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The Edge 275 new_The Edge 172.qxd 26/08/2019 22:09 Page 1

EDGE

the ISSUE NO: 275

www.theedgemag.co.uk

‘THE CHELMSFORD FANZINE’

Telephone 01245 348256

Mobile: 077 646 797 44

SEPTEMBER 2019

shaun@theedgemag.co.uk


e l r o f im l s e b with

Slimming World MONDAYS

Millennium Community Centre Recreation Ground, Baddow Road, Great Baddow CM2 9RL 9:00am, 11:00am, 1:00pm Lucy 07801 433626 Springfield Bees Preschool Perryfields School, Lawn Lane, Springfield CM1 7PP 5:00pm and 7:00pm Angie 07814 992628 Millennium Community Centre Recreation Ground, Baddow Road, Great Baddow CM2 9RL 5:00pm and 7:00pm Keeley 07930 231386 NEW CONSULTANT from 16th September Hatfield Peverel Infant School Church Road, Hatfield Peverel CM3 2RP 5:30pm and 7:30pm Marie 07988 426728

TUESDAYS Newlands Spring Community Hall Dickens Place, Chelmsford CM1 4UU 9:30am Marie 07988 426728 NEW GROUP Broomfield Village Hall 158 Main Road (behind Angel Pub), Broomfield CM1 7AH 3:00pm, 5:00pm and 7:00pm Victoria 07823 441198 Millennium Community Centre Recreation Ground, Baddow Road, Great Baddow CM2 9RL 3:30pm, 5:30pm and 7:30pm Samantha 01245 266442

WEDNESDAYS

save

up to

£5

ask in group for more details

Boreham Village Hall Main Road, Boreham CM3 3JD 5:30pm and 7:30pm Marie 07988 426728 Springfield Park Baptist Church Springfield Park Road, Springfield CM2 6EB 5.30pm and 7:30pm Angie 07814 992628 NEW CONSULTANT St Michael’s Church of England Junior School, Barnard Road, Galleywood CM2 8RR 7:30pm Lena 07939 675034

THURSDAYS

Millennium Community Centre Recreation Ground, Baddow Road, Great Baddow CM2 9RL 9:30am Samantha 01245 266442 North Springfield Baptist Church Havengore, off Pump Lane, Springfield CM1 6JP 5:30pm and 7:30pm Victoria 07823 441198 Newlands Spring Community Hall Dickens Place, Chelmsford CM1 4UU 5:30pm and 7:30pm Jennifer 07792 516866 Moulsham High School Brian Close, Chelmsford CM2 9ES 5:30pm and 7:30pm Emma 07738 278911 NEW CONSULTANT

FRIDAYS

The Church Of Ascension Maltese Road, Chelmsford CM1 2PB 9:15am and 11:15am Samantha 01245 266442

Church Of St Augustine Of Canterbury St Augustines Way, Springfield CM1 6GQ 9:30am and 11:30am Emma 07887 692906

Fit n Fab Studio Village Square (Near Asda), Chelmer Village CM2 6RF 5.30pm Emma 07887 692906

Writtle Community Association Longmeads House, 12-14 Redwood Drive, Writtle CM1 3LY 3:00pm, 5:00pm and 7:00pm Jennifer 07792 516866

SATURDAYS

slimmingworld.co.uk 0344 897 8000

Springfield Park Baptist Church Springfield Park Road, Springfield CM2 6EB 8:30am and 10:30am Emma 07887 692906


The Edge 275 new_The Edge 172.qxd 27/08/2019 18:05 Page 3

PERSONAL VAPOUR

the e-cigarette shop

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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

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The Edge 275 new_The Edge 172.qxd 26/08/2019 22:27 Page 4

STOAT’S BREATH

GONE FISHING

Those radio commercials 9-*2 for Zinsser coatings Isn’t it wonderful? <.9- -.8 (-&72 <-.189 <*&7 are genius. In fact, the Zinsser Such a simple formula, shot so beautifully. 897&< 5470 5.* -&9 "-* .3, & brothers/twins themselves are a totally supreme creation. I truly wish each episode lasted an hour, as half &3,7> 1&).*8 7*):(* -.2 94 9-* And when Fabian describes grey4+as Stoat’s & 1.991* '4> .3 & 8.11>the -&9time simply goes by in a flash. 89&9:8 Breath, yep, I am in colour-chart-heaven. Whitehouse and Mortimer (as opposed to -&) '**3 .3;.9*) &8 -&) 78 <-4 <&8 49-*7<.8* *3,&,*) .3 3).& )4<3 .3 +7439 4+ -.8 2&9*8 "-* #whatsyourproblem Reeves) are a pure joy together. 94 '.?& 94 89&> <.9- & ,74:5 4+ +7.*3)8 &9 & ;*7> 14;*1> ;.11& .3 9-* -.118 &'4;* )*85&9(- .8 6:.(0 &3) <*11 *=* '.?& 94<3 0.3) .3;.9&9.43 +742 & ;*7> 41) +7.*3) 94 9-* 84 (&11*) 5&79> .81&3) 9-.3, they honestly have pulled it off using any (:9*) 574'&'1> 9-* 6:.(0*89Could CARGO PANTS other sport as the glue? 9 .8 9-* 431> 43* 4+ 9-* 2&.3 &1*&7.( 81&3)8 -&) 349 ;.8.9*) "-* 2*7* .)*& 9-*> <.11 )*85&9(- ):7.3, 9-* was.9 wondering how long(4:78* it would Hang gliding, perhaps. (7*&9*) 2:(4+ 2* '*.3, .3 B **+&C &8 (41146:.&1 5&71&3(* 8**28 94 I(&11 4+ take 9-&9 )&> &3) (*79&.31> Manchester City)4<3 coach and North9-&3 West9-*> fashion 2.79- + (4:78* 9-*7* <*7* 6:*89.438 4+ <-&9 9<**) <4:1) '* 9&0.3, 6:.(0*7 ).85&9(-*) 9-* icon Pep Guardiola BOUNCE &77.8 9<**)to emulate 9-*7* <.9- 2* &3) 2:(- 85*(:1&9.43 .+ 9-* .3+&24:8 1.,-9<*.,-9 +1.,-9 that disgusting cardigan he 43(* wore 9-* to death last season, and the I forgot to mention about Wimbledon. 7&(.3, 8<.28:.9 <4:1) 2&0* &3 &55*&7&3(* *7* 97.+1.3, 6:*89.438 answer seems to be one single match&2 (the Watching the latter stages of the Men’s Singles +1.,-9 94 9-* .81&3) 4+ '*&:9.+:1 5*451* .8 9&0*3 .394 (438.)*7&9.43 #* '4&7) .3 &3 *=9*3)*) Charity Shield). Yep, a white and 8*&9 Cargo 7442 &.81* "-* 7&9Final, 5&(0 I counted eventual winner Novak Djokovic 1*, T-shirt Pants which he appears to have purchased in bounce the 6:.(01> ball fully7*(4;*7*) 15 times+742 before served. (&3 (43+.72 5*451* 8**2 94 &)459 & (*79&.3 ;.*<54.39 4+ 9-*28*1;*8 43(* '4>8 ,*9 43 "-* ,:73.3, .).49 <-4 -&8 -.8he -:2.1.&9.43 an array of colours. That -*&)8 can’t be right. +47 2* &3) 9-* 8*&98 '*8.)* .8 '*894<*) 9-*> &7* *3 74:9* 94 B **+&C &3) 9-&9 842*-4< '*&:9.+:13*88 &9 9-* -&3)8 4+ 9-* &3,7> 1&).*8 897&.,-9 Whoever would have The powers that be in57485*(9 SW19 are so anally :543 9-*2 2&,.(&11> "-.8 .8 4+ (4:78* & 2&/47 &(9 4+ 8*1+ ).8.11:8.432*39 .3 thought 034' &3) *3/4>8 9-* 4+ 8.99.3, 3*=9strin94 2* it?* 034<8 9-.30 -* .8 & It’s certainly Alex *Ferguson that the all-white-*3 rule5&79> must4+be obeyed, to 84 2&3> (&8*8 489 2&1*8 9-.30 '*(42* *.9-*7 2*2'*78 4+ 9-* 7&9 something 5&(0 & 1& Sir2* )4*8 349 would ).8&554.39gentB8*(43) 2&77.&,*C 81.,-91> 247* HUMMING have)*85.9* never 9-* ‘bopped in on the touchline. the point a &7* *&3 &79.3 47 842* &3,* 4;*7 4<3.3, ,&3,89*7 9>5* +&(9 about’2&9:7* 1&).*8 ,*9 43 2222 "-*>where 5&88 one &2 player 8&+* couldn’t *-.3) 2*wear 9-4:,Phillip Schofield’s right.9-*2 You4++ simply hum if sponsored watch because face was far'&7 too 9-*.7 2:2 /:89 )7455*) &9 9-*can’t &.75479 +4:7 2:22.*8 43 & <**0*3) &<&> <.9-4:9 9-*.7 (-.1)7*3its!-4791> &+9*7 you block your nose. QUACKS colourful, yet they let the Serb (and others) 8*7;.(* '*,.38 .9 .8 4';.4:8 9-* ,.718 &7* .3 974:'1* "-*7* -&8 '**3 &3 take this morning. As5*7.4) I was4+waitpiss on their service "-.8 games. !9&389*) &2 97&.58* )4<3 94 9-* )*5&79:7* ,&9* Went 7*&)> to +47the quacks &2 &'4:9 &3the -4:7 <.9-4:9 5748*((4 .8 7*2*).*) <.9*=9*3)*) SEAGULLS ing,(&' numerous proper old people shuffled in, -&;.3, &17*&)> '**3 :5 8.3(* &2 &3) 1*9 )4<3 '> 9-* (425&3> 8:++.(.*39 5:7(-&8*8 94 2**9 9-* 5488.'.1.9> 4+ 9-* 5.149 ,*99.3, 1489 &3) OCTOPUS IN MY.8HOUSE Have you noticed,"-*7* particularly early in the wanting repeat of high*.,-9 blood pres-+1>.3, 94 *< $470 .8 & 9-.3, <-*3 43*morn97&;*18 8414 9 .8 9-&9 >4:prescriptions &7* -4:78 "-* (43;*78&9.43 8443 +4(:8*) 85*3).3, you'*3*+.98 watch 4+ this fascinating television94 ing, 94 the)*8.7* drastically sure pills and what have you, I found2.,-9 all &)) Did &'1* 94 47 increased &7* +47(*) amount 94 1.89*3of94squawk49-*7 5*451*C8 (43;*78&9.438 &3) which ,7&5-.(&11> 94 9-* & utterly 8*(9.43 '.79- &8 45548*) programme C4 (22nd August)? ing seagulls depressing. heard one &2 from /4.3*)scavenging '> 9-7** >4:3, ,.718 in &9 Chelmsford? 9-* ,&9* "-*.7 2&0*rather :5 .8 +:11 43 &3) Then I 3&9:7&1 '.79-chap 11 94give )4 <.9- -4< 43*C8 1&)>on5&798 &7* &3) 1440 &+9*7<&7)8 I’d&3) always had octopuses as the John What’s"-*> it all-&;* about? his.9date of .9birth as 1940. I-&;* honestly have -*&;> *.9-*7 '**3 :5 8.3(* &2 974<*1.3, 43 47 .8 9-*7* 8**3 could .9 9-7** 9.2*8 4;*7 (&3 (45* ':9 9-* 0.)pegged '*8.)* 2* <&398 94 of the sea world, but what an9-.30.3, eye openSince when did we&);*39:7*8 become Chelmsford-on-Sea? it really does as though +742 9-*.7 (1:''.3, 4+ 9-* 3.,-9 '*+47* "-*.7cried, <-41*because (43;*78&9.43 (:71feel :5 &3) ).* <.9-I am +*&7 &3)Merrick *2'&77&882*39 .8 ,.71+7.*3) .8 34< this&,&.3 truly was. the old bugger up. 47 & '7.*+ 242*39 (438.898 4+ 1.0* 1.0* &3) 1.0* &3) 4- 2> ,4) 4- 2> ,4)catching '&8*) 43 9-&9 (43;*78&9.43 &143* 9-&9 -* .8 349 ,4.3, 3*&7 -*7er*;*7 Some geeky professor with a terribly bad hairPENGUIN SPOTTING 9-* B4- 2> ,4)8C <*7* (42.3, 84 9-.(0 &3) +&89 9-4:,-9 <&8 &9 &3 47,&82 tank into the living-room his&9 I honestly think I’m having a bit of a mid-life ‘LIVE’ FOOTIE (43;*39.43 #* 1&3) &9 &2 (411*(9cut 2>installed '&,8 &3)a2> +7.*3)8 (411*(9 2* #* of 8945 Alaskan in order observe this crisis. I don’t really have a hobby anymore and I thought the temptation might prove too much +47 247* '**7 > home &2 &2 8.99.3,to .3 closer 9-* 5441 <.9- & (41) 9-* 8:5*72&70*9 creature with2* fully 9 brains I’ll say), 3 I’m I should do about it. 4+ ;*7> &3,7> for me this*9season and that I might shell(425&3> 8-:9wondering 2>8*1+ 4++ what &3) '*,.3 1.89*3.3, 94 & 5&.7 &8> (-*(0 .3 9.33> .3 2>need -&3)to,44) &74:3) &3) & ;.*< (clever? 94 &'841:9*1> ).* +47 hearts and blue blood. Penguin-spotting in local&9supermarket car-parks out (43;*78&9.43 a few coffers<*39 and sign"-*7* myself.8up to a @842*9.2*8 9 8**28 *;*7>'4)> &8> /*9 .8 9:73.3, 74:3) "-* 89&++ & 8&>.3, .9 .8 '*99*7 94 97&;*1 9-&3 94 &77.;*A 4<*;*7 They magical molluscs and the way might@ be a challenging way to waste a bit&3) of <*39 '1&contract with BT that I 9-* can&77.;&1 watch(*79&.31> some <43 * 8&.) '1&- '1&- &3) 9:73*) 74:3) '1&- "-*3 -* Sport so 9-.30 9-:8 4;*7are 43 clearly 9-.8 5&79.(:1&7 4((&8.43 they shape-change, colour-change and even time? 74:3) Or possibly bat-catching? And ‘live’ &3) Premiership matches. But no. After 9:73*) &3) 8&.) '1&- '1&- 84 2>there +7.*3)are 9:73*) 74:3) 8&.) '1&- football '1&alter the surface of their bodies. Amazing. an increased number9:73*) of table-tennis the season’s '*+47* 9-* 8:5*7;.847 74:3) &3)opportuni8&.) '1&- '1&- Awatching #-.(- *=51&.38 <-> opener at Anfield, quickly $4:78 &>* ties-&;* around Chelmsford I followed Hammers <* )*1&>8 &8 343* 4+these 9-*2days. &7* 43But 9-*can 897&.,-9 9-*> &7* &11 by 9:73.3, 74:3) v Man. City, I immediately THE EDGE Chelmsford CM2 6XD get around"-*> to the other side fast <.9enough to 9-* &)Crealised it’s simply not for me. 077 6 46 797 44 (4389&391> 9-*3 -&;* 94 )*&1 & B &(0 <-4 97.*8that 94 +1&99*7 shaun@theedgemag.co.uk knock the ping-pong ball back to myself? You just canna beat MOTD.

