plastering it over the top with Brylcreem. Or, for heaven’s sake, growing a ponytail as a tacky distraction method.

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The Edge 280 new_The Edge 172.qxd 24/01/2020 20:00 Page 20

Back by popular demand! Hello reader/s. Happy February, everyone. Only another 11 months to go until Christmas. Speaking of which, there were some amazing deals to be had on Crimbo gifts, wrapping paper and cards in town throughout January. I hope you managed to bag your fill. Mind you, there’s never any excuse to leave your Christmas shopping until so very late in the year as we all know Christmas gifts first start appearing in the shops in October, so there’s never any real excuses, are there? Thinking about it, I think I saw my first Christmas tree outside a pub in Melbourne last October. October! So there we go. It’s hardly the 12 days of Christmas. Far more like the 12 weeks of Christmas!

DEAKS

Moving on, I have just successfully navigated ‘Dry January’ whilst also incorporating a spot of Keto dining, which is the diet that has no potato, no bread, no pasta, no rice, but lots of lovely fatty meat, eggs, avocados, spinach and broccoli. What’s not to like? It genuinely wasn’t so bad, if I’m being honest with you, and going tee-total for a month after the December I had was no bad thing either, so my liver tells me. Drink is the devil, isn’t it? Yet my life has always been closely linked to alcohol because I was always responsible for entertaining clients, whilst in return also entertaining myself on a regular basis. Don’t get me wrong, I was, and still am, just a social drinker. I’ve never felt the need to drink alone, thankfully. But it has got me into plenty of scrapes along the way, particularly while working for Coughdrop Bollock & Bellend up in the old smoke. The very first time that I got arrested (ahem!) was when I got a taxi home

EDGE Ale

to Little Waltham from Shenfield, following yet another train failure, about 18 years ago. The taxi driver quoted me £23 for the fare. Therefore I generously said I’d give him £25, including his tip, for the ride. So there we were, travelling along the A12, me soundly sleeping and the cabby doing the driving. Only then he nudged me and said it was further than he thought and the fare would now be £35. “No way, José,” I said (that wasn’t his name, by the way). So we argued loudly for about 5 minutes, with me pointing out that he’d quoted me a fare which I’d agreed upon, and that he couldn’t change it now. But then he abruptly pulled up and told me to get out of his taxi near Sainsbury’s in Springfield. However, he wouldn’t release the locks on the doors until I gave him what was on the clock, which was about £18 if memory serves. But I told him where he could stick his fare and cunningly tricked him into opening my door, after which I legged it! Upon hearing police sirens on my extremely long walk home some 10 minutes later, I hid behind a wheelie bin in someone’s front garden (I did say I’d been drinking, right?). Was that not so clever? Perhaps not so smart? Obviously not, because I could distinctly hear a copper and my taxi driver approaching my hiding place on foot when I suddenly got cramp and fell into the wheelie bin, causing both it and myself to fall onto the pavement, right in front of PC Plod. That wasn’t one of my proudest moments, obviously. But I’ve always said that if you learn from a personal travesty, then all is not wasted. And I learnt that evening that when a kindly policeman suggests you pay the taxi driver what is on the clock for getting you as far as he had, and when the same kindly policeman tells you he will get you the remainder of the way home safely in his super fast, brightly coloured motor car with cool blue flashing lights on top, then you’re best advised to take him up on his generous offer, because the alternative is a night in the cells and a £352 court fine, including costs. So I will say no more on this subject, other than to mention that the Full English at Chelmsford Police Station is top notch. Another drink related story to share with you was when myself and my Associate Director (by the way, I was a fully fledged Director of Coughdrop Bollock & Bellend by such time) took an exceedingly important client out for a posh lunch. He was very well connected and from a very wealthy family. In fact, his great grandfather was a UK Prime Minister, no less. But if I told you his name, I’d have to kill the entire readership of The Edge, and myself. But trust me, you would instantly recognise him. Anyhow, lunch was going swimmingly and before we knew it, we were on the brandies and it was 6pm. I was keen to make our excuses and put him in a cab, but my A.D. had already mentioned to him that there were some ‘team drinks’ going on close by, which our slurring client wanted to join us at and meet the rest of my guys. So we headed over to a pub with a quaint little courtyard in Mayfair. I immediately proceeded to the bar to get the drinks in, whilst my colleagues watched our major client nervously, due to the fact he was being annoyingly offensive in a Hugh Grant kind of way. Then, suddenly, without any warning whatsoever, I could see through the pub window one of my team, who we used to call Barney Rubble, due to the fact he had an uncanny resemblance to Fred Flintstone’s best mate, pummeling my client on the cobblestones. By the time I got outside to pull him off, my client’s seriously expensively tailored Savile Row suit was completely in tatters, with one arm having literally been detached from the shoulder and the blue silk lining showing through. With great haste we managed to get the client into a taxi and safely back to Daddy’s pad in Knightsbridge. However, as luck would have it, he phoned me the very next morning to thank me for such a splendid lunch! He then went on to tell me that he remembered absolutely nothing after the brandies in the restaurant, but he was sure he must have fallen through a neighbour’s hedge on the way home as his suit was ruined and his face was a bloody mess. That said, my work referral from his company increased four fold after that lunch. Fact is, I always felt we shared an unspoken little secret that he never wanted to revisit. Aside, he once told me that he was adopted at birth by his mother and father because they couldn’t have children of their own, and therefore he had never met his true birth mother. Consequently he claimed it made it very hard for him to enjoy a private dance in a strip club with an older woman. What a terrible, terrible thing, poor chap.

EDGE

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01245 348256 077 646 797 44 shaun@theedgemag.co.uk Page 20

Well, readers, I’m glad that I’ve got that off my chest. Please don’t think bad of me. I’m only sharing this stuff with you because you might find it amusing. Indeed, this is but the tame stuff that our editor is safe as houses to print in his illustrious magazine, although there’s much worse to come! Finally, I have always believed that it is better to regret the things you have done, rather than regret the things you have not done, and there, dear readers, go I. Enjoy February. Until next time... TTFN DEAKS. gmdeakin@googlemail.com The Edge 077 646 797 44


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TOP GEAR I’ve heard a bit of criticism for Top Gear post the Jeremy Clarkson/ James May/Richard Hammond era, but personally speaking, I think the new format is really rather good. Admittedly, if you are a car enthusiast, then Andrew ‘Freddie’ Flintoff and Paddy McGuinness might not be your cup of tea, but Chris Harris certainly seems to know what he’s talking about. I have recently been catching up with some of their ‘specials’ and the episode where they went to Borneo had some true ‘laugh out loud’ moments in it. And as for their Nepal encounter, there is no way on earth you would have ever got me to drive on some of the roads they were on, so fair play to them.

