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AWARD WINNING RESTAURANT TABLE BOOKING OR TAKEAWAYS GO TO
SHWINGS.CO.UK MAY 2021
‘THE CHELMSFORD FANZINE’
ISSUE NO: 290
Fun outdoor fitness community Search mibootcamp www.theedgemag.co.uk
Telephone 01245 348256
Mobile: 077 646 797 44
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Our gardens are open, offering a luxurious laidback dining experience
Exclusive boat trips now available, offering a unique dining experience
Tempt your palate with our sumptuous selection of Canapes & Cocktails, choose from our all day Garden Menu accompanied by your favourite wine from our extensive list or treat yourself to one of our mouth watering Afternoon Teas.
Sit back & relax as you indulge in our delicious Afternoon Tea & Bubbles through the black water canal, aboard ‘The Elver’. Taste our sublime Selection of Canapés complimented by our signature Cocktails. Perfect for a celebration or perhaps romantic treat.
Alternatively our Le Benaix@Home restaurant style Takeaway Menu is also available.
Alternatively our Le Bouchon@Home restaurant style Takeaway Menu is also available.
Receive 20% off your food bill for all reservations Wednesday - Thursday: Midday until 2.30pm From 19th – 30th May 2021. Booking essential quote ‘2021’ *Excludes Afternoon Tea & cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer, Maximum 6 covers*
We are excited to announce that both Restaurants & our Hotel* will reopen for Indoor Dining from Wednesday 19th May 2021 With our new: A la carte Menu, Set Menu, Stay & Dine*, Luxury Afternoon Tea & Tasting Menu.
LE BENAIX BAR & BRASSERIE
LE BOUCHON @ THE HEYBRIDGE HOTEL
Main Road, Rettendon, Chelmsford, Essex CM3 8DY Tel: 01245 987888 • firstname.lastname@example.org
The Square, Holloway Road, Heybridge, Maldon CM9 4LT Tel: 01621 856511 • email@example.com
*Le Bouchon only. All menus are available online.
The Edge 01245 348256
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SEE PAGE 14
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59 Moulsham Street, Chelmsford, CM2 0JA. 01245 490741 www.personalvapour.com
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The Edge Editor’s Column TIGHT-ARSE Anyone who knows me well knows that I can be a bit of a tight-arse, but on the other hand, I always go for quality when it’s required. So let me give you an example as to how I roll in order to show you what I’m about. Edge columnist Yan had messaged me to say that Costa Coffee were offering brews for just 50p-a-pop for a 3 day period only (April) to all of their customers who had the Costa app, my good self being one of ’em. So I thought I’d treat mesel’ afore going into the O2 store down the High Street to give them a well deserved earbashing. Only when it came to the crunch, I couldn’t remember my password on my Costa app, so I had to pay £2.95 for my extra hot soya latte (always) which put me in a reet bad mood. So I took it out on O2 and really discovered just how disgustingly they’ve been treating me, especially considering I’ve been a customer of theirs for 20 years (but not for much longer). Then I popped into John Lewis where I found
I could purchase an iPhone SE (2020 model) outright for fully £45 cheaper than O2 were willing to sell me one. Then finally into Tesco to discuss a new phone tariff with them, rather than O2 (down market, I know, but sometimes it’s just gotta be done). Only while I was in there, I thought I’d see whether their 1 litre bottles of Gordon’s Gin (not my favourite, but at that price) were still only £18. “Yes sir, they are” some lad down the booze aisle told me (as no price was indicated beside the product like it ought to have been don’t you just hate that?). Then he said, “And if you’ve got a Tesco Clubcard (where fortunately no password is required) you can have it for £16”. Result! So now I was only 45p out of pocket on my Costa latte was how I was looking at it (you see how my tiny mind works, readers). As I was paying for my gin at the self-service tills, the customer before me had left their receipt and I noticed they hadn’t collected their Clubcard points (yes, or course I’d taken the trouble to look at it). So I took it along to Customer Services and asked them if they’d put the points on my card. As the lady was doing this, she asked me whether I’d used my Clubcard, and I took a guess and answered no. Then she asked me to produce my Clubcard, so I told her I’d left it in the car. Then she said, “Oh never mind” and started bashing a few keys on her till before giving me an 81p cash refund. YAYYYYY! For as the mathematicians amongst you will now fully realise, that put me 36p in profit for the day. Correction, 37p as I was forgetting the shiny 1p piece I’d also picked up off the shop floor earlier on when I was in O2 (the bastards).