The Edge Editor’s Column

h t 5 1 y a Sund er 2019 Septemb

20 km

AT W O N R REGISTE pice.org/cycle

hhos g i e l r a f . www

50 km

100 km

Advance ion registrat o closes n th ay 4 Wednesd er Septemb

Thank you for raising money to help people affected by life-limiting illnesses in mid Essex. www.farleighhospice.org It is because you care that we can. www.farleighhospice.org Page 4

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The Edge 275 new_The Edge 172.qxd  26/08/2019  22:15  Page 5

Well, I had to. Just for 3.5 days (because you can hardly count the 3.5hr journey back home, can you, especially when you eventually hit the M25 and it’s all stop-start and I uncontrollably start to find myself slipping slowly into a dark hole once again. Because you don’t get this sort of a scene in any of the countryside around Chelmsford, do you? I didn’t stop to ask exactly what was going on as the couple who’d stopped ahead of us seemed to be doing that perfectly well. Plus I was anxious to get to Corfe for a bacon & egg butty for me breakfast, if truth be told. But it’s certainly a scene you cannot put a price on, right? Corfe Common, Dorset, in all of it’s majesty. August brought us some weird, weird weather. But I kept a close eye on the weather app on my phone and apart from one night of rain (during the night, so no hindrance whatsoever), we were absolutely fine under the canvas of our tent at Harmans Cross for just £16 per night (including hot showers and perfectly functioning loos, for all of you doubters out there). What’s more, an actual steam train was running, during the daytime, but 100m away from our tent, which is clearly the jewel in the Corfe Castle - Swanage crown. Once I get off the M25 and onto the M3 at around 06:00am of a Saturday morning, all of my cares and concerns slowly begin to drift away, as I tuck into another homemade curried egg and cress sandwich with the car packed to the rafters and our mountain bikes strapped to the rear. I hope you readers will check out Kingpin’s column this month (page 26), because what he has to say particularly resonated with me then I first clocked it. Fact is, I feel as though I need to get away ‘little and often’ (you know, for long-weekends here and there, certainly every couple of months). But perhaps I ought to be asking myself why? Why do I feel as though I always need to get away to somewhere else? 

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The Edge 275 new_The Edge 172.qxd 26/08/2019 22:27 Page 6

WHAT THIS PICTURE SAYS TO THE EDGE...

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DOORS - DOORS - DOORS ‘Cheerful Bob’ & Bros. inc. ‘Serious Chris’ & ‘Forgetful Dave’ - all ‘Alive & Fitting’! Family Business Est. 1979 Internal/External, Hardwood/Softwood, Stairs & Spindles a speciality. Visit our door stall on Saturday’s at Chelmsford Market www.bobsdoors.co.uk bob@bobsdoors.co.uk

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Swampland. Do you remember the movie Southern Comfort (1981)? It’s a belter if you’ve never seen it. Powers (what a christian name that is) Boothe and Keith Carradine are two members of a Louisiana Army National Guard squad sent on a weekend maneuver in rural Bayou country and, in parts, it sort of looked a lot like this (above). So isn’t it strange that your editor took this particular snapshot as he was walking into town past the all new ultra impressive looking Riverside Ice & Leisure Centre (just opposite) and clearly, one would imagine, we have crocodile infested waters in Chelmsford after all. Southern Comfort had some great music in it from the guitar strings of a chappy called Ry Cooder, who I’ll apologise here and now for not even having heard of before the movie. Thing is, I sometimes get Southern Comfort a bit mixed up with Deliverance, which of course was the 1972 classic starring Burt Reynolds and Jon Voight as part of 4 city-dwelling friends who decided to get away from their wives, kids and jobs for a week of canoeing in the rural Georgian backwoods. If you haven’t seen either film, then seriously put them both on your ‘To Watch’ list right away. What’s unforgettably memorable about Deliverance is the classic line, “You’ve got a mighty pretty mouth, boy” (OMG, it’s enough to run shivers down my spine just tapping that sentence out on my keyboard) and the classic ‘Dueling Banjos’ moment. I happen to love the sound of the banjo and ‘Dueling Banjos’ in particular I’ll always remember from a balmy Thursday evening at the Chelmsford Beer Festival many years ago, maybe some 15 years in fact, when a bloke belted it out on stage and I was in my element. But back to crocodiles and they are proper, proper scary bastards, aren’t they? In fact, crocs and Daleks are in my all time ‘Top Two’ of SSE (scariest shit ever). And that death roll they perform. Oh sweet Jesus, they bite you on the ass, make sure they’ve got a decent enough grip, then roll over a time or two, before taking you down, down, deep into the swampy depths to drown you, afore swallowing you whole. So it was heartening to see, on a recent episode of Serengeti (I think it’s pants the way the backing vocalists sing Serengeti, but hey, if that’s the only fault I can pick with the programme, they’re obviously doing something right), an ickle baby zebra actually pick its way through a load of dozing crocs on a river’s edge and even walk onto the back of one of them in order to make it’s way to safety. LIZ (lovely ickle zebra) 1 NOC (nasty ’orrible crocodile) 0

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The Edge 275 new_The Edge 172.qxd 26/08/2019 22:27 Page 7

Well, kind of. Sophie/‘Bob’ is the only fully qualified female forklift truck operator (she passed her forklift test at the first time of asking and also scored 100% on theory) at local company Chandler Material Supplies Ltd. and The Edge just had to meet her. She’s a local lass and it’s not as if working in a builders yard was a last resort - Sophie left school with 10 GCSE’s and 5 ‘A’ levels after all - it was actually her number one choice of occupation. “I love it,” says Sophie/‘Bob’, who has her eyebrows shaped and generally likes to wear pink nail varnish so that it doesn’t show all of the muck and grit trapped beneath her fingernails. “I went to work as an estate agent shortly after leaving school and I hated every minute. It just wasn’t me. “My father runs his own building company (it’s a bit specialist in that he builds dental surgeries) and I grew up working with him whenever I could during the school holidays, so a builders yard genuinely feels like my natural environment. “I’m definitely an outdoorsy type. I’m simply not cut out to be in an office. And while this time of year is great, I even love it being all wrapped up during the winter months and loading and unloading on my forklift.” Speaking of which, your editor had to wear her spare high-vis jacket when he gained privileged access to Chandlers’ loading area, because they don’t half get a wiggle on in there. It was honestly like watching carefully choreographed dodgem cars as Sophie and her foreman, Richard, made relatively short shrift of unloading 36 bags of aggregate (a 28 ton load) off a HGV in pretty much 15 minutes flat. So what’s it like being ‘one of the boys’? “Exactly that,” says Sophie. “That’s what I’m treated as and I wouldn’t expect it any other way. We all get along like peas in a pod.” And if a national newspaper doesn’t pick up on this story...