Catching up on Top Gear further piqued my interest in the Grand Tour, which is the show that Clarkson, May, Hammond have gone on to host, and I have to say, purely based on the ‘specials’, once again, they are very good indeed. Granted it is a well rehearsed format and slightly

www.theedgemag.co.uk

predictable at times, but still always huge fun to watch. A recent episode entitled ‘Seamen’ was interesting as the trio ditched their cars for boats in Vietnam. It further turns out that series 4 on Amazon Prime will ditch the studio audience altogether and only produce ‘specials’, which I am really looking forward to.

FEMALE COMMENTATORS I was watching West Ham v Bournemouth on TV on New Year’s Day and was really disappointed that Karen Carney was the cocommentator. I don’t know what it is, but I just find her so irritating; to such an extent that I had to turn the volume down. She is clearly very knowledgeable and is the second most capped England

women’s player (with 144 caps) and has won women’s domestic trophies, the UEFA Cup and played in World Cups and European Championships. Having said that, there are plenty of other co-commentators who are equally qualified and I can’t help but think that Karen has been selected as a pundit solely out of political correctness. I enjoy watching women’s football, but I prefer watching the men’s game and anyone who is prepared to be honest will admit that there are vast differences between the two. And it is for that reason that I would always prefer to have an ex-pro from the men’s game providing their expert opinions.

RICKY GERVAIS

Billy Hinken with the general public who share his views and are sick of all the pretentious virtue signalling from the so called A-listers, who are so out of touch with reality and have absolutely no idea.

I’m guessing that most of you have seen Ricky Gervais’ opening monologue at the Golden Globes by now. Seriously, how good was it? There are rumours that it was scripted in order to boost ratings for the awards ceremony, although personally I don’t think it was. I think Gervais knew that it would be his last time presenting the awards, is comfortable with his life and the success he has achieved, and simply used it as a platform to tell Hollywood what he thinks of them. In doing so it has resonated

My favourite line of his, to highlight the self-interest and hypocrisy, was: “If ISIS started a streaming service, you would call your agent, wouldn’t you?” Absolutely brilliant, Ricky. Thank you billy.hinken@gmail.com

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ONLY JOKING! THERAPIST

Therapist: “So what brought you two here today?” Her: “I hate it how he always takes things so damn literally.” Therapist: “And what about you?” Him: “Our 2-litre, 5-door, VW Golf.”

Q&A Q. How many dyslexics does it take to change a lightbulb? A. Steven.

FATHER & SON “Son, I’ve found a condom in your room.” “Gee, thanks, Grandpa!” “Why the hell are you calling me Grandpa?” “Because I couldn’t find it yesterday.”

5-A-DAY Freshly squeezed orange juice for breakfast, the first of your ‘five a day’. And with an added shot of vodka, that then covers two of the five.

HIGHLY FLAMMABLE Alcohol may have played a part in what I am about to tell you, I cannot be sure. But all I know for sure is that I was sitting on my sofa, enjoying a beer or two, on a late summer’s evening, while the flies are lazily flying around the ceiling light in the centre of the room. I farted and it seemed to me that a couple of them peeled away from the others to check things out. I thought to myself: ‘Farts are flammable, right? I wonder if I can fireball the little bleeders?’ So I set up my phone to record the event for posterity, got out my lighter, farted again to catch their attention, by which time half a dozen had drifted into my arse’s vicinity. As they circled closer and closer, I let rip again and sparked up the lighter. So anyway, the nurses at the hospital assured me, between giggles, that bald genitals are all the rage these days and that I’ll “look great downstairs” once all the scabs drop off.

TARZAN & JANE Tarzan and Jane make a black child. Angry Tarzan asks: “You white. Me white. Why baby black?” Jane: “You hot. Me hot. Baby burnt, not black.

40+ The best thing about being over forty? We did all our stupid stuff before the internet. There’s no proof whatsoever.

COMPETITIVE COUPLE A salesman goes out of town on business for a week. When he returns home, he says to his wife, “Hey honey, guess what? I’ve earnt £2,000 commission by selling 10 mattresses and 20 pairs of panties.” His wife replies, “Big deal, hotshot. Well let me

tell you, with just one mattress and no panties, I managed to earn twice that amount.”

COFFEE I like my coffee like I like my men; strong, independent, and as pretentious as f ck!

*

RESERVATION Receptionist: “Good morning. Are you here to see the doctor?” Me: (forgetting the word appointment) “Yes, I have, um, a reservation.” Receptionist: “In your position, I would too. This doctor’s absolutely useless.”

FACECOCK PRIVACY ISSUE As of tomorrow, Facecock will regularly sneak into your bathroom while you are on the toilet and snap photographs of your taking a poo. To change this option, go to Privacy Settings > Personal Settings > Bathroom Settings > and then unclick the Shit Photos box.

PINT OF BEST The missus was always complaining about me spending far too many nights in the pub for her liking, so I offered to take her along. “What’ll you have?” I asked. “I dunno?” she says. “Tell you what, I’ll have whatever you’re having.” So I got her a pint of best bitter and a whisky chaser. I took a big slug of my beer, she copied me. Then she choked and spat it out. “Ugh! That’s bloody rank, is that,” she spluttered. So I knocked back my whisky chaser in one and said, “Now try the Famous Grouse.” Nervously, she tentatively took a small sip and quickly spat that out too. “God, that’s even worse,” she said. “How the hell can you drink this stuff?” “Well, there you go,” I said. “Yet you think I’m out here enjoying myself every other night.”

TAKING THE MICK OUT OF PADDY Paddy was walking through town one day when he saw a shop with a notice in the window saying: ‘We sell fookin’ everything’. Well, Paddy couldn’t believe it, so he went inside. He walked up to the counter and asked the chappy, “Hey, do you really sell everything?” The chappy said, “Yes. Absolutely fookin’ everything you could ever think of.” Thinking this was too good to be true, Paddy said, “OK then. In that case, please could I have a jumper for a chicken?” The chappy replied, “A jumper for a chicken, eh? Hold on here a minute, I’ll have to check our stock out the back.” Five minutes later, the chappy returned with a brown paper bag. “Here you go,” he said. “One jumper for a chicken,” and he handed it over to Paddy. “Brilliant!” said Paddy. “How much?” “Give us three quid,” replied the chappy. “Three quid for a jumper for a chicken? That’s truly excellent value,” said Paddy. So away he went, as happy as Larry. Only on his walk home, he had a peek inside the bag and figured that maybe he’d been done after all, as at the bottom of the bag was a condom. Mad as hell, he stormed back to the shop and screamed at the chappy, “Hey, I asked you for a jumper for a chicken and you’ve given me a rubber johnny. What da fook is going on?” The chappy behind the counter replied, “Oh, sorry about that, mate. I checked out the back and we seemed to be all out of jumpers for chickens, so I gave you a pullover for a cock instead.”

DNA 46 chromosomes are responsible for making up human beings and only 44 for hamsters. So, thanks to a couple extra bits of DNA, I am unable to store up to a week's worth of food in my cheeks. Bummer.