GARDENERS WORLD Now that we are once again able to circulate and mingle amongst ourselves, are there any
green-fingered Edge readers out there who’d be willing to invite me along to look at their gardens or vegetable patches (either at their home or on an allotment), as it’s something I’m interested in learning more about? Also, I now find myself at the interesting stage in life where I am actually contemplating (yes, really) the purchase of a greenhouse. So please email me if you think I would benefit with having a cuppa in your company, whilst you show off your carrots and chrysanthemums.
CROWS’N’GULLS We’ve all taken to noticing that which is all around us far more so than ever before, haven’t we, due to the lockdowns? Only I don’t know whether you readers have noticed, but since when did Chelmo start to attract (a) crows, and (b) seagulls? We’re not Chelmsford-on-Sea, FFS!
SOUTHWOLD Our very first venture out of the straight-jacket and constricted life of lockdown was to Southwold on a glorious Monday in April, taking in the scenic route of the A1120, which really was a pretty stretch of road, passing some truly quaint looking cafes that appeared deserving of our custom on another day. But what a relief - and I do mean that - it was to see the sea and feel the icy wind on one’s face, before stuffing it with a Cornish pasty, a Pasteis de Nata, Hazelnut ice-cream, Scampi & Chips and washing the whole lot down with a couple of pints of draught Adnams Broadside, sat outside of a real pub in the English sunshine. Wonderful. Such a tonic. And the A12 even played ball by offering us a clear passage home . TH E E D G E Chelms C h e l m s f ord ord C M2 6 XD HE EDGE CM2 6XD 0 77 646 797 44 firstname.lastname@example.org sh a u n @t h e e d g e m a g . c o . u k
INTRODUCING THE B E OV I S I O N CO N TO U R Timeless design and award-winning sound in one television experience The new Beovision Contour ensures that staying-in remains very much the new going-out. The latest addition to Bang & Olufsen’s television range combines the crisp visuals of OLED with powerful, full-bodied award-winning sound so you can immerse yourself like never before in the latest sporting event, blockbuster movie or a favourite album. To find out more about the Beovision Contour, please visit our showrooms or contact us to arrange a private one-to-one demonstration.
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The Edge 01245 348256
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This little gem of a festival was created back in 2015. Not only was there a gap in the market for Street Food in Essex, but there were also many local people that loved to dance to house music, club classics and feel good songs. However, these people also wanted to bring their family along and embrace it as a unit. That’s why this boutique festival strongly believes in the promotion of the music, the street food and the classic accompanying beats. Children will NOT be entertained by the usual rides, but may well have access to some Space Hoppers (yayyy!), some upsidedown buckets (with wooden spoons for sticks), some great food and dance-a-long in the hay. And if they don't, the adults certainly will! SATURDAY 4TH SEPTEMBER 2021 - LIMITED SPACES, SO BOOK YOURS NOW! Eat, drink and dance from a very civilised 12-noon to a most responsible 9:00pm. New additions this year include OINK BBQ, who serve slow cooked ribs and meats from a 5m smoker. Vegan Vampire, who will delight you with their choice of vegan delights. Born & Raised, a mobile, wood-fired pizzeria in a converted Land Rover. And The Taco Monster...well, it’s a huge, red, monster-shaped truck that will definitely be creating the best taco’s in town. www.streeteatsnbeats.com