The Edge 01245 348256

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The Edge 275 new_The Edge 172.qxd 26/08/2019 22:35 Page 8

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The Edge 275 new_The Edge 172.qxd 26/08/2019 22:39 Page 9

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The Edge 275 new_The Edge 172.qxd 26/08/2019 22:44 Page 10

At the start of this year, I decided it was about time I tried to get fitter and made it my mission to actually make use of my gym membership (it’s crazy to be paying for something and not using it, I agree!). But sadly, where I’m concerned, despite my concerted efforts (which are still ongoing), I am exactly the same size as I was before, which is somewhat disheartening. Whereas back in January, I’d been keenly anticipating a whole new summer wardrobe that I’d have been wearing for the past few months. But hey-ho, that’s unfortunately now another story.

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However, during my time spent at the gym and in the swimming pool, I have observed that there are certain behaviours, etiquettes and general unwritten rules to be adopted, although not everyone seems to be familiar with them. Probably the worst area for this is the changing room. Now I fully understand that when you’re trying to dry yourself off with a towel the size of a flannel, it can be difficult not to expose a whole amount of flesh in the process - but do at least TRY not to. There is a particular offender in the ‘later’ years of her life at the gym I use who manages to put her hair in a towel when she comes out of the shower, but absolutely nothing else. She will then take a slow stroll around the changing room, making sure every possible action is completed along the way i.e. uses the costume spinner, check. Leans over to drink from water fountain, check. Drops goggles on the floor (on purpose?), check! And whilst she may be completely comfortable with her naked self, I am not! Especially not when I’m sitting down and she is bending over right in front of me and my kids in order to reach the lockers at ground level! I’m no prude, but quite frankly, there are certain sights that no-one should ever have to witness and that is most definitely one of them. Moving on, one of the areas that I find requires (perhaps surprisingly) some extra thought is the jacuzzi. Not all of you will share my thoughts and maybe I just overthink things? However, I’m sure that some of you will agree with me. Initially, it is the decision of whether or not I can get in the jacuzzi at all. How many people are in there? Although there may technically be space, I don’t want to have to squeeze awkwardly in between those already bubbling away. This has sometimes resulted in me swimming an extra 20 lengths as I wait for a suitable spot, which I suppose isn’t entirely such a bad thing. Then there’s the issue of trying to negotiate peoples’ legs when I do get in, as you can’t see the bottom, due to all the bubbles, so I can only ever

hope that everyone, including even those who appear to be asleep, have moved their legs out of the way to avoid the ultimate faux pas of me tripping over and falling onto everyone. Last week I was lucky enough to get the jacuzzi all to myself. I was in there for a good fifteen minutes, was thinking of getting out, when someone else got in. I now had a dilemma on my hands. Whilst I needed to get out, I didn’t want it to look like I was getting out because they’d got in. As a result, I ended up having to sit there for an extra five minutes until I felt it was polite to leave! A little while ago I went to get in, only to find that the only other person in there didn’t actually have the bubbles going. In what was more of a statement disguised as a question, I asked if it was okay if I actually turned the jacuzzi on, only to be told he’d prefer it if I could wait until he’d got out as the bubbles made him too cold! Now I’m pretty sure the correct etiquette in that situation would have been for him to graciously allow me to press the button for bubbles (seeing as we’re in a jacuzzi and that is what a jacuzzi is for), but instead, I found myself essentially sharing a bubble-free bath with some random guy. Moving away from the pool area and into the gym, why is there the need for some people to take gym selfies? Personally, the last thing I would want to post on Instagram would be a redfaced, make-up free, sweaty and generally looking like I’m an inch away from death photograph of myself, but each to their own, I suppose. Finally, we reach the cafe. This is the area that is generally occupied by those in activewear who have no intention of doing anything more active than lifting up their lattes. From walking through the cafe and never having seen any of them in the changing rooms, pool or gym, I’ve come to the conclusion that the more activewear you own, the less activity you actually do. So after my (lack of) results over the past few months, I’m seriously considering stocking up on the activewear and joining them!

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USA

EVERY JOURNEY MUST HAVE AN END And that end has now come with my time at Zagger Fashion Group in Chelmsford, due to redundancy. With a more uncertain market then there has ever been, plus throw in rents and rates not getting any lower, not to mention Brexit, being made redundant had honestly seemed on the horizon for a while. But then once it's the only option given to you for a company to financially survive, it really hits home how a few incorrect decisions made by the powers that be mean that sometimes there really is no coming back. Like my first article in these pages about TIME, that column began with a long serving colleague of mine leaving due to similar circumstances. So now, all of a sudden, it’s me who’s wondering: ‘WHAT NOW?’ I still can't really answer that question, because with all that has gone on I have found myself mentally burnt out and I don't really want to make any rash decisions and get stuck in a rut in a new job, just for the sake of having one, as I've always believed your best results come when you’re doing something you're passionate about. But on the other hand, I have a family to support and a mortgage to pay, so do I take the first viable option that comes my way? Answers on a postcard, please. The other painful thing about redundancy I've found is the process you have to go through to claim any benefits to help whilst you are waiting for any monies to start coming in. No, I don't mean the people at the Job Centre, as they were very helpful. But just the sheer amount of time it takes to answer questions and fill in all of the relevant forms - and if you get any part of it wrong, you could end up with nothing at all. However, even if you do fill them in all correctly, you might just not meet their criteria and you can still end up with nothing at all. But when something shit does happen in your life, it certainly helps having supportive friends and a strong family unit, and for that, I am truly blessed. It is something for which I will forever be grateful.

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This is where I am whilst writing this article, on a family holiday, thankfully all brought and paid for a year ago, before finding myself out of work. This holiday has come at the perfect time to recharge my batteries and hopefully return to Chelmsford feeling better than ever. Just three days into our vacation and it's already doing its job, mainly thanks to 4 (small aeroplane sized) bottles of red wine and a pint of Guinness before/on our flight over and then immediately finding NBC SPORTS GRILL & BREW on a city walk, which just might be my favourite place to eat in Orlando. It’s a true sports bar/restaurant that does exactly what it says on the tin and is something we just haven't got quite right in the UK. Set over two big floors with over 100 screens and every sport steaming ‘live’, including the English Premiership, American Football, Baseball, Basketball, Tennis, Golf...and to help feed my two girls’ hunger for the Chelmsford Chieftains, which starts all over again on Sunday 15th September at the all new Riverside complex, they even have the Ice Hockey on tap. Any families planning to visit Orlando and doing Universal etc., I can tell you that already, after our short time here, we would definitely recommend booking into the Hard Rock hotel (which even has beach volleyball near the swimming pool area for all us guys trying to be Maverick out of Top Gun). It's just a 7 minute walk to both parks and City Walk (home of the NBC Sports Grill) and this hotel also comes with Fast Pass for the rides, which are worth their weight in gold. Longest we have waited so far for a ride is just 15 minutes, whereas the average wait without the pass is an hour, or where something like the Harry Potter ride is concerned it can even be up to 2 or 3 hours, meaning you get to go on many more rides, or just keep going on your favourite rides time and time again, rather than languishing in a boring queue. We came here 5 years ago and stayed in a hotel on Turkey Lane, which was about 20 minutes on the coach to the parks, but you could easily lose 2 hours of your day just on the round trip. So if you can save up that little bit of extra money, do try and book ‘on site’ at the parks you as you seriously won't regret it. Also, another tip is to download Uber if you want to go anywhere, including Discovery Cove, the designer outlets, plus a very nice spot we are looking forward to visiting called Clear Water Beach (Google it…it looks lovely) as using Uber is cheaper than cabs, and safer. Just make sure you are sorted with your phone company to get inclusive minutes, text messages and, more importantly, data for usage of Uber, otherwise the pennies might well start adding up. Be lucky (hope I am). The Polak. xx

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On Sunday 20th October, The J’s Hospice is holding its first Chelmsford 3k Fun Run. This family-friendly event is suitable for all ages and abilities and you are welcome to either walk, jog or run the 3k course. Pram-pushers and well-behaved dogs on leads are also welcome. The route starts and finishes in Central Park, taking in some of the city’s beautiful parks, and everyone who takes part will be given a medal when they cross the finish-line. The 3k Family Fun Run is raising money for The J’s Hospice, which is part of Havens Hospices. The J’s supports young adults with life-limiting conditions and their families across Essex, providing specialist care in the comfort of their own homes and within the community. It only costs £5 per person to take part and children under 5 can join in for free. It’s a great, fun way to get the whole family exercising together while also raising money for a local hospice charity. To find out more and sign-up online, please go to www.havenshospices.org.uk/chelmsfordfunrun For those of you looking for a greater sporting challenge, The J’s Hospice Chelmsford Marathon is also on Sunday 20th October. The 26.2 mile course is on road and tarmac paths that take you through the city and out into the nearby countryside, before returning to Central Park and the finish-line. Online registration is open now at www.havenshospices.org.uk/chelmsfordmarathon The J’s Hospice is also looking for volunteers to help make both events a huge success. So if you can help with the pre-event organisation, or you can volunteer on 20th October (e.g. at a water station, as a marshal, or helping with baggage, t-shirts and at the finish-funnel), then please contact Lucy at lucy.burgess@thejshospice.org.uk or 01245 475474 And a special thank you to the Chelmsford office of Aon, the professional services firm, which is kindly sponsoring both events.



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Little Lolls Boutique is an independent, parent-daughter owned boutique which sells a range of prom, pageant, mother of the bride, event and bridesmaid dresses from age 6+ with an inclusive size range of 0-28. They have grown tremendously in 6 years from a small home run location to recently upscaling dramatically to a purpose-built boutique store in Wharf Road, Chelmsford (next to Mack), which has been featured on the hit ITV reality show â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;The Only Way Is Essexâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;. Their success is directly related to their prideful 5* review rating from clients, as they provide a one-on-one service for each and every customer, dedicating their time and expertise to ensure that each client has the best, most memorable experience ever. LLB also feature a range of accessories, such as bags and fascinators, plus an in-store beauty bar, catering for any hair and make-up artist needs a client may require. In short, Little Lolls offer the complete package for any event one could ever wish to attend. With the largest prom premises in the county, a 400+ dress style collection, paired with remarkably competitive prices, Little Lolls Boutique should be your only choice for your future eventing needs!

www.theedgemag.co.uk

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Roamers Caterers are one of the premier caterers in Essex. They pride themselves on their top-rated food and professional service. Their passionate chefs believe in using only the freshest and finest ingredients from local suppliers to create some truly amazing dishes. They are delighted that their Facebook customer reviews reflect this with a current score of 4.9/5.0 stars (August 2019). They have been established for over 50 years, while the Roamers Events Team has over 100 years of combined experience of delivering a truly firstrate service. Roamers aim is to provide their customers, and their guests, with only the very best experience, time after time after time. Roamers can cater at almost any location, from award-winning venues, such as Marks Hall and Hatfield Place, to local garden parties in marquees, promotional corporate events, or smaller garden barbecues, hog roasts and hot or cold fork buffets (delivered). Over the years, they have gathered a wealth of experience and instinctively know what will work best for you, but are also happy to work alongside you, to make sure that your event will be a roaring success. From intimate parties of 25 people, up to large events of 500 or more, sometimes set over multiple locations. Barbecues and Hog Roasts are clearly best suited to outdoor events in the summertime where the customer can both see and smell the fayre.