STEAK & KIDNEY In Jamaica you can get a steak & kidney pie for £1.75, a chicken & mushroom pie for £1.60 and an apple pie for £1.50. In St Kitts and Nevis a steak & kidney pie will cost you £2.00, a chicken pie (without mushrooms) £1.70 and a cherry pie can be yours for just £1.75. In Trinidad & Tobago, you can get a Kate & Sidney pie for £2.50, or two for £4.00, while the chicken & mushroom pie will set you back £2.25, or two for £3.75. They also offer meat & potato pies for £2.00, or two for £3.50. Meanwhile, their apple pies and cherry pies are often sold for £2.00, or two (any combination) for £3.50. So there you have it. Pie rates of the Caribbean.

14 DAY DIET Not wanting to brag, but I’ve just completed the all new 14 day diet in as little as one hour and twenty six minutes.

WATCH My lesbian next door neighbours have just given me a lovely new timepiece for my birthday. I really like it, but I think they totally misunderstood when I said to them, “I wanna watch”.

DEFT GLANCES Kylie Minogue, Robbie Williams and Elton John are walking through the park. Suddenly, without warning, one of Kylie’s stiletto heels snaps and she falls forwards and gets head stuck between some railings (hey, it’s a joke, so please don’t question the detail too much). Sensing an opportunity, after a couple of deft sideways glances to check that no-one is about, Robbie sets about Kylie like a bull in a proverbial china shop. Once completely sated, he turns to Elton and says, "Your turn, old boy." But Elton immediately bursts into tears. "Whatever’s the matter?" asks Robbie. Elton sobs, "My head won't fit between those railings."

DENTAL APPOINTMENT An Essex girl turned up for her six monthly dental check-up. “Open Wide,” her dentist instructed. “I can’t,” she replied. “This chair has arms.”

Q&A How do you tell your wife you’ve seen her on Tinder?

HAIRDRESSER So I went to see my hairdresser and she said to me, "How would you like me to style it?” I said, "Like Liam Gallagher.” So she slipped on a parka, pulled the hood up and said, "Alrrright knobhead. How’d ya wan’ it mown, then?”

SNIFFER DOG A copper with a sniffer dog caught up with me at my flat the other day. "My dog tells me there are drugs on this premises,” he said to me. "You think I’m on drugs?” I laughed, “You’re the one with the talking dog.”

All jokes published are supplied by Edge readers. Please send your ‘egg yokes’ to shaun@theedgemag.co.uk


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For a while now, I've had Olde Edgy asking me what it is about our local ice hockey team, the Chelmsford Chieftains, that makes it so appealing and important to not just my family, but to so many others too, writes The Edge’s chief ice-hockey correspondent, Jan ‘The Polak’ Attrell. Edgy understood football had always been my first love in sport, but hadn't really been able to get his head around why I've gone from regularly attending matches (or watching it as much as possible on TV) to not really being bothered about it as much. Because these days, one thing’s for certain; I definitely give far more of a ‘puck’ about a sport I'd never really mentioned to him in the whole time of us knowing each other. So I figured it was best to actually try and get him along to a game so that he could make up his own mind about it, which came to fruition on Sunday 22nd December, when he informed me he was supposed to be attending a Carol Service (he’s deffo not so rock’n’roll as he once was, readers). So far, this season has been a pretty successful one for the Chieftains, following on from our play-off winning ways of last year. As always, with any sport at any level, there are bound to be ups and downs, some testing moments, but also, if you’re lucky, a fair few highs. Well, us Chieftains’ fans have certainly had a mixture of all of the above, but it’s always great to be along for the ride. Fortunately coach Joe Wilson has built a squad with both flair and a work ethic to be proud of. It's that core value that has got us through so many difficult moments and games this term, including numerous injuries to key players, not to mention work commitments which have sometimes kept players away from big games, thus leaving the squad extremely short come match days. In fact, to top it all, we also had three players retire due to not being able to commit to a much bigger fixture schedule this term. Yet it’s the passion and desire that filters through to us fans and always leaves us looking forward to the next game and the next one, no matter what the result of our previous matches. The fixture Edgy was in attendance for was a real cracker, as we were playing a team that had just beaten the team, the very night before, who had been two places above us and sitting pretty at the very top of the league (are you following?). So suddenly this fixture had a much more significant meaning to it than perhaps it had done a couple of weeks prior. Chieftains can often have a tendency to start games rather slowly, but on this particular night, it was like the players all wanted to give us an extra early Christmas present as they came out all guns blazing and by the end we’d managed to keep our first clean sheet of the season while also ‘pucking’ 7 past Oxford’s net minder and getting us that little bit closer to genuinely chasing for the title. In fact, the only thing missing from the match was the usually obligatory ruck on the ice, although all things considered, it as a great way to see out 2019. But as much as me and my family have fallen in love with the Chieftains, the sport, and have made so many new friends from the ice-hockey family and community, I appreciate it's not going to be everyone’s cup of tea, and so it unfortunately proved for Olde Edgy, who didn't quite seem to ‘get’ the excitement he generally gleans from watching old clips of George Best dribbling past six players before putting it in the back of the old onion bag (I even caught him rubber-necking someone's iPhone that was streaming a Premiership fixture at one point)! However, I guess that sitting next to someone who was continually farting (not me or Mrs Edge, I hasten to add) didn't help his overall demeanour on the night in question. But he did say he was glad he’d experienced what me and my family have taken to the bosom of our hearts and he certainly appreciated the community spirit side of things that has drawn us all in, not to mention the magnificent efforts owner Derek Bartlett has made in keeping the club going, all out of his own pocket (as well as him putting Mr & Mrs Edge on the ‘guest list’ of yet another sell out fixture at very short notice). On the flip side, Olde Edgy’s missus certainly seemed to enjoy herself and, like my wife and daughter, thought it was far more enjoyable than going to watch a game of footie. So who knows, maybe there'll be one new Chieftains fan created in ye olde ‘House of Edge’ after all? Come to think of it, Mrs Edge also won a bloody huge bar of Cadbury’s chocolate in the Chieftains’ seasonal ‘Best Christmas Jumper’ competition and seemed more than happy to ‘flash her puds’ at any given opportunity (which we were most grateful for, f’narr). So why not check out Chieftains’ remaining fixtures, pack up a backpack with whatever food and drink you desire (and yes, you can even take in your very own booze to matches, if you so desire) and get yourselves along to a game real soon to make your own minds up as to whether the quickest team sport out there just might be for you.