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We are talking about a multi-million pound footballer here, yet this is the best he can do? Thing is, just what is lurking beneath his comb-over/top-knot excuse of a barnet, because as long ago as the 2016 European Championship Finals in France, The Edge had already spotted the possibility that Bale may well indeed be as bald as a coot underneath his disguise. Undoubtedly a superb player in his time, unfortunately his very best may well be a thing of the recent past these days. Unless, of course, he can once again rise like the proverbial Welsh dragon (akin to a phoenix from the flames) to lead his beloved country to a more successful Euro’s than England dare dream to hope for this summer. There’s not long to go now. Friday 11th June the competition begins and The Edge will once again be on tenterhooks hoping that us Lions can reach the semi-finals, a position we somewhat fortuitously achieved in Russia during the memorable World Cup tourno of 2018. England’s group games: Croatia (13/6, 2pm), Scotland (18/6, 8pm), Czech Republic (22/6, 8pm)
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Prices inclusive of VAT subject to terms & conditions
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We provide reliable and cost effective leaflet, booklet, menu and magazine door drop distribution. Distribute4u offer packages to suit every budget. Our clientbase ranges from well known High Street brands to tradesmen, local leisure centres, estate agents etc. WHY? Because leafleting works for all types of businesses! We cover Chelmsford and the surounding area, plus SS, RM and IG postcodes. Check out our website for more information and our Blog tips on what to include on your leaflet. 10% discount on your very first order when you mention The EDGE! Vacancies in your area - apply today on the Distribute4u website www.distribute4u.info Telephone: 0795 723 6299 email@example.com
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G R W FE AS E AL RT S S SO IL EE SELL IS D ER A S ND
The past decade has seen social media dictating what the definition of fitness is. Leaner, more muscular bodies and performance-based goals are often the key drivers, so not surprisingly our reasons for engaging in fitness are often superficial. Weight loss. Muscle gain. Looking better. Whilst these reasons are all valid, fitness means different things to different people. There is no ‘one size fits all’ approach and what health & fitness needs is a more personalised, individual approach, so says Edge front cover advertisers Mibootcamp. In short, what it needs....is change. So, the big question. How do we connect with our deeper ‘Why?’. How do we find the answers to questions on where to begin? What to eat? How to train? The future success of the fitness industry is not rooted in a collection of quick fixes or novel ideas. Its development doesn’t lie in brand new technology that measures heart-rate or use AI to give you personalised workouts. It’s not social media inspired 30-day challenges and diet fads promising to achieve that perfect beach body. And the answers aren’t found on Google. Russell Byham, founder of Mibootcamp comments: “Future success lies with professional coaches who possess the skills, knowledge, empathy and understanding to help people to get to where they want to be. It lies in learning from professionals about the principles of long-term success in both fitness and health, and then and only then providing the individual with a personalised approach. I believe the way to succeed in health & fitness is to appreciate that it is a journey that will last a lifetime. It’s about understanding and accepting that you can move through your journey to a fulfilling active life in a sustainable way.” He continues: “Now, more than ever, as we find ourselves amid a global pandemic, principles such as getting quality sleep, managing stress, great nutrition practices and the benefits of simply physically moving more are of great importance. And now that we can open our outdoor fitness facility once more, we hope to welcome and support anyone beginning, changing or continuing their journey with us towards living a fitter, healthier and fuller life.”
ERNEST DOE POWER FYFIELD
Fyfield, Ongar CM5 0NS Tel: 01277 899464 Shop online: ernestdoeshop.com
Mibootcamp offers Strength, Bootcamp, Boxing Fit and Strong sessions. So if you would like to join a fun, informal and supportive fitness community, visit www.mibootcamp.co.uk for more details or pop along to see them at Little Channels, Cliffords Estate, Pratts Farm Lane West, Little Waltham, Chelmsford, CM3 3PR.