The Stores Coffee, brunch & lunch

Wedding catering can often be a mix of a whole host of services, designed to suit, although predominantly follows the format of canapes, a wedding breakfast, 3-course meals, then lighter evening catering. Roamers provide 3-course meals for a number of events, including weddings, charity events, awards or corporate dinners, birthdays, dinner dances etc. Finger buffets, which can be eaten in just a few bites and do not require cutlery, are ideally suited to informal events, such as birthday parties, anniversaries, seminars, meetings, funeral receptions and networking events. Fork buffets are either hot or cold and are best suited to informal events where a larger meal is required. Roamers offer both small or large canape options, depending upon the type of event being catered for. Bar services can range from barstaff and glassware, up to a fully stocked bar where customers pay for their drinks. Roamers can provide all of the equipment and staff necessary to operate a bar. Currently, these are mainly offered at weddings and dinner parties.

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Tuesday- Friday 8.30am-5pm Saturday 9am-5pm Main Road, Great Waltham, Chelmsford, Essex, CM3 1DE Tel Çť 01245 362649 Email- thestorescafe@icloud.com

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Roamers have a wealth of experience in the planning and delivery of all types of events. They pride themselves on their exceptional organisational skills and knowledge, which best places them to successfully manage your event. They also offer a pool of motivated and professional event staff with a diverse and unique range of experiences. These staff are all inducted and follow Roamers staff training process to ensure they deliver only the very best service at events. But donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t just take their word for it, readers! See what Roamers previous customers have had to say about their excellent service through their online reviews on Facebook, which has a rating of 4.9/5.0 and Google, which has a rating of 5.0/5.0.

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The Edge 275 new_The Edge 172.qxd 26/08/2019 23:26 Page 16

Many thanks to the eagle-eyed Edge reader who sent this photograph in of a slight mishap (which is putting it mildly) which occurred recently in St. Margaret’s Road, Springfield, right outside Essex Police College. What on earth was the person thinking of who added these new double yellow lines - or weren’t they thinking at all? It’s classic ‘Typically Chelmsford’ sort of stuff and The Edge would like to know from any local residents if the matter has now been rectified? Left: New recruits were soon on the march to try and apprehend the culprit before he/she started painting double yellow lines all around the Army Navy roundabout and over the blessed flyover.

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I happened to mention just how difficult I found restuffing a double duvet cover single-handedly after washing and drying it in my editor’s column last month (you get all the ‘top stories’ in this little mag, you know). So here’s a bit of forthright advice from Edge reader Julie Matson. Hi. Got a solution for you. Once the quilt cover is off, do up the buttons on the bottom (or poppers) before you put it in the washing machine, then it won't collect any socks/shreddies etc. When putting the quilt cover back on, go to the fridge first and grab a nice cold beer to help summon up some strength. In our house, we normally take a corner each, then fasten the buttons up etc. Then hold the ends up together and shake the quilt down. Simples! Honestly can't believe I’m sending you an email about this, but figured it might help. Good luck! Julie Matson. P.S. Keep up the good work, everyone concerned with the magazine, as it always makes my day when a brand new issue comes out. So do take a bow Billy & Kayleigh, Cath, Jan/Yan, Ann Kirkby, Billy Hinkleberry, Wardo, Kingpin, (Mystery) Silver Surfer, Motco and Tracie.

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If you fancy swimming with sharks, then you should have gotten your Speedo’d ass down to Land’s End this summer, where there were apparently plenty of female blue sharks coming in from the mid-Atlantic in order to have their babies - or pups as they’re commonly referred to amongst the sharking fraternity (bet they still nip a bit though). There are even charter trips from anything up to £1,000pp in 24ft inflatable boats (You what? Did someone just say inflatable?) which take punters out as rubby dubby (made from minced fish, bran and fish oil) is chucked over the side by the bucketful in order to attract them to, you know, said inflatable craft. Jesus! “The aim is to try and promote UK sharks as a thing of beauty,” says one of the Joe’s running these trips, uncannily called Quint (truth). “There are a lot of myths about sharks, one of which is that they like to eat us. But they don’t. We are not their natural food. Blues mainly eat mackerel, sardines and squid. Oh, and John West salmon, whenever they can get their hands on a tin. But so far as we go, I’m pretty sure they see us as just another creature of the sea.” Correct, Quint. That can be easily digested, The Edge shouldn’t wonder. “Sure, they are curious and will maybe sometimes give you a nudge (gee, you don’t say), but most of the people coming on our trips are adrenaline junkies, so they don’t mind that at all.”

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And now for a few facts about the differences between what Peter Benchley wrote in his spine-tingling novel, Jaws, and what happened once Spielberg turned it into a movie. 1. The great white in the novel was described in the opening paragraph as being twenty feet from snout to tail. But Spielberg felt the shark needed to be even bigger to adequately inspire sheer terror, so the three full-scale mechanical sharks that were constructed for the movie were each 25ft. 2. Sharks typically only attack humans to get them to leave their area, as opposed to eating them as a food source. Whereas in the movie, the great white is meant to be a rogue killing machine with a grudge. 3. Sharks generally eat marine life, such as seals and fish. They only usually take a chomp out of a human, seeing us as a rival predator, and then leave, rarely sticking around to finish the job off. Whereas in the Jaws movie/s, the sharks appear to have a particular penchant for human flesh. 4. The book states clearly that Jaws is a killing machine, impelled to attack without motivation, but not because it is inherently an evil creature. Whereas the movie begs to differ. 5. Neither movie nor novels guarantees a shark won’t eat you.

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That’s right, the Premiership football season is back and this time around 24 pundits - up from 15 entrants last season - have each had to use their skill, judgement and foresight to try and predict just what the final league table of the 2019-20 campaign might look like come next May in The Edge Footie Prediction Stakes. On top of that, we all had to choose the eventual Golden Boot winner, together with the first Prem manager to vacate the club he started the season with, whether he be poached, sacked, or croaks. As you might expect, the ultimate champions appears to be a toss-up between reigning champions Manchester City and current European champions Liverpool, with twothirds of the votes going to City. Meanwhile, Tottenham Hotspur are the overwhelming favourites to finish third, with Chelsea second favourites (despite a rookie manager and a transfer embargo), while Arsenal, Liverpool and West Ham collected one vote apiece. At the other end of the table, Sheffield United are odds-on favourites to be relegated (22 pundits have them for the drop), while Brighton and Norwich City are also heavily fancied. Mo Salah is way out in front as the potential Golden Boot winner with Sergio Aguero surprisingly picking up just one single vote (the same as Arsenal’s Alexandre Lacazette and Manchester City’s Gabriel Jesus). Fact is though, it’s generally never as straight forward as it might at first seem (think Leicester City winning the title just three short years ago) and there’s usually always a ‘surprise package’ (think Wolves last season) in amongst the mix. As a little sneak preview, here’s what reigning champion Timothy D’Arcy thinks just might happen this time around. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20

Liverpool Manchester City Tottenham Hotspur Arsenal Chelsea Manchester United Wolves Leicester City Everton West Ham Watford Crystal Palace Newcastle United Burnley Bournemouth Southampton Aston Villa Brighton Norwich City Sheffield United

Golden Boot Winner: Sergio Aguero First manager Out: Ole Gunner Solskjaer Which all looks reasonable enough, but it’s a tad too ‘safe’ for The Edge’s liking. Because we favour pundits like Graham Deakin sticking his neck out and having West Ham to finish third, or Peter Ankin going for Wolves to finish fourth, or The Edge editor himself (that’s me, by the way) having/hoping Watford will finish rock bottom of the heap. All entries were received before a ball had been kicked on the evening of Friday 9th August, Liverpool v Norwich City. Page 18

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MINI MINOR PROBLEM As you will have no doubt gathered from my brief potted history in last month’s Edge, I am a person who these days has quite a bit of time on her hands, so usually I tend to waste some of it during each and every week ‘pottering around’ the shops that are local to me. I live close to a large DIY warehouse (no prizes for guessing the name) and often wryly smile to myself whilst watching people attempting to fit their purchases into their vehicles. The quotation ‘trying to squeeze a quart into a pint pot’ readily springs to mind. Of course, I’m sure most of us have ‘been there’ and ‘got the t-shirt’ so far as that’s concerned. Sometimes I’ll visit said store simply to purchase a roll of masking tape, yet consequently find myself at the checkout with one of their wobbly-wheeled trolleys containing a greenhouse, a set of loft-ladders and a sheet of 8x2 plywood (having entirely forgotten to pick up the roll of tape, of course). This is then swiftly followed by some scratching of head time out in the car park, attempting a Tetris type puzzle with my purchases, wishing I had a 4x4 instead of a Smart car (other cars are available, I believe is the current idiom when mentioning ‘product placement’, FFS). Come to think of it, this DIY warehouse that I am talking about does actually have a larger vehicle available for hire by the hour for such

eventualities, I do believe, so my guess is they’ve come across impulse buyers like me before.

TWEETING Earlier this year, I bought a bird feeding station, as I now have sufficient ‘time on my hands’ to undertake the task properly. However, I had no idea just how time consuming it would become just keeping my bird café replenished. Trust me, once you become a popular bird feeding destination, you have to remain on the ball, particularly if you don’t want the feathery tyrants hammering their beaks against your windows demanding their feeders be topped up. I naively started off in just a small way. You know, a bag of seed here, a packet of fat balls there, in the appropriate feeders. But it all very quickly became almost a full time job and by necessity, the fat balls now have to be purchased in tubs of 50, while the seed, sunflower hearts and many other birdie treats are bought in industrial sized sacks, practically requiring the strength of Geoff Capes (remember him?) to even lift them. And who knew there were so many different varieties of bird feeders and avian paraphernalia available on the market these days? You can honestly spend a small fortune very quickly on our feathery friends (and so it is proving), although I honestly don’t begrudge them a single penny, for the pleasure I get

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Who knew that we had all these talented people, either engaging in skills professionally, or just for the sheer love of it? A local craft group, which I trotted along to earlier this year (I had up until then pursued a rather sad, solitary love of various hobby crafts) showed me just how true this statement was. In a recent edition, a craftswoman restoring a rocking horse, which had been worked on by the client’s late husband, shared a truly emotional moment of her own with the viewers, which left me utterly in tears. I’m totally in awe of these very decent men and women. In my opinion, this programme deserves a ‘prime time’ slot, and I sincerely hope that it never gets relegated to the TV twilight zone.