# letsgochieftians www.theedgemag.co.uk

CHELMSFORD CHIEFTAINS REMAINING NIHL DIVISION 1 HOME FIXTURES

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As you get older and wiser, you’re still able to have blinding moments of revelation when you suddenly realise that what other people are talking about is really coming true. For Jeremy Clarkson, it was during the filming of his recent series of the Grand Tour, when he travelled down the Mekong River and realised that long parts of it were drying out due to Climate Change. My epiphany occurred a couple of years ago in Mauritius when I was stuck for over two hours in a traffic jam in Port Louis. Trust me, it was even worse than Chelmsford during rush hour, or the North Circular after a Spurs match. I suddenly realised that whatever we are trying to do in the UK is never going to make a significant impact on a global scale, where matters are accelerating to our detriment. Mauritius, whilst a pleasant island in the middle of the Indian Ocean, is only one-tenth the size of Wales, yet there are over 500,000 cars on it with a density of 630 cars per square mile (twice that of the UK). If this little island can have so many cars producing potent carbon emissions, what does that say about the changes we’d have to make to decrease pollution and ultimately reverse the current global change that is occurring? So, how do we fix the problem? Let’s start with the obvious changing our motor car habits. One simple fix would be to ban all cars from city centres, which is going to be tried in London. This will be combined with both diesel car restrictions and the expansion of the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) to encompass inner London, and will in the near future be copied by other major Metropolitan areas in the UK. So, should we all change over to electric cars or hybrids (which don’t really answer the pollution problem)? The Government is already making plans to force us to change over to electric vehicles (EV) in the next 10 years. The first consideration is, EVs aren’t cheap. Prices range from £25k - £160k and if you change to an equivalent electric car, it’s going to cost you 20-30% more plus an extra 15-20% to run and insure. Secondly, who’s going to buy your old petrol/diesel car if we’re all changing over to electric? Do we all have to buy brand new EVs, or will there be a significant second-hand market we can tap into (but I don’t think there will be)? And who’s going to buy an out of date, second-hand EV with poor battery performance, even if such are available? If you buy a cheaper EV, such as a Smart/Nissan or Renault, the range is pretty limited, and if you don’t want to hang around a motorway

service station for at least 4 hours every 90 miles or so, you’ll have to buy a vehicle with a better range, such as Tesla, BMW or Jag, whose prices start from £65k upwards. With the Government earning over £30 billion from Petrol Duty, do you really think they won’t add some extra forms of taxation onto EV charging and usage, as that would be an awfully big black hole to fill.

CONFESSION TIME Here’s a terrible confession from a dedicated Spurs supporter; I HON- ESTLY DON’T LIKE THE NEW TOTTENHAM STADIUM. Its far too big. We’ve lost that lovely, cosy Spursy feeling. In the old days, as you used to enter the West Stand, you could smell the grass and almost touch the pitch. Not any more. I just feel as if I’m an unwelcome but tolerated guest, rather than one of the faithful. We always put up with the usual poor or indifferent performances, nodding that: “It’s Spurs. What do you expect?” But nowadays, with the debt-hanging heavy, we’ve lost that little bit of soul. Okay, so we now have an in-house brewery with glasses that fill from the bottom up! We also have the ‘Spurs Signature Pie’ and ‘Beef Brisket Hamburgers’, as opposed to the ‘Kosher Hot Dog’. But where oh where are the Salt Beef Bagels they used to serve right outside the ground? And getting there and back is now a total nightmare. Whilst there’s been a huge increase in people attending the matches, there’s been no significant improvement in the transport infrastructure. Despite the attempted use of shuttle-buses and coaches, there still remains the problem of vast numbers of cars being parked all around the ground which totally gridlocks the local roads for hours upon end. In the old days, I could leave the ground after a Saturday 3:00pm kick-off and order a Chinese take-away to pick-up at 7.30pm in Chelmsford. But nowadays you’re lucky to get back home in time for ‘MOTD’ and a mug of cocoa! The Edge 01245 348256


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dying an advert for a stomach medicine of the time. Warning. Extremely juvenile column follows.

“Has the bottom fallen out of your world? Take Andrews Liver Salts and have the world fall out of your bottom”.

Have you had your dinner yet? If so, read on. If not, you’d be best advised to leave this for later.

Yup. That’s cleanser.

It’s been eight years that this column has dribbled through the internet cable from the US to Chelmsford. In that time there have been several attempts to explain the cost, intricacies and downright stupidity of the US healthcare system. So many as to have bored the writer, let alone the reader. So we won’t put the spotlight on the downsides again. No, this month we’re going to focus on a more positive aspect of the US system, and that’s the priority given to preventative medicine. It’s true that in recent decades the NHS has made good progress towards screening women for cervical and breast cancer. But those two seem to be the exception. Whether that’s because the common male problems are more difficult to screen or that men always find an excuse not to do it is arguable. Maybe a bit of both. Most of us are very happy to say “I’ll do it next month” and then forget about it for a year. Out here, once you’ve got yourself involved with a Primary Care Physician (PCP), which is more or less the same as a GP in UK terms, you are nagged constantly to have all sorts of tests on a regular basis. Of course the cynical way to look at this is that he or she can charge the insurance company every time they do something for you. So there’s a huge financial incentive to get you involved in some healthcare act as often as possible. True, and it’s very likely that plays a part. But it’s also very clear that the PCP does have your best interests at heart and, just as importantly, gives enough of their time to understand you properly.

shaun@theedgemag.co.uk

Anyway, all of that is by way of lead up to a tale related to preventative medicine that will, if you are male, have you chuckling, because no matter how old and sophisticated you consider yourself, anything to do with toilets is funny. Or, for the female of the species, going “Yueuughh – I don’t need to know that.” It concerns the once a decade or so colonoscopy you are, er, invited/advised/ordered to have out here to check for colon cancer and other nasty stuff in the colorectal region. The procedure itself is no big deal, because they give you lots of lovely drugs to keep a smile on your face and your rear end nicely relaxed. No, it’s the 24 hours before hand that constitutes a circus performance. Firstly, for that whole day you are allowed no food. OK, most of us can manage that easily enough and you might even lose a few pounds, which is good. The real fun starts at 5:00pm when you have to take your first dose of cleanser. Now, ‘cleanser’ is a mild mannered word for what is actually a violent and evil substance. Those of a certain age will remember the old Monty Python sketch paro-

It tastes absolutely revolting, but you still have to get a pint of the stuff inside you. Then another pint of water. Then another pint of water. Then sit down and wait for a bit of cleansing to occur. It takes about an hour. The next two hours are distinctly interesting. Make that uncomfortable. Or horrible. Andrex accumulates a small fortune from colonoscopies. After a while it settles down and you go to bed, setting the alarm for 4:00am so that you can get up to enjoy some more cleansing. The whole rigmarole occurs again and by the time you’re done with this second bout you’re pouring pure water in at the top and pure water is coming more or less straight out at the other end. You have been cleansed my brother. Hallelujah. A thought occurs. Is this what Gwinnie Paltrow does for fun? Strange lady indeed. Anyway, after that it’s off to the gastro-man and two hours later you’re on your way home, hopefully with a clean bill of health. In fact, a bill of health as clean as your colon. By now you’re starving, so a visit to the nearest Subway is in order and five minutes later your squeaky clean digestive tract is processing roast beef, cheese, tomato and spicy mayo. So it’s probably dirty again already, but do you care? Do you heck. And on that somewhat revolting thought… Anon.