The Edge 01245 348256
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I’m still not convinced that Boris didn’t somehow manage to change the clocks and steal our time that night, because it seemed pretty inconceivable to all of us that the early hours rolled around way so soon, although admittedly the hot tub is a well known vortex of time. Thus we went to bed on a spirited (and more than slightly sozzled) high, feeling free and empowered, having tasted the first and most delicious slice of ‘Normal Pie’ we could remember in a very, very long time
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However, it’s safe to say we did not exactly wake up feeling quite so invincible. My immediate emotion was one of bitter regret that I had allowed the part of my brain (which clearly still thinks I’m 21 when I’m under the incorrigible influence of a few cheeky Proseccos) to overrule the more sensible other part that knew I had to once again be a parent in the morning.
MELLY M ELLY M MOO O O BBAILEY AILEY Is it just me, or does anyone else think that the new phase 1 in Boris’ lockdown escape/exit strategy was either significantly flawed, or yet another double edged sword/kick in the crotch from the powers that be? It cannot be merely a coincidence that in the same week we were finally allowed to have people over for drinks in our gardens, the kids (seemingly endless) extracurricular clubs were also back in play. This was either really poor planning on behalf of old Bojo, or all part of his cunning plan to continue to make the nation suffer. I can almost picture him rubbing his hands together in glee as he imagines the millions of desperate parents who haven’t had any form of a social life in several long, cold, winter months, wrestling with their conscience in an attempt to find a balance between some much needed adult socialisation and managing to rejoin the kids club ‘rat race’ of distributing our mini-me’s to the right places at the right times (‘Challenge Anneka’ style), often from what feels like the crack of dawn. I had waited over a year to be reunited with my crazy little cousin, and true to form, as soon as the bureaucratic shackles were released, she was on the first train down to ‘The Rock’ for a very LONG awaited reunion. The sun shone and it was the sort of afternoon where exhilaration and excitement combine to give you that emancipated ‘holiday’ feeling. There was so much to catch up on and laugh about, and the bubbles had never tasted so good. Several bottles of Prosecco and Sauvignon later, the sun had set and we were promptly reminded that we were not, in fact, in Cannes, as April evenings in the UK are bloody cold, so the party moved on into our hot tub to enable us to thaw out. Only at some point during the proceedings, I conveniently chose to completely forget about the following mornings 9:00am gymnastics class that my eldest was due to attend, as I was far too caught up in the heady combination of freedom, family and fizz.
I think we can all agree that another three and a half months of lockdown has only served to indoctrinate our ‘techno age children’ even further into the virtual world, either through their school lessons, catching up with friends on FaceTime, or general gaming. In many ways the real world has become something of an urban myth to them. So imagine their horror, when they were rudely reintroduced to the idea of getting up, putting on clothes and actually leaving the house to partake in a real, physical activity with other human beings. Worse still that this seemingly mammoth task also involved disconnecting from Roblox. So there we were, with the killer combination of one seriously debilitating hangover and one extremely reluctant child who didn’t seem to understand that after all the retention fees I had paid out during lockdown, she was absolutely 100% going to the class, even if I had to drag her there in her PJ’s. Even though physically I would rather have chewed off my own arm than take her, mentally I was not prepared to cave or capitulate one iota. The good thing about continued social distancing however, is that unless you’ve swallowed a whole garlic bulb, no one should be able to smell your breath (or in my case, what felt like wine fumes from every single pore). So seriously, could Boris have not given us all a fortnight’s grace at the very least? A small window in which to unleash our inner desperation to let loose with the more wayward influences in our lives, before we all got back to a gruelling early doors schedule of gymnastics, football, netball, dance etc? It’s almost as if he’s actually enjoying this...