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from both the sound and sight of birdies chattering, whistling and singing away is returned to me tenfold, even though most of my garden visitors tend to be LBJ’s (that’s ‘little brown jobs’ for you, Muggles). As an aside, I’m aware that the numbers of starlings are on the decline and it’s vital we protect them. But do they really have to behave like Essex boys on a boozy night out, arguing with each other, throwing around their food and making a noisy bloody nuisance of themselves? I just wish I liked them as much as the ‘prettier’ tits and robins (that’s the birds, not the lads!).

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The Hall has brought together some local, dynamic, independent food traders from across the South-East in a 14,500 sq ft site at intu Lakeside. With seven kitchens, a coffee shop, pop-up areas for food trucks and two bars championing British made beers and spirits, this innovative, vibrant and diverse space will form part of the shopping centre’s leisure extension. The Hall is all about value-for-money all-day dining with relaxed seating solutions for a capacity of 680.

O

h yes. Detective Lieutenant Theodore Kojak of the New York City Police Department (Eleventh Precinct). Jolly good call, even though The Edge does say so itself. Kojak took over from the popular (Frank) Cannon series. (Remember him? Of the LAPD. Played by tubster William Conrad.) Aristotelis ‘Telly’ Savalas (above) was the main character with the catchphrase “Who loves ya, baby?” while his real life bro’ George played the role of Detective Sergeant Stavros, before Harry Enfield nicked his name for his ultra popular kebab shaving character. The Edge wasn’t a massive fan of Kojak, but it did appreciate the ever so stylish suits he used to wear, and ‘on a cop’s salary’ too. Maybe Kojak was before some of The Edge’s younger readers’ time, but you’ll soon know an awful lot more about him if a feature length movie ever gets made, starring who else but Vin Diesel as the very man himself (the likeness is uncanny, right?). Some things you may not know about Telly Savalas:Once entered a gambling competition and more than held his own. Owned racehorses. First shaved his head to play Pontius Pilate and liked ‘the look’ so much he decided to keep it. Sucked on his first lollipop (as a cigarette substitute) in episode 8. Released five studio albums throughout his career (between 1972-80). ‘If’, in which he sensually recited the lyrics of Bread’s 1971 classic, stayed at number 1 in the British charts for a two week period. He is godfather to Jennifer Aniston (bet you didn’t know that, did you?). Gained a degree in psychology from Columbia University. Finished an impressive 21st in the 1992 World Poker Series. His left index finger was deformed. There were 5 seasons of Kojak filmed in total between 1973-78. He died in January 1994.

Burger & Beyond - The two local Essex boys behind Burger & Beyond started trading on Colchester Market. Now with a London restaurant and several street food stalls under their belts, this is a great opportunity to sample their premium beef burgers (including their speciality Bacon Butter Burgers). They only use rare breed cattle and dry age their beef between 45-120 days. Fundi Pizza - Brothers Charlie & Rory Nelson hail from Maldon and built their first wood-fired oven from scratch in 2012. Their pizzas are handstretched to order and are each baked for precisely 90 seconds in front of an open flame. Mother Clucker - Serving up fried chicken from a converted US Army Ambulance truck for the past 6 years. Specialising in tea brined, buttermilk soaked, twice battered chicken that is finger-lickin’....oops! Curry On Naanstop - Mumbai natives Karthikk & Swati ditched their corporate jobs to revel in the taste of their childhoods. Introducing recipes of Mumbai’s Koli community in Versova Koliwada, a historical fishing village. Savour potato burgers called Batata Vada Pav, as well as India’s most famous street food, Chicken Tikka Naan wraps and much, much more. Fanny’s Kebabs - Following a record-breaking crowdfunding campaign and sell out pop-up, Fanny’s first opened in Stoke Newington in early 2018 and is now resident in both Market Hall Fulham and Victoria. Founded by Claude Compton & Jacek Bilinski, Fanny’s is a continuation of their ongoing mission to provide a fun, free-range option for fast, casual dining. Menu features quality kebabs and salads, from lamb to vegan falafel options, served as a choice of classic wrap, rice box (or salad). These guys are just a sample of what’s waiting for you at intu Lakeside.

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VAR I honestly can't believe the football season has started already. It doesn't seem that long ago since Liverpool were being crowned European Champions, yet here we are again, with normal service being resumed as my team, West Ham, get stuffed 0-5 at home (10th Aug.) by Manchester City. Now, if you are drinking a nice cup of tea, you might want to put it down, because what I am about to say might make you spit it out with laughter. But the fact is, I didn't think we played that badly! The problem, you see, is that Manchester City are just too good. Like it or not, the millions upon millions they have spent means that the league is no longer competitive (they even had Sergio Aguero on the bench for Chris’s sake). In my view, what has made the Premier League even more uncompetitive in recent times is the amount of decisions that simply go in favour of the ’bigger teams’. I don't care what you say, the profile of the bigger clubs and their players has definitely influenced the decisions that referees make. They just don't give the calls to the teams lower down the table. Be honest, what do you think is the more likely: Liverpool conceding a 50/50 penalty away to Burnley on a Tuesday night at Turf Moor, or gaining one at home against Southampton in front of the Kop on a Saturday?

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If you think it's the former, then I would politely suggest that you haven't watched much football in the past 20 years. That's why I was not against the introduction of VAR in the Premier League this season. The use of video technology is prevalent in all other major sports, so why not football? We have seen that it works and correct decisions have been made as a result. Tottenham, for example, would not have been in the Champions League final had it not been for VAR overruling the referee and his assistants. Watching West Ham’s opening day fixture was the first time I have witnessed VAR in action and it wasn't too much of a problem for me. There were half-a-dozen or so decisions where it needed to be called upon and the video technology provided got them all 100% right. The only thing against it is the amount of time it takes to make such key decisions. It doesn't really matter where penalty shouts are concerned, as the game can continue and play can be called back if necessary. The problem is with actual goals, because the fans have already seemingly lost that instant euphoria of celebrating as soon as the ball hits the back of the net. It has quickly been replaced by the nervous anxiety of waiting to see whether the goal gets ruled out by VAR. My own personal view is that VAR

should be used as a referral system only and not to police the game. By that, I mean I think that the captains of each team should each have one referral they can make per match and if it is proved correct, they then get to keep that referral. But if it is proved wrong, they lose it. That would certainly help eradicate the big errors, but would also keep an element of excitement and unpredictability in the game.

CHESSINGTON Last month I decided to take the family to Chessington World of Adventure so that my eldest could enjoy the ’Gruffalo’s Summer Party.’ Being the unorganised type that I am, I asked my missus to check on the way there whether there were any discounts to be had by booking online. Sadly there weren’t, and much to my horror, I quickly discovered that entrance to the park would cost £52 each for adults and £48 for children over the age of three. Luckily, after hunting around on Google, we found that we could ‘Bog Off’ (buy one, get one free) with any promotional pack of Kellogg’s and get 50% off if we recycled a 500ml plastic bottle. So, without further ado, we stopped off at the nearest petrol station for a packet of Cornflakes and a Diet Coke and thankfully, that worked a treat. We managed to get into the park for £76 all told. But what I will say is that I was very disappointed and had I paid the full price, then I would have been outraged.

I appreciate that it was the school holiday period, but the park was so busy it was practically impossible to do anything. Despite buying a ’Fast Track’ pass (for an extra £20) we just couldn't get near any of the rides. The queue for the ’Gruffalo River Ride’ was in excess of 90 minutes and we were told it would be an hour even with our Fast Track passes. As for the Vampire ride, the queue was 160 minutes - yes, that's right, 2 hours and 40 minutes to queue for a ride that probably lasts no more than 3 minutes (even stranger was the fact that there were people queuing to go on it). Don't get me wrong, it’s a great park and there is plenty to do other than the rides. But, of course, they are the main attraction. So surely it is the responsibility of those in charge to limit the amount of guests they welcome into the park to ensure it is worthwhile attending.

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ONLY JOKING! AFTERWARDS

My mate reckons he always cries after sex. Mind you, he is in prison.

£5,000 A boss offers his secretary £5,000 to share a bed for an afternoon. She was hesitant and he could see she was not over enamoured with the idea. But all the same, the boss thought that she still might be tempted. So he said, “Tell you what, it’ll be quick. I’ll simply throw the money on the floor and by the time you’ve bent down to pick it up, it’ll probably all be over.” So she thought it through and decided she was not overly averse to the idea, and she could certainly do with an extra five grand in her hand. So she asked her boss if she could talk it over with her husband in order to seek his council. Immediately, her husband said for his wife to go for it, but also said, “Make sure you pick the cash up so fast that he won’t even have time to get his pants down, the dirty old bugger.” So the very next day, the boss and his secretary went off to a hotel just around the corner from the office at lunchtime. After an hour had gone by her husband still hadn’t heard a word from his wife, so he decided to call her. “Well?” he said, as soon as she answered. “How did it go?” Between gasps, she stammered, “I’m still with him. The cunning old bastard gave me it in fifty pence pieces.”

MEDICAL I went to the doctors for a full on medical. Blood test, blood pressure. The works. Then the doc asked me if I had any problems and I said, “Well, yes, I do, as a matter of fact. I have a shit every morning at 7.00am sharp.” The doctor said, "That’s good." I said, “It’s not if I don’t get up until 7.30am.”

SEX WITH WIFE’S SISTER Wife: “You just had to have sex with my sister, didn’t you? I knew you always wanted to.” Hubby: “Well, she was just lying there. Naked. How could I resist?” Wife: “It was the f*** ing autopsy, you sick b*st*rd.”

FARMER’S DAUGHTER A city boy wants to marry a farmer’s daughter. She says yes, but wants her fiancé to do it properly, insisting that he should ask her father for her hand in marriage. So off he goes to see her dad and asks for his daughter’s hand. Her father says, “Well, son, if you want to marry my little girl, you’re going to have to prove yourself worthy.” “Sir, I’d do anything to marry your daughter.” “Right” says the farmer. “Y’see that cow in the pasture? Go over there and screw it!” A little puzzled, the lad says, “Well, a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do, I suppose.”

Ten minutes later, the dishevelled young man returns and says, “So now can I marry your daughter?” “Nope,” says the farmer. “Y’see that goat in yonder field...” “Jeez,” says the lad. “Okay, okay. Anything so that I can marry your daughter.” Twenty minutes later and somewhat puffed out, the lad returns and says, “Now can I...” “Nope,” says the farmer once again. “See that sty? I want you to go and service my old sow.” Forty-five minutes later, the exhausted young man crawls back to the farmer on his hands and knees. “Congratulations, son,” beams the farmer. “You are now worthy of my daughter’s hand in marriage and it would pleasure me greatly to welcome you into our family.” “F*** that,” gasps the young man. “How much do you want for that sow?”

DREAMING OF DEATH ‘I want to die quietly and peacefully in my sleep, just like my father did. Not terrified and screaming, like his passengers.’