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TW@TTER

KiNGPiN

cinema 42 years later, in December 2019, to watch the final entry in the Star Quite without meaning to, it would Wars saga, equally as nervous as I was appear that I’ve finally started to excited. I know the preceding two films embrace certain aspects of social in this new trilogy have been divisive, media. That’s not say I don’t find the particularly The Last Jedi, but I loved phrase ‘social media’ instinctively The Kingmeister reports them, and I was worried that they cringe-inducing, and I still hold firmly to wouldn’t ‘stick the landing’ with the the belief that 99% of it is utter nonfinale. sense and a forum for narcissistic idiots I’m not about to go into detail (this isn’t to show-off to gullible idiots, or for idiots a review), but I was absolutely spellto argue with other idiots about idiotic bound from start to finish and I loved stuff. However, that being said, I have every single second of it. I even actualto admit that I’m quite the fan of Twitter these days. ly surprised myself as the credits Granted, I’m about 13 years behind the began to roll by tearing up. When we curve on this one, but I think it’s good got outside, my partner Lou asked me to give these things a chance to settle if I’d enjoyed it, but I was too choked down and make sure they’re not just a up to reply at first. I’m just not a crier, flash in the pan before devoting any and it’s rare that I shed a tear, but this time to them, as I’m always telling peowas the end of a story I’d fallen in love ple on my ‘MySpace’ page. Although to with as a child, something that has be perfectly honest, I cannot recall why literally given me thousands of hours of I suddenly decided to open an account, pleasure throughout my life. When I but I have a sneaking suspicion Donald think about it like that, I suppose it’s Trump was involved. not so surprising, but I’ve never done As I’m sure you’re already aware, anything like that before. Orange Donny’s Twitter account is a When you break it down, Star Wars goldmine of hilarious and horrifying has all the ingredients, in all the right lunacy, and if you’re on Twitter and not amounts, to stir together into an iconic The trick to tweeting Donald is using very small words following the great satsuma of the free saga. From the amazing world-building media in general, and I have little time for Facebook, world, then you’re definitely missing out. Almost as of George Lucas to the sublime John Williams score Instagram and the like. But for now, at least, I’m having though it’s part of a special offer, diving into the com(and I still get goosebumps every time I hear the main a lot of fun on Twitter, and it’s all thanks to Donald ments section of one of his tweets also gifts you the theme) to the perfect casting, it was lightning in a bottle opportunity to harangue, lambast (and other words they Trump. and I’m not at all surprised that 40+ years and $65 bilIt’s almost enough to make me hope he gets re-elected wouldn’t understand) hundreds of right-wing imbeciles. lion later it’s still going strong. in November. Donald’s tweets have become guilty little slices of Luke Skywalker was the perfect hero on the classic social junk food to me, each one coming with a free hero’s journey, Han Solo was effortlessly cool as the THE END OF AN ERA side-order of MAGA hat-wearing simpletons to annoy charming rogue, while Princess Leia was doing the On 27th December 1977, Star Wars was released in by being all liberal and enjoying socialised medicine ‘ass-kicking strong female lead’ decades before people the UK. A couple of weeks after that (shortly before my and not wanting to bomb Muslims. It’s also amazing to suddenly decided it had never been done before 3rd birthday), my parents took my brother and I to the me that I can insult both the President of the United (Sarah Connor and Ellen Ripley would also like a word States of America and the Prime Minister of the UK in Odeon cinema in Romford to watch it, and so began about that nonsense). less than a minute, without even leaving my chair. my 40+ year love affair with arguably the greatest sciWhile Star Wars may be science fiction, the story it tells It’s also worth mentioning that we’re very lucky to live in ence-fiction franchise of all time. is classic fairy tale stuff. Take away the sci-fi and a society where I can tell the leader of the free world I’m being perfectly serious when I say the earliest you’ve got evil emperors, princesses, sword-wielding that my Prime Minister would be happy to gargle his memory I can recall with any clarity is sitting in that cinknights, monsters and wizards. It’s a story we’ve all plums and not get arrested or shot for it. Lots of people ema and being terrified that Luke, Han and Leia were heard a hundred times before in one iteration or anotharen’t that lucky, so I see it is as my moral duty to going to be crushed in the Death Star’s giant trash er (and you can say that about any story) and it’s as throw the odd bit of light abuse at our leaders every compactor. though tales of high adventure, daring and courage, now and again. That’s genuinely how much of an impact it had on me. sacrifice and redemption, love and hate, good and evil Joking aside, I’ve had some excellent mini discussions Like many other people around my age, I’ve literally have all been specifically designed to implant themand debates with people all over the world about poligrown up with the Skywalkers, and so I walked into the selves firmly in our subconscious, which in a way I tics, climate change and (the big one) Star Wars, suppose they are. amongst other things, and I like being able to read I was both elated and a little sad when I walked out of opinions straight from the horse’s mouth, rather than that cinema just a few weeks ago, and while I wasn’t second hand through the lenses of various media jumping down the stairs making light-saber noises like outlets. I did back in ’77, Star Wars can still make me feel like It’s refreshing to be able to read something said by a that, and I think we all need something that can make politician, celebrity or activist and know that it’s actually us feel like a little kid again. what they said and completely unfiltered. Every media A few years ago, my friend asked me to go and watch outlet has a bias, whether it’s unconscious, subtle, or the last Harry Potter film with her. I hadn’t seen any of more blatant, such as the Daily ‘Hitler was a Liberal the other ones, or read any of the books, although I Snowflake’ Mail. I think Twitter is a genuinely valuable knew the general gist of the story, and I remember resource for stripping out the media middle-men and reading something free of spin or deliberately taken thinking it was weird seeing all these crying people out of context or misquoted. outside the cinema, only now I totally get it. They’d Now I know I said earlier that social media was a place grown up with it, and in the case of Harry Potter, a lot for idiots to argue with idiots, so in the spirit of full of them would have literally grown and aged alongside disclosure, I should also say that I myself have also the characters. It was the end of an era for them, just had some really good arguments on there. Yes, it’s a like it was with Star Wars for me, and it must have childish waste of time, but sometimes you just can’t surely left a pretty big hole. help it. My personal favourite, so far, has been an arguRise of Skywalker might be the last tale in that saga, ment with a West African Shaman (apparently) off the but there are always more stories to tell and it’s a big back of one of Greta Thunberg’s tweets after he started universe, so it won’t be the end of Star Wars, and I randomly interjecting nonsense about white men hope I get another 40 years to explore it, although I having no souls and ‘white guilt’, so I gently pointed out know these new tales won’t have the same emotional that he was clearly a racist moron and it all went nicely impact on me. After all, you only get lightning into a downhill from there. bottle once. However, I don’t think I’ll ever really be a fan of social Page 26