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EE: So Motty, I hear you’re fast approaching the BIG SIX-OH? Motty: I am that. On the very day the pubs reopen, as a matter of fact. How spooky is that? EE: It’s certainly timely. Motty: And your good self? EE: I turn 60 at the very beginning of July, unfortunately. Motty: It’s a fine age. EE: A ripe OLD age, you mean. Motty: I am trying to accept it. What I don’t like is having less time left than I’ve already had. Does that worry you? EE: You had ‘less time left’ 10 years ago, man. So no, that doesn’t worry me. Having said that, pretty much everything else does. Motty: Not entirely. People living to be 100 is becoming more and more common these days. EE: Me and you haven’t a hope in hell, bloke. Although I’ll definitely be buying a t-shirt and wearing it with pride (see above). How about you? Motty: I will wear whatever 60’s shirt I can get my hands on, although I think I am more worried about the reasons why I will apparently be needing hairier ears as the years go by. EE: My plan is to retire next year, just before my 61st birthday, as I was born in ’61, so it feels right. It’s got a nice ring to it. What about you? Motty: Yup, nice ring to it. But unless the Lotto delivers anytime soon, my retirement will have an entirely different ring to it. Somewhat along the lines of: I started work in 1977, so I’ll probably end up retiring at 77! EE: Oh no, bloke.That’s way too old, is that. Motty: So are you going to retire to the seaside and swerve into comfy slacks and a nice cardi, like some real life Werthers advert? EE: I doubt it. We visited Southwold the other day, and though it was as wonderful as ever, it’s often windy by the coast and I don’t want the embarrassment of me hairpiece blowing off, do I (yes, I plan to get one of those)? However, I do like the thought of growing some of my own veg, while the option of owning a greenhouse is definitely gaining in appeal. How about your self? Motty: Mate, I’m not sure about the ‘syrup’. That would signal immediate divorce for me. Even the merest menwww.theedgemag.co.uk
tion of going down the old Bill Bailey route is enough to get me threatened with the spare ’room. As for a greenhouse, you and I both know it’ll be just another excuse to sit in there, when it’ll still be lovely and warm and cosy in September and October, and enjoy a crafty nip of something to warms the cockles from a concealed hipflask. EE: No, lad. I am being genuinely serious. Have you never fancied growing your own tomatoes, new potatoes, strawberries, and perhaps even the odd cucumber to go in your G&T’s? Are thee not green-fingered at all? Motty: Well I do like a nice lawn and manicured beds full of flowers. But have I got the patience? I’m not so sure. And as for veg, I honestly struggle to eat the stuff, let alone think about growing the stuff! EE: So how do you envisage your retirement looking for thee then? Motty: Deffo the seaside. I’d really like to live in the North Norfolk area. It would consist of taking those long walks across those great big empty beaches with big skies. I could look all mean and moody, like some Scandinavian detective. Be even better if I could be moody and thoughtful with my hair blowing the wind. EE: But where exactly, as it sounds as though I should give it a visit? Motty: Get yourself up to ‘Wells next the Sea’. But that’s not Wells next TO the Sea. The locals will kill you if you call it that. Holkham beach is my favourite place. It’s such a great part of the world. There’s a place called Burnham Market which is lovely, but it’s basically Kensington or Islington near the sea. Lots of what I call fru-fru shops selling bits of driftwood for 50 quid a pop. Madness. One other thing though. There’s a hat shop with one of the widest ranges of off-the-shelf titfers in the whole country, and you know just how partial I am to one of those. EE: And you’ll get more for your dollar up there house wise, will you? Motty: Oh mate, the nice places are out of my league. It’s a sore subject with the locals as the houses are way dearer than Chelmsford and closer to Chelsea in a lot of places. But it could be done if we choose carefully. EE: I wish you all the best with your retirement ideal, Motster. Motty: You too, Edge bloke. Page 9
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Family run Suffolk based classic car restoration company Bridge Classic Cars have recently given away three classic Minis. After setting up their Competition Give-Aways almost 12 months ago, Bridge wanted to mix things up a little with a classic Mini hat-trick, releasing all three at a launch price of less than £10. Having given away three already, Mini's have proven to be one of the most popular models for their competitions so far. The oldest is a 1969 Austin Mini mkII 850 Super Deluxe, which came intact with its untouched fuel ration tokens and original 1969 tax disc. The Mini scene is a broad church of cultures, owners, models and even makes, but there are some derivatives that seem to be all but extinct. There are still a number of prized Cooper and Copper S models on the show circuit, but the rarity of this wonderful 850 Super Deluxe makes it a very special find indeed