SUNDAY SCHOOL A teacher asked her Sunday School class to draw pictures of their favourite Bible stories. She was soon quite puzzled by a boy's picture which showed four people on an aeroplane, so asked him which story it was meant to represent. “The flight to Egypt,” he replied. “Oh I see,” said his teacher. “And that must be Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus, yes? But who’s the fourth person? “That's Pontius,” said the little boy, “the pilot.”

ANAL BLEACHING Why the hell isn’t it called ‘Changing the Ringtone’?

JOINED FORCES Renault and Ford have joined forces to create the perfect small car for women. Mixing the Renault 'Clio' and the Ford 'Taurus', they have come up with the ‘Clitaurus'. It comes in pink, and the average male car thief won't be able to find it, let alone turn it on, even if someone tells him where it is and how to do it. However, some husbands say it can be a real bitch to start in the morning. Some have reported that in winter, when you really need it, you can't even get the thing to turn over. New models are initially fun to own, but very costly to maintain, and horribly expensive to get rid of. Used models may initially appear to have curb appeal and a lower asking price, but eventually have an increased appetite for fuel, and the curb weight typically increases over time. Manufacturers are baffled as to how the size of the boot increases, but suggest that the paint may make it LOOK bigger. This model is not expected to reach collector status. Most owners find it is best to lease one, so that they can replace it, should it become troublesome.

PLASTIC SURGERY Overheard at a Plastic Surgery Addicts Anonymous meeting: “Ah, I see we have a few new faces here today.”

FRANK FAMILY CHAT A son says to his Dad, “I'm gay.” Dad looks at his other son and says, “And you?”

His other son says, “Yep, me too, Dad.” His father say, “Christ, doesn't anyone in this family like pussy?” His daughter beams, “I do.”

EPILEPTIC FIT In the pub the other day, a bloke was telling the old joke about what you do if you see an epileptic having a fit in the bath. And the punchline, of course, is to throw in your washing. Well, he was having a real good laugh about it, when some big chap tapped him on the shoulder and said, “I don’t find that very funny at all. My brother was epileptic and he died in the bath during one of his fits.” The joke teller said, “Oh, I’m very sorry to hear that, mate. Did he drown?” “No,” the big guy said. “He choked on a sock.”

BOXERS Wife comes into the bedroom to see her husband pulling off his boxers. She says, "You know, Gerald, you spoil those dogs."

TWINS I had an amazing threesome the other day. I was going out with a girl who was a twin. So I asked. Well, you don't ask, you don't get, right? And it was amazing. Absolutely amazing. Because if anything, her twin was even better looking than she was. In fact, he was an all round great guy.

NATURAL I told my 4 year old son that it's quite natural to poop your pants sometimes. He's still making fun of me though.

PEARLY GATES A priest dies and is waiting in line at the Pearly Gates. Just ahead of him is a guy who's dressed in sunglasses, a loud shirt, leather jacket and jeans. Saint Peter addresses the cool guy, “Who are you, so that I may know whether or not to admit you into the Kingdom of Heaven?” The guy replies, “ Hi. I'm Jack. Retired airline pilot from Houston.” Saint Peter consults his list, smiles, and says to the pilot, “Take this silken robe and golden staff and enter the Kingdom, my good fellow.” Next, it's the priest's turn. He stands erect and booms out, “I am Father Bob, pastor of Saint Mary's for the past 43 years.” Saint Peter consults his list and says to the priest, “Take this cotton robe and wooden staff and enter the...” “Whoa! Just a minute,” interrupts the good father. “That man was a pilot and he got a silken robe and a golden staff and I, a priest, only get cotton and wood. How can that be so?” “Up here,” said to Saint Peter, “we go by results. When you preached, people slept. When he flew, people prayed.”

NICKNAME I've got a friend whose nickname is 'shagger'. Now you might think that's pretty cool, but she’s not too keen on it.

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Let’s get one thing straight, The Edge does not, repeat not, watch bloody Bargain Hunt. However, you can not channel hop and not be intrigued by the sheer ‘look’ of Danny Sebastian if you happen to catch him on screen, normally resplendent with a neckerchief and a bowler hat at a jaunty angle. He says his biggest profit was on a red 1950s cocktail bar that he bought for £110 and sold for over a grand to a Frenchman who drove all the way across the Channel to pick it up. “I’ve always wondered whether he knew something about it that I didn’t,” says rascal Danny. “It was a really special looking piece.” He’s not had it easy though. Fifty-two year old Danny went through some proper tough times in the eighties which saw him end up in the clink and a 4 year stretch for violence and robbery, so it just goes to show how you can turn your life around and become a bit of a dandy on the tele. Born and raised in Northampton to immigrant parents from the Dominican Republic, Sebastian stands over 6ft 4ins tall and has three daughters with his longterm partner. He’s also somewhat less irritating than David ‘Dickie’ Dickinson.

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Me & Mrs Edge have. For the simple reason that in a year’s time this very month, we’ll be on a barge for an entire week with the wife’s sister and her husband, and I don’t know whether we’ve done a massive boo-boo or not? But it’s too late now, as we’ve already gone ahead and paid a substantial deposit. How did it all come about? Earlier on this year, the wife’s sister surprised us by announcing that they were hiring a barge for a week. I forget whereabouts in the country they were, but what I do remember is that they apparently got chatting to Carol Vorderman one day, who was walking along the towpath with a female companion, around about the same speed as the barge, I shouldn’t wonder. Anyway, there she was, and Edge bro’-in-law told me that she “looked great” with a heavy-heavy emphasis on the word great, if you know what I mean. Well, I’ve always been an admirer of Vorders’ curves. So when they invited us along next year in an even bigger barge (with doublebedrooms at either end, apparently), it was initially a no brainer, as I couldn’t get Vorderman out of my mind. Only now that we’ve committed, I’m honestly starting to have second thoughts, as it’s not as if lightening’s going to strike twice, is it? (‘I should be so lucky’.) Knowing my luck, we’ll probably bump into Feargal frickin’ Sharkey instead! Clearly barging without Carol Vorderman it’s no doubt going to be. Life in the slow lane Slow though, innit? Which is odd, really, as sister-in-law’s husband always drives his car like an absolute juvenile muppet (i.e. way too fast). So what on earth has drawn him to bloody barging? Page 24

I guess it’s the pace of life and switching off from the sheer hustle and bustle that people are drawn to. Well, it must be, mustn’t it? Because it surely cannot be the damned locks, where danger obviously lurks. I do want a shot at steering the damned thing though, although no doubt I’ll have to fight bro’-in-law to get my hand on the helm (I’ll need to show off my barging prowess if Carol really does happen to be wandering by). And I guess it’s the fresh air too, although as we’ll be in North Wales, I hope there’ll be no rain. Fingers-crossed there’ll be some decent scenery into the bargain, as there was when I was last there circa 1970. Oooooh and the smell of bacon cooking of a morning as it wafts up from below deck, and sitting showing-off drinking red wine of an evening, letting passers-by know that it is definitely our barge, bought and paid for (must remember to remove all of the ‘hired from’ stickers in the windows). You’ve got to try these things though, haven’t you, and barging certainly wasn’t anything I’d have been prepared to do simply as a twosome. Can you imagine if I actually get a ‘bit of a buzz’ from it though? Because if I do, that’s the first nail in the coffin, isn’t it? A more sedentary lifestyle here The Edge jolly well comes.

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a good mood and generally genial and happy. A huge number of them take enormous trouble to dress as their own particular favourite character. There are dozens of Spidermen walking around, while Superman and Superwoman perambulate in their hundreds. And the sight of so many Wonder Women in one place is a thing to behold. Then there are literally hundreds of other characters in costumes that only the aficionados will recognize. You look at some of them who have clearly spent a huge amount of time and money on their outfit and go, “Who’s that supposed to be?” But they don’t care that us civilians don’t know - their fellow conventioneers get it.

Greetings once again from the modestly self-titled Finest City in America, San Diego. Now, if you were to be asked what first comes to mind when you hear the words San and Diego put together, what would it be? The chances are your answer would be “nothing much”. SD is a bit of an undiscovered gem, and even those of you who have been to the west coast are sure to have visited San Francisco and LA, but unlikely to have ventured as far south as this great place. There are few tourist must-sees here, which is as we residents like it. Should you have any perception at all, it’s maybe of the sporting kind. American Football advocates might think of the Chargers, but they upped sticks and left town a few years ago and now play in front of ridiculously small crowds in suburban LA. The only professional sports team left is the Padres. But who cares about baseball, right? Well, there’s a whole column about that sentiment due at some time, but you get the point. The thought might register that San Diego has a military history, especially the Navy. But that is not the sort of thing likely to tickle the average European’s fancy. In fact, they do military memorials and tributes extremely well here, but again that’s not going to elicit much more than a ‘meh’ from most folk.

that revels in super-heroes or characters from films, comic books or even video games, you will know all about Comicon. The Comicon weekend is huge to the city of San Diego. Here, like many other American cities, we have a very large and impressive Convention Centre. San Diego’s is one of the most used in the country and through the year plays host to groups as diverse as bog-brush salesmen and the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. OK, the bit about the bog-brush salesmen was made up, but you get the gist. There is some group or other in there most days of the year.

However, should you ask people of a certain leaning, anywhere in the world, what San Diego is famous for, the answer would be instantaneous. Comicon!

But Comicon has a whole different level of attendance. Hotels are booked solid for a year beforehand and going for a gentle stroll by the bay is impossible that weekend due to the hundreds of thousands of conventioners. The local bars and restaurants love it, of course - it’s like Christmas in July as far as their takings are concerned.

Yes, Comicon. A convention for comic lovers. It’s a phenomenon that is completely off the radar of 99% of the population of any country, but should you be the type

But in reality the logistics of it are just a side issue. The really good thing about it is that all these people that descend on the city for one weekend a year are in such

shaun@theedgemag.co.uk

On the whole the attendees seem to be on the younger side - under 30 in most cases - but that’s not a hard and fast rule and there are plenty of older people dressed to the nines. Quite why a 40ish gentleman of a certain, shall we say, large build (OK, he was fat - very fat) should want to don a full on Batman costume is unclear to most normal folks. But hey, if that’s how he gets his jollies, so be it. He’s having fun and harming nobody. And there’s the thing. It’s become such a huge event because all those attending are in the same club. Nobody would ridicule anyone else and as was alluded to earlier, it’s all done in a very good humoured way. Even those of us not prone to dressing up, and in fact, curl our toes, eyelids and kidneys in embarrassment at the very thought of it, can get into the mood of the thing and enjoy it for what it is. It’s been such a success through the 50 years it’s been running that there are now copycat conventions all over the world, but the one here remains the Daddy of them all. So, see you next year, Chelmsford Spidey.

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M

KiNGPiN

y fiancé and I recently returned from a fantastic, relaxing week in Majorca. Well, it was relaxing after the shock of our alarms not going off and waking up at 5.37am when our gate closed at 6.15am. Luckily, we live quite close to Southend airport (and if you haven’t flown from there before, then do it, as it’s the quickest, easiest airport ever!) so we were able to get out of bed, dressed and in the truck to break numerous traffic laws and end up standing in front of our departure gate with just 5 minutes to spare.