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TOTALLY TRACIE SMILE IF YOU’RE HAPPY! For me, last year was an awakening. I was inundated with work and did lots of travelling in order to help ‘find myself’. But I also conquered one of my biggest fears - the dentist - yet in a really weird way. I have a UK dentist who is absolutely lovely, but advised I needed countless filings, root filings and new crowns, which would take about 8 visits spaced throughout the year at a cost of over £5k, which would not even be for the latest ceramic crowns, I was faced with a bit of a quandary. So I kept putting it off, until late one night, when I was channel flicking, I stumbled upon a documentary about ‘Health Tourism’ and people going abroad to get their teeth done. They were all positively raving about it, so thus began my extensive research. Then, by sheer coincidence, a work project came up that would take me to Poland. So I contacted Index Medica and spoke to their UK based consultant Kevin Stowe (Tel. 07464 688269 Indesxmedicauk.co.uk if you’re interested), who was just amazing. I explained to him the history of my teeth and what needed to be done and he arranged for me to go to their clinic in Poland and took care of everything, and I do mean everything. Included in the price was even a beautiful hotel and airport pick-up. However, in between my arranged appointment and my stay in Poland, I must confess I got the wobbles! What was I thinking? Was I mad? Everyone was saying to me, “What on earth are you doing? You will come back toothless and be eating through a straw.” So I rang Kevin in tears and asked, “Will I return home with no teeth at all?” To which he laughed and said, “That’s never happened to any of our patients yet and we don't intend for you to be our first.” So I then consulted with our very own Ed(itor) at ‘Edge Towers’ for his advice, and he was just the best. He said, “Look, Tracie. I know nowt about teeth. But trust me on this, just head for the old Jewish Quarter

I arrived on a Sunday evening, at Krakow Airport, the week before Christmas, and a lovely chauffeur whisked me away in a beautiful car to a fantastic 5-star hotel where the staff greeted me with tea and pastries before showing me to my wonderful room. The next morning I was whisked off to the clinic, which was state of the art, and I met with Stefan, a German man, who was very businesslike, while I was a gibbering wreck. Then I went off to be X-rayed and 3D scanned. Throughout this time, Stefan kept instructing the lady to take more and more scans, before we returned to his office where he spent ages explaining the scans and the procedures. He even went on to say, “But my team need to start straight away if you want all of this work carried out by Thursday and be on the plane home with your new teeth for Christmas.” So within minutes I was whisked off to be shown what my teeth would look like in a couple of days time on a computer, before they got to work. And do you know what? I never felt a thing. Whatever their pain relief is, it’s far superior to what we have over here (Google ‘The Wand’). By that very afternoon his team had finished all my fillings, while my old crowns were off, replaced by temporary ones, which were better than the ones that had been in place. And by 5pm I was back in my hotel with no painkillers at all because I never even needed any. I then went out to dinner in the evening and simply carried on with my work. On the Thursday I returned to the clinic at 9am and by 10.30am I had the most amazing teeth I have ever had. I shed tears of joy and hugged the dentists before Stefan came in and said, “Have we done what you wanted?” I cried, “You have completely surpassed my expectations.” To which he replied, “I never, ever promise more than I can deliver.” His team then gave me the most amazing smiles. Nothing was too much trouble. I had a girl assigned to me throughout, just to make sure I was okay. Only my next shock was the bill - just £940.00 for all of the filling work, scans, consultations, hotel, chauffeur and the most amazing top of the range ceramic crowns which both look and feel so totally amazing. Of course, this is not for everyone and I don't advocate leaving your dentist at home. But for someone, like me, who could not stand 8 visits per year and a £5k dental bill, it was the best. Plus I had the best time working in Poland and thankfully finding my smile once again.

tracie123@aol.com

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136 MOULSHAM STREET, CHELMSFORD. TEL: 01245 290099 Page 27


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Max Headroom’s

BIZARRE NEWS MAN TRAUMATISED BY TOE-SUCKING BURGLAR

TOEN POR

A man has been traumatised after waking up in the middle of the night to find a burglar sucking his toes. The victim (20) told the intruder that he didn’t have any money, but the masked burglar responded, “That’s alright, I’m flush. I only broke in to have a suck of your toes.” However, they then began to fight, and the burglar claimed he was about to pull a gun from his pants, only grabbed his own genitals instead. Thankfully, he didn’t have a gun, and the victim managed to push him out of his bedroom, down the stairs, and back out into the street. After leaving, the burglar smashed the victim’s car windscreen and began shouting, “WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU, MAN? WHAT ARE YOU SO HUNG UP ABOUT?” while waking up a few of the neighbours in the process. Police were immediately called to the scene in Great Baddow and brought sniffer dogs along in the hope of tracking the foot fetishist down. Yet sadly, to date, no arrests have been made. However, they did manage to take swabs of DNA from between the victim’s toes, but have not yet come up with any matches on their database. No similar cases have since been reported in the Chelmsford area.

HARD BOILED EGG

BRAINTREE FREEPORT

Page 28

A clip showing an easy way to remove the shell from a hard boiled egg has attracted a lot of attention on social media, which pretty much says it all, don’t you think, readers? The 10 second recording shows a man dropping a hard boiled egg into a cup before filling it with water and that’s about as riveting as it gets. He then places his hands over the top of the cup and vigorously shakes it from side to side. The egg is then lifted out and the cracked shell is pinched at the bottom (“Ohhh matron”) and comes off in one complete piece. This amazing trick was shared on Twitter with the caption 'Eggxactly how to peel a boiled egg', where it racked up more than 3,000 likes and almost 750 comments from complete and utter morons. Although some folk were apparently sceptical as to the authenticity of this scheme, many found it worked a treat after giving it a go themselves. One replied: "Wow! It really works." A second wrote: "Now that’s a beautiful thing." While others added their own tips, such as: "You forgot to mention that you need to do this while the egg is still hot.” And: "The water needs to be cold, due to the fact that the egg is essentially being 'shocking' out of its shell.” Apparently you can do the same thing with tomatoes and other thin skinned vegetables, and fruit, readers. But since when did you last bring a tomato to the boil? FFS. The Edge 01245 348256


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MOTCO

Man on the Clapham Omnibus DECISIONS

It was sitting in a small traffic queue a few days back that my mind started meandering about decisions. It wasn’t the usual decision, i.e. What would go best on the front of the car, (a) rocket launcher or (b) flame thrower for my fellow road users. No. It was the car in front. A spanking new Mercedes Benz SUV, of sorts, on trade plates. It was obviously being taken on a test drive as there were a couple sat in the front, but crouching between the seats, in the back, was the salesman. Who was no doubt giving them the “Oh, and here’s the toaster” spiel from his crouched, uncompromising position between the backs of two seats. The car circled the roundabout near B&Q and headed back in the direction of the showroom, a total of about 1.5 miles at most, which was hardly a testing expedition. So my brain started to churn. In reality, the prospective purchasers will drive that vehicle around the block one more time before deciding whether or not to buy it. In fact, they will probably spend more time walking around it looking at it than actually test driving it. Although to be balanced, many dealers do offer a 48-hour test drive to give us punters a chance. But the mad thing is that this particular vehicle starts at £57,000 and they will pretty much make up their minds based on a 10 minute nip round the block. Yup, just consider that number. Particularly when my first house cost £25,500 back in 1982. For most people, buying a new car is their second biggest life purchase; houses are generally the first. And the same logic applies. We employ very similar tactics to those of buying a car. We visit a house. And based on that second visit there will then be a discussion. Not a long one, generally. Before we make an offer. An offer we then take a loan out of up to 25 years to pay back those thousands of pounds we have borrowed. Plus interest. Yet the ratio of time spent making that decision against the cost and magnitude does not logically compute, especially against time spent for other purchases of much less importance. Then we come to sodding Trip Advisor. We fancy a night away and choose a hotel. There is the obligatory peruse through T.A. Yes, it has a 97% very good rating from a gazillion reviews, while 2.5% thought it was just ‘good’. But guess what? Where do we choose to focus? On the 0.5% who felt it was poor, that’s where. Just a handful of people had a bad experience and we will now carry out an investigation that ‘Looootenant Sherlock McMarple’ would be proud of! A hotel room. A one-off

purchase for under a couple of hundred quid, most likely, and a purchase you can walk away from the very next morning, if you want to. This is why the house decision does not compute, particularly when we agonise and carry out exhaustive research on such small things. I know, because I do it myself. So let’s do the learning bit now, as is my style. What is a decision? Decision-making can be regarded as a problem-solving activity, yielding a solution deemed to be optimal, or at least satisfactory. It is therefore a process which can be more or less rational or irrational and can be based on explicit or tacit knowledge and beliefs. Thinking about that and the car. The wife says the car is irrational as it is too big and bases her opinion on tacit and explicit knowledge. “It’s like a bloody tank,” she observes. And she is right. But the husband has an irrational belief, and bugger all else, that Mrs X will be much safer going shopping in a tank. There is the problem solving, although Mrs X didn’t know she had a problem whilst shopping in their large BMW saloon in the off-road nightmare that is Chelmsford. The husband wants the car, talks wife round, and there it is, problem solved. Not optimal, but satisfactory. So, dear readers, we have all the options explained from those two sentences alone about our decisions Professionally, I am paid to make decisions. Big one at times, and I do it based on the facts before me. Simples. Privately, I am very different and I must refer to an unlikely source of wisdom. Marilyn Monroe. She once said, and even possibly lamented, “Ever notice that ‘what the hell’ is always the right decision?” I think that’s spot on, because at least it’s a decision made. After all, the roadsides are full of squirrels who failed to make a decision. Anyways, I cannot sit here passing the time. I have got to decide what to write about next month. Yours aye,

Beaulieu Park Housewives

A Beaulieu Park Wife’s Diary in which names have been tweaked to spare blushes and exposed breaches to Pre-Nup Agreements. The Caribbean trip is all but a distant memory, along with the tan, so thoughts now turn to Valentines’ Day. I’m a bit of a romantic, if I’m being totally honest with you, or maybe it’s just that I look forward to any excuse to get kitted out in a new outfit, heels, spray-tanned and blow-dried to within an inch of my life, before being spoiled rotten by my significant other. That’s right, there’s no ‘Dine in for Two’ chez Nicole and Nat. He knows that if he even dared to suggest such a thing, he’d be exiled to one of our spare bedrooms for the rest of the year as quick as you can say “unexpected item in the bagging area”. I expect nothing less than candlelight, roses, a gift in a boutique bag which literally screams “expensive product inside” and ideally an invitation to somewhere new and exclusive - as I say, I’m a hopeless romantic at heart. We typically go into London for a meal and a hotel stay after depositing Mini-Moi with some selfless relative (who may indeed be ‘Din[ing] in for £20’). I don’t feel guilty about it though. If they only made the minimal effort to buy food which they unsleeve, whack in the oven for thirty-five minutes and serve with a glass of cheap pink cava, I’m sure we’re not undermining any grand, passionate plans they might have had otherwise.

Romance and wining & dining aside, it’s actually really nice to be over January the month which gifts us National Divorce Day and Blue Monday - which is officially the most depressing day of the year. Is it any wonder that people completely lose their shit during January? I mean, even Harry and Meghan ‘Megxited’! Who the hell would give up access to a sizeable public purse as well as having to pay back all the funds for renovating their ultra posh pad? It wouldn’t have happened in any other month, I bet you. Questionable decisions amongst our circle did indeed happen last month, and the effects are still reverberating into Feb. Paul commenced divorce proceedings against Leanne. We all knew it was coming, after her multiple affairs, so his actions haven’t been surprising at all. Leanne’s response, on the other hand, has shaun@theedgemag.co.uk

certainly got the tongues wagging. She has started inviting ‘banker boy’ (the bit on the side who ultimately caused the demise of the marriage) round to the house when Paul is away on business. Her view is that the divorce is underway anyway, so she’s got nothing to lose, and whilst she has two children in the house for whom she is the main carer, Paul can hardly throw her out. Only I would argue that she’d then actually have three kids indoors, as ‘banker boy’ really is just that all groomed, eyebrows-shaved, head-veneered, a straight outta ‘Love Island’ type. Obviously, she only ‘looks after’ this one of a night time, when the other two are in bed, but I’ll bet she probably has to get his mum’s permission to come around to play a bit of adult Twister with her. It’s certainly got the neighbour’s tongues wagging, as does Leanne’s new found love for any attire which makes her look like a Hollywood sex worker, before she was rescued by Richard Gere!

Talking of dogs and bad decisions (sorry Leanne!), the whole world seems to have gone puppy mad at the start of this year. I think I may have previously aired my disdain for anything with four legs in the house, unless it’s a table. My general desire to keep the house all Hinch-y absolutely forbids the presence of pets, but sadly not so for many of our friends. They are either adopting mangy mutts from the sunny climes of Spain or Cyprus, or adding themselves to a lengthy waiting list for the latest ‘tea-cup’ or ‘poo’ breed - yep, it appears to me that these days unless your ‘POOch’ is indeed a ‘poo’, you are about as on-trend as the M&S Womenswear department: Cockapoo, Cavapoo, Maltipoo, Pomapoo, Shihpoo; I mean, really?? The list is endless. Give me a clean floor and pockets devoid of biodegradable poop bags any day. So, love is all around me, whether it’s the luxury, fragrant, floral, chocolatey type that I subscribe to, or the type that makes Royal Family members crave exile, the sordid salacious Leanne ‘love’, or the type which makes you run after a furry friend and scoop up their steaming deposits on a cold winters morning. All I hope is that Nat doesn’t buy me a sodding puppy for V.D., otherwise he’ll most certainly be in the dog-house!

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I'm going to assume you're sitting on the 7.31 to Liverpool Street, watching the drizzle run down the carriage windows, mulling over your latest Council Tax bill, whilst the mouth breathing passenger next to you gawps aimlessly at their iPhone 11 that cost more than your summer holiday to Cyprus. In short, I guess you’re feeling thoroughly miserable. But hey, it's also only 359 days ’til Christmas, writes Karyn Ambridge. So why not just sit back and enjoy a little tale from someone who used to do the very same - until I realised that the graveyards flashing by are full of people with broken gold watches from long, loyal service (whilst their bosses retired early to vineyards in Tuscany and will live to be 101 on a diet of olive oil and organically sourced Parmesan) - and simply demanded a little more than the rat-race.

with Joneses out here. No private number plated cars on the drive to disguise their age, no golf club membership or Ocado vans, or an endless procession of courier drivers bringing this weeks random consumer purchases to your door within 24 hours the post here takes at least a month. A wilderness where a little honesty and self reliance will see you through. A place for pioneers and adventurers, where hard work and determination - rather than throwing money around - get problems solved. Yes, you'll have to struggle and try to get by with a new language, maybe even a new alphabet, but you'll manage. Everyone does. Google Translate has come a long way (oh, and the village I live in just had free 50mb per second optical fibre internet installed) and most locals want to practice their newly acquired English skills on you anyway.

Kids all grown up, mortgage paid off, yet more than a decade of drudgery still to come before a meagre state pension allows a weekly visit to slurp on a pot of overpriced tea and a slice of bland cake at a local garden centre? Nope, not my cup of char either.

you? A world beyond your wildest dreams is a mere mouse click away, while someone on Facebook will have already blazed a trail into the unknown and be living the life you'd always promised yourself. Why not go somewhere others haven't and live a life others will never envisage? Surely you're not one of those who wants to replace their expensive rabbit hutch in commuterville for an expensive rabbit hutch in a tourist riddled ‘All Day Full English Breakfast, Wide Screen TV, Bingo Every Night, Geriatric Open Prison’, are you? Tread hard where others fear to tread, live amongst the bandits, take a walk on the wild side nobody wants to move to a sun drenched, unspoiled paradise and find yourself sitting next to Joan from accounts, discussing how to get Eastenders through a VPN because the BBC don't let you use iPlayer in 'foreign parts', whilst simultaneously complaining about the lack of Marmite and teabags. Take courage - you won't be the first and you certainly won't be the last to put as much distance between yourself and your ungrateful boss/kids/ex partner as possible. And all for the price of a static caravan on a God forsaken holiday park blasted by rain laden North Sea gales for 9 months a year.

But what then? Well, I'm pretty sure you've all wistfully wondered if there's more to life than watching strangers snoring on trains, and I sincerely hope, for your sake, that there is. A little wine, some good food, pleasant company, the warmth of the sun on your back and some lovely fresh air to breathe, no money worries and the time to really life. Isn't that what we all want?

So three languages (Bulgarian, Greek and Turkish) and two new alphabets to learn. Not to mention how to stop wolves and bears rummaging through your bins at night!

So go and get it, then! No, I'm deadly serious. Because ahead lies nothing more than an early grave, pensioner poverty and more taxes. And rain. Endless rain. Out there, in soon to be Brexitland, are huge swathes of Europe slowly emptying of locals as they head to the grimy metropolises to join the hamster wheel club to get on the very first rung. What they're leaving behind in their frantic search for all of the shiny things you're now knee deep in credit cards to acquire, is what we're all missing an actual bit of real life - not some groundhog day routine of commute, consume, complain. What if I told you that you can buy a property, with land, in the EU, for less than the price of a 10 year old BMW? In the sunshine. Where council tax is but £20 a year and beer just 25p a pint? “Ah, well, it’s Brexit, you see. We won't be allowed.” Tell that to the Durrell's, who in 1935 decided to move to Corfu and be poor there instead of in Bournemouth. As long as you are prepared to buy a property, have a small sum in the bank, join the local healthcare scheme, and promise not to be a burden on your new country, most EU nations will welcome you as a resident. Especially ones that are emptying. Ones in the east, beyond the old Iron Curtain. I chose a very particular place to do exactly that. A place so neglected, even their own government wants little to do with them. Wolves, bears, vultures, snakes and insects so huge they have tattoos and piercings - but also just 10% tax, 300 days of sunshine a year, hot, long summers and short snowy winters. Mountains, crisp clear blue skies and roaring log fires in winter, long hot summers full of sandy beaches, a warm crystal clear sea and, it’s true, ice cold beers. Wear t-shirts and shorts until November and dig them out again in March. Where the average salary is around £400 a month with a cost of living to match. No keeping up

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I bought an abandoned and totally ruined ex-Police Station on the Southern border of Bulgaria, right next to Greece. The fall of the Berlin Wall was not kind on symbols of the brutal Marxist authoritarianism that existed here and there are no quaint pre 19th century buildings that have survived. However, it’s a solid property, properly built by the Communist State (with no expense spared as Party members would be working here), just in need of a new roof, walls, floors, plumbing and electricity. And someone to do it, of course. Properly. The only problem with finding capable builders over here was that anyone with any get up and go, literally got up and went (to Germany or Belgium mainly). Plenty of the locals will ‘fix stuff’ for you (put some tape around it, or knock yet another nail into it and hope for the best), but not many can install a fuse box to 18th Edition Building standards. But thanks to the internet, building materials you'd probably use to build that retirement bungalow in Frinton are all available for those willing to find them, while an endless source of locals telling you “that's not the way we do it around here” will be queuing at your gate. Youtube is your Master Builder, showing you pretty much how to do anything your imagination can muster. So just have a go at it. After all, you won't make a worse job of it than half of the handymen happily plying their trade throughout the UK. And when, finally, you stand back and brush off the brick dust, you'll have built your own home, which will reflect the way you want to live, to your exacting standards, using materials you chose, in a place worth existing - instead of simply purchasing a plasterboard and MDF micro indenti-box on a divorce-cauldron developers estate a short bus ride outside of Chelmsford. So scour the internet, start making plans, dream a little - oh and take a few risks. Entire continents have been built on people willing to simply get up and give it a go and make things work. You're not going to let a Parliament of Westminster fools trash your imagination and quash your ambitions, are

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Page 31


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The Edge Magazine February 2020  

Chelmsford, Essex based fanzine with local news, current affairs and fun.

The Edge Magazine February 2020  

Chelmsford, Essex based fanzine with local news, current affairs and fun.