The Kingmeister reports

I’ve treated it pretty much like any of my projects at work, whenever I get asked to troubleshoot an issue: What’s not working? What’s taking too much time and effort? What can I do to eliminate or reduce these things?

GETTING IT RIGHT!

I think it really is a worthwhile exercise to evaluate your daily routine, see what’s taking you too much time, or just generally annoying you, and then working out what you can do to change it. Some things are easy enough, such as my fiancé and I deciding to employ a cleaner, doing a bit of mealprep for my lunches, and getting the train to work as opposed to driving.

We’ve been to Soller, in Majorca, a few times now, so we didn’t feel the need to do any sightseeing and just concentrated on basically doing as little as possible. We’ve both had a monumentally hectic and stressful year so far, so a week of doing absolutely nothing was exactly what we needed.

Of course, there’s a cost to some of these solutions, but doing the above has probably allowed me to claw back around 10 hours a week, and ten more hours a week to do things I actually enjoy doing is well worth a little extra cost. As I said before, things like that are relatively easy to figure out, but when you start looking at yourself to figure out what you can do to improve things, the solutions start to become a little more esoteric.

We opted for something a little different this year and stayed at a place called Loft 1882, which is a 3-storey house that used to be an old textile factory. It’s a shared house, so we had a private room and bathroom, but shared the living room, kitchen and garden with the other people staying there. It looked nice enough on Booking.com, but for just over £300 for a week I’d tempered my expectations somewhat. Luckily, the Loft turned out to be a very pleasant surprise.

I’ve recently discovered a woodland walk right next to my office and I now do that every day, come rain or shine. Walking out of a busy, noisy office to spend 30 minutes or so totally on my own, with only the sound of birdsong, really makes a difference to my mood, and I walk back into work feeling a lot more relaxed. Once I saw a bloke out in the woods with his trousers round his ankles having what looked like a very enjoyable time with a young lady. I expect he went back to work feeling very relaxed too.

Our room and bathroom were really nice and the rest of the house was lovely, well furnished and kept immaculately clean. There was an honesty bar (2 euros a drink), fresh oranges provided every day along with a juicer, and I loved the idea of the sharing shelf in the fridge, where any food left there was free for the taking. The Loft was about a 5-minute walk from Soller town square, so as far as location went, it was a winner as well. It is run by a young guy from Kansas called Spenser who made us feel very welcome indeed and got being a host just right by always being available, but never intrusive, and it’s actually Spenser who inspired this article. For those of you who don’t know, the town of Soller sits nestled amongst gorgeous looking cliffs and mountains, so it’s a popular destination for rock climbers, something that happens to be Spensers’ particular passion. As well as running The Loft, he and his mum and dad run a business called Nature Nurture, where they offer classes, retreats and expeditions in yoga, climbing, hiking, kayaking, paddle-boarding and suchlike, and this is what I mean about getting it just right. Spenser and his family have a genuine passion for all of these activities, and for teaching them to others, so they’ve taken the things they love doing and found a way to make it work; make it their living. During the summer season, it’s way too hot and Spenser is far too busy looking after people like me to climb much. But I spoke to him about what it was like off-season and how often he got out to the mountains, and he gave me a big beaming smile and said, “Every day”. What a great way to live your life! Spenser isn’t spending his days stuck in traffic, then stuck in an office. He’s doing the things he loves with the people he loves. In short, he’s getting it right when so very many of us, including myself, aren’t. I’m not naïve enough to think Spenser’s life is constantly stress-free and unicorns are farting rainbows everywhere, but I’d rather have the odd stressful day doing things I genuinely loved, than stressful days doing a job I zig-zag between enjoying, liking, tolerating and then tearing my hair out over. Lou and I spent a fair amount of our lazy days in Majorca talking about how we might be able to

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Spenser struggling through his 9 to 5 change our lives to give us less stress and more enjoyment; more time doing the things we have a passion for, and once we’ve paid for our wedding, we’ll take a good look at our finances and see just how much leeway we’ve got to cut back on work, and/or make some significant changes to our careers. I’m sure it won’t be easy, and we’ve also got kids to think about, and a mortgage to pay. But who says it’s impossible? And, hopefully, in a few years time, I’ll be ‘getting it right’ as well.

TOOTING MY FLUTE

S

ticking with the theme of trying to reduce, or eliminate stress, I’ve recently started making some small changes to try and focus a bit more on, well, myself, I guess.

I dress up and everything

A 30 minute walk every day is also getting me some extra exercise in and helping to combat my middle-age spread a little, which is never a bad thing. I’m also managing my health a bit more by intermittent fasting, meaning I only eat between 12pm-8pm. It’s not a drastic change, but it really has made me feel a lot better, as well as helping me to drop a few pounds. But probably my favourite change to help me destress is my decision to finally learn an instrument. I know, a manly rock-god sort of fellow like myself and you probably expect me to be learning the guitar or the drums. Instead, I’ve opted for the Native American Flute. I stumbled across a video on Reddit of a guy playing one and I was instantly entranced by the sound, so now I’m the proud owner of my own little flute called a ‘First Hawk’ as it’s a starter one. It took me at least half-an-hour to get it to make any noise at all, as I was struggling to form an ‘embouchement’ with my mouth properly. But I’ve pretty much got that sorted now, although I’m still sticking the flute too far into my mouth and dribbling into it. I’ve only been practising for a few days and really just doing my pentatonic scales to improve my breathing and finger dexterity, but I’m absolutely loving it. While I’m practising, as well as enjoying the fact that I’m actually making the sound that got me hooked in the first place, I’m not thinking about anything at all. I’m just focused on what I’m doing. At the end of the day, that’s all meditation really is. You’re focusing on one thing, or eventually nothing, which empties your mind of everything else, including all of the little worries and stresses we carry around every day. The world is a stressful place and it doesn’t look like that will be changing anytime soon, so my advice, for what it’s worth, is to take a little time to look at your life, look at YOU, and figure out how you can make life even just a little easier. And if, like me, you decide to learn an instrument, then let me know and we can form a band!

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CRASH & BOOM

SPEAKING OF HISTORY

In the last few months we’ve had learned pundits telling us every day that we’re in the middle of ‘the worst crisis ever’ and the very constitution of the United Kingdom is at risk.

Speaking of history, what was so surprising about the Game of Thrones finale? It was, as George R R Martin implied, simply the Wars of the Roses with dragons. The Wars of the Roses (or GOT) involved cousins fighting each other, false claims of kingship (for Robert Baratheon read Edward IV), last minute treachery (for Roose Bolton read Sir William Stanley), the killing of the rightful King/Queen (read Henry VI for Daenery’s Targaryan) and a final battle petering out with the crowning of a Monarch who had no claim to the throne whatsoever (read Henry VII for Bran Stark). It’s only make-believe. These things don’t really occur in real life. At least not with dragons.

We’ve had Parliament opposing the Prime Minister, ignoring ‘the will of the people’, deposing the PM and threatening to walk away from Europe etc. Is this really so unique? For the last 900 years, England and latterly the United Kingdom, have been at odds with Europe, so what’s so surprising about our current situation? The Wars of the Roses lasted for 30 years, the Civil War for nine. In 1915 it must have seemed as though the Great War would never end, while in 1940-41 Great Britain was utterly alone (despite having an Empire of over 300 million people) and threatened with invasion.

PEAKY BLINDERS

If we go back to 1812, Great Britain was isolated both militarily and economically by Napoleon’s all conquering French Empire (we were even at war with the USA at the time). So if you look back in history, these upheavals occur regularly, yet often resolve themselves over time.

Whilst most viewers believe that GOT is one of the finest shows ever screened on TV, my personal belief is that Peaky Blinders is even better. Not only is the storyline gripping (and some of it even true-ish), the intro music is absolutely superb, whilst the series has had a profound impact on British society.

A boom usually follows a crash, wars are followed by peace and, of course, house prices will always recover. So keep calm and simply carry on regardless.

When I was a kid (many, many years ago), my dad, as did most men of the time, always wore a hat. His was an elegant grey fedora made by the Italian com-

pany Borsalino (which is also the name of one of the best gangster movies ever made, starring Alain Delon and Jean-Paul Belmondo). Sadly, by the mid 60s, the men’s hat had almost disappeared, and in recent years it has tragically been replaced by the baseball cap, which I feel should stay where it was invented (back in the US and in a sports stadium). Thankfully, the hat, or at least the very British flat cap, has had a huge resurgence, due in part to the popularity of Peaky Blinders. So much so that at the Rochdale v Tottenham FA Cup tie a year or so ago, the Spurs supporters, who mainly wore stylish flat caps, inspired the Rochdale crowd to chant: “You’re just a bunch of cheap Peaky Blinders” and politely asked us to return south (and that we did, drawing 2-2 at their place, then ‘doing them’ 6-1 at our place, which involved snow, ice, brimstone and VAR).

GETTING SHIRTY As you get older, have you noticed that trousers and shirts don’t always fit together so well and, as most of us who’ve had to wear such a combo for both work and leisure will have noticed, how the shirt keeps on getting pulled up and out of the trousers, making a lot of us men of a certain age look like ill dressed schoolboys

(remember the cry from our teachers: “Tuck your shirt in, boy!”). This is no doubt partly due to our expanding midriffs and the belief that we all still have a 34 inch waist, together with the fact that these days shirtmakers scrimp on the material and make shirt-tails so much shorter. Therefore I applaud the modern fashion of being able to leave one’s shirt draped outside of one’s trousers – although strictly NOT WHEN WEARING A TIE! Wearing a shirt out actually looks so much better, neater and hides a multitude of sins (not to mention doughnuts) and you don’t have to keep on worrying about having to keep the damned thing tucked in.

Good luck to the two pilots who have begun a challenge to fly a newly restored silver Spitfire around the world - and what ‘a piece’ it looks. They took off, in early August, from Goodwood aerodrome in West Sussex - the home of the first school for Spitfire pilots - and will stop off at 100 locations in 30 countries throughout their five-month, 27,000-mile journey. The route goes via Scotland, then westbound to the USA, Canada, Japan, Russia, India, before returning home to Blighty. The project, named ‘Silver Spitfire - The Longest Flight’, is the first such trip of its kind. The model is a single-seater Mk IX Spitfire, which was originally built in 1943 in Castle Bromwich, West Midlands. They hope the trip will showcase an aircraft which changed the course of history and which will "reunite the Spitfire with the many countries that owe their freedom, at least in part, to this iconic aircraft".

The Edge 077 646 797 44

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Max Headroom’s

BIZARRE NEWS EIGHTH OFFICIAL SIGHTING OF ‘NESSIE’ IN 2019

KiDS reading

EDGE

the

Good choice, young man!

ALBIE PLOMP (age 4) . . . great name. Page 28

A boat skipper claims he's captured an incredible sonar image of 25ft-long Nessie lurking deep beneath the waves in Loch Ness. Hello Sailor's picture shows the bottom of the loch, a fish, and then a long, thin object about 115ft (35m) below the surface. When the young (he’s only 24-years-old) opportunist ‘circled’ the object and took readings at the same spot, as if by magic, it had disappeared, thus tending to rule out a log or any other inanimate object. His conclusion? “Well,” he said, “I’d like to think I’ve spotted the Loch Ness Monster.” Bravo, Skip. Finger-whistles. Cheers all round. Yep, that’s definitely what it must have been: Old Nessie. He captured the remarkable image while he was taking a group of tourists for a trip around Loch Ness on 27th June. This canny, publicity-hungry, seafaring youngster, from nearby Drumnadrochit, had just finished explaining yet another laborious story of the mythical creature and the castle on the water, when a tourist shouted “’Ey up!” after spotting the anomaly on the sonar. Immediately the skipper believed the long, thin object at the bottom of the lake to be Nessie. “After all,” he said, “what else could it have been?” Hmmmmm, he has got a point. The image shows the sonar device with 101 metres at the top left hand corner indicating the total distance to the bottom at that point. On the right hand side, the device goes down in increments of 20 metres and at around 15 metres there is a ‘big blip’ which would seem to suggest a reet big fish of some description. However, at 35 metres there is a long, zig-zag line which suggests a very large object indeed, which quite clearly could be the Loch Ness Monster. This is the eighth official sighting of Nessie recorded this year alone on the official Loch Ness Monster sighting page, and although we in the Max Headroom office haven’t checked, what’s the betting the other seven sightings were recorded by this particular skipper as well? A couple on board his craft said of the sonar image, “It was definitely black and a fair old size.” Hmmmm, riveting. That narrows it down a bit then. But let’s leave the last words to Captain Fantastic, shall we, the skipper in charge. "I’d like to think this is our creature.” Why, of course you would, mate. "It's my first year of being a skipper of my own boat and in the five months up until now, I've never seen anything like that on the sonar before. My dad’s a more experienced skipper than me, but I guess he hasn’t quite got the nose for publicity like I have. "It's my first sighting of Nessie and I think my dad’s a wee bit jealous as he reckons he’s never ever seen it. "The standard size on the sonar is usually a sharp prick, suggesting a small fish. But the large line we all saw was about 35 metres down in the water and measured something between 10-25 feet long. "An object of that size I would imagine is way too big to be any normal species found regularly in the loch. "We must have spent about five or six minutes trying to pick up the creature again, but sadly to no avail." The RNLI says Loch Ness is very deep and has an average temperature of 6C, but is prone to deteriorating conditions with wave heights of 4m. Nessie was reported to have been seen a total of 15 times in 2018. Research carried out last year revealed that the mythical creature is worth £41m a year to the Scottish economy, so that’s worth bearing in mind. The Edge 01245 348256


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MOTCO

Man on the Clapham Omnibus

AUGUST - A MONTH OF CONTRADICTIONS Writing for The Edge means we are always writing at least one, sometimes two, months in advance of publication. This can lead to unfortunate situations as events can completely overtake what was a good and funny idea and turn things completely on their head. Despite popular opinion, we do have to think about this each and every month. It struck me that August, as a month, sits astride big changes in our daily life cycle. It was whilst thinking over this month’s missive (i.e. what the hell am I going to write about?) that I got to thinking about what a strange month August truly is. You will be most likely reading this in early September, yet I am writing it in early August. I am reliably informed, by Jet 2 holidays, that it is just 27 days and 26 hours until The Motsters are due to depart. We are away for 14 days. By the time we get back, it will be late September. In just a month’s time, things will be very different, and no, this is not going to be about the ‘B’ word. By the time you read this, I will be on holiday. I will have my small notebook laptop with me, because I will have to deliver my October article to EE before I return to Blighty. That last statement must not be construed as any kind of whinge. Sitting on a balcony with a couple of cold ones to write on a warm Algarvian evening is quite manageable. Right, the highbrow bit. August is the eighth month of the year in the Gregorian calendar - its predecessor being the Julian calendar. The month of August was originally named Sextilis in Latin, since it was the sixth month in the ancient Roman calendar. The name of the month was changed to August in honour of Augustus Caesar in 8 BCE. The word August means ‘respected and impressive’. Maybe there is a case for linking the second use of the word to the month itself, as our country is currently bathed in a warm glow, despite the fact it is peeing it down as I write. People are tanned and an awful lot of them are away on holiday. The hanging baskets and flower beds are giving up their last few weeks of pomp as we push towards September. August is a month of contradictions. We are apparently in the ‘height’ of summer, yet we are well over half way through the year. So this point in the calendar is what produces such alarming contradictions. For instance, I ventured into a few shops last week to buy T-shirts, but found it much easier to purchase a new winter coat. Meanwhile, supermarkets are pushing on with their summer BBQ advertising, whilst at the same

shaun@theedgemag.co.uk

time running TV campaigns concerning back to school items. I figure most parents are probably thinking about getting their little darlings back to school, but for very different reasons than new uniforms. There is, of course, the other big elephant in the room - NO, I have already said it is not the ‘B’ word - but the other one. The ‘C’ word. Yes, dear readers, as you step into a few of our local establishments to take a small summer evening libation in the pleasure gardens, you can also book your Christmas meal with a member of staff who will be most pleased to take your order (not to mention a healthy deposit). We observe an unofficial end to summer. It comes at the beginning of September with the return of children to school and the emptying of those exhausted flower baskets, now dried out and tired. The nights are darker and a different routine is established. Upon my return from holiday, just three weeks after the end of August, EE will drop his annual bombshell. A page will be pinned up on the notice board in the legendary Edge writers lounge with the Christmas deadlines. Hold on, mate. I am still loading the washing machine with two weeks’ worth of dodgy flowery shirts and chuddies. So let us return to the start of this piece and the dangers and difficulties of writing ahead. The usual timetable means that by late October, the November, December (never the Christmas article), and January articles have to be submitted for print. It means three articles written in the period we would normally construct one. EE leaves few rules for us typewriter slaves, but the December (never called Christmas, so you should have an idea what the December article cannot be about) and January pieces do have some ‘guidelines’ (i.e. EE’s annual New Year’s resolution is never to write about New Year’s resolutions, ever). So, I shall continue to prepare for my holiday, despite being unable to buy a T-shirt, yet I can book my Christmas dinner, whilst browsing through winter coats as I shop for Pimms and BBQ food. To conclude, August is indeed a paradox, is it not? Wistfully yours aye,

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‘Bridge over the River Kwai’ today, or we’d be a laughing stock!

TOTALLY TRACIE There’s a nip in the air! The internet has been alight with comments about Halle Berry, who at 53 is said to be revealing too much. Comments range from “Cover up!” to asking “Should she be going bra less at her age?” Age can be so depressing. Why should we be made to feel guilty for wanting to prolong our youth for as long as possible before we settle down to Tena Ladies Pads and a lifetime of beige? I once saw Joan Collins in Chelmsford and she looked stunning. She was in M&S after attending a book signing and she was totally flawless. I remember hastily putting back the full fat milk and exchanging it for the skimmed stuff, thinking ‘Joan never kept her teenage figure drinking full fat milk’. She even smelt amazing as she wafted down the aisle carrying a bottle of water and a bag of oranges. I wonder if she ever wakes up at night and wanders down to the fridge for a glass of wine and a bit of Hagen Daz? Probably not! I wish I could go bra less and look like Halle Berry, but without causing people to abandon their shopping trolleys and run in the opposite direction. I do still sport a bikini and am rather proud of my flat stomach, if I say so myself. If only we could have some sunshine in this country to put on a bit of swimming attire. Three hot days we’ve had, followed by a host of warnings for skin cancer, heat exhaustion and the threat of hose pipe bans.Then it didn’t stop raining after that! So now there is the usual talk of an ‘Indian Summer’ which never materialises. But wouldn't it be nice to just one year have a ‘long hot summer’? Paul Weller could never have written that song today!

You Spin Me Right Round Baby

Simply send to shaun@theedgemag.co.uk Page 30

Which brings me on to the Army & Navy roundabout. Thirty years ago there was talk of replacing it with something different. Now it’s closed due to “the discovery of a technical fault due to high temperatures”. Purleaseeee. We had a couple of days where it got a bit hot and did not rain and then it’s rained every since. They have bridges in California and Dubai, so why can’t we get on the blower and ring up someone in one of those countries and ask them what theirs are made out of? Its a blooming good job we are not building the

Personally speaking, with the amount of rain we had in August, I’d be less surprised if our flyover hadn’t been washed away. As someone who frequently sits in the traffic both mornings and evenings, there surely has to be a solution, because for most of us, what other options are there? Buy a pack of Husky dogs and a sledge? Or maybe an elephant or a camel? Given that there are no rural bus services left, the car is our only option. I do car-share as and when I can, and sometimes I work from home, but generally I find myself stuck at the A&N for way longer than I ought to be. I swear they will etch on my gravestone: “She died of compression sores on her backside from her time spent in a traffic jam at the Army & Navy roundabout!”

I am not a Robot...... I woke up in the early hours the other day in a panic. Had I renewed my car insurance? As I frantically tried to log on, the website denied ever having knowledge of me. Surely I had not been driving around for the past 10 years without any insurance? So I checked my bank account and thankfully the direct debit had been leaving my account for all this time, so they must have a record of me. So I tried to reset my details and I was hit with a puzzle of pictures asking me to click on the ones that have palm trees in them. So there I am, at 4am in the morning, trying to work out if it is a normal tree, a bush, or a palm tree. After lots of swearing, I woke ‘Him Indoors’ up, who started moaning at me to “Get back to sleep. Sort it out in the morning!” But no, I was on a roll. I gave up trying to log into Esure - Fort Knox would have been easier - and decided to log on and buy some cinema tickets for the new ‘Lion King’ movie instead. I soon began to wish Simba would show up and eat me alive. I thought booking online was supposed to be easy? I had to fill in a registration form of my name, address etc. Why do they need to know my address? After all, I am going to see the film at their address. So I am scrolling to fill in my address and it then asks me for my location. Now this always gets me. You scroll down for England, but it’s not there. So you carry on scrolling for Great Britain and it’s still not there. So by now I have lost the will to live, so I just hit the next button - Hong Kong. So they think I am flying in from Hong Kong to watch a movie! I mean, who writes these websites? Surely they do not need anyone’s home address, country of residence and triplicate passwords, with one upper case letter and at least 8 additional characters (which I will never, ever remember) repeated twice over, JUST TO VISIT THE CINEMA?!?! So after 2 hours of getting nowhere, I gave up on the cinema tickets too. And they say we have progressed, but I’m not so sure.

Tracie123@aol.com


The Edge 275 new_The Edge 172.qxd 27/08/2019 00:21 Page 31

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The Edge 273 new_The Edge 172.qxd 6/25/2019 11:50 AM Page 32

Profile for webwax

The Edge Magazine September 2019  

Chelmsford, Essex base fanzine, with local current affairs, humour, reviews etc

The Edge Magazine September 2019  

Chelmsford, Essex base fanzine, with local current affairs, humour, reviews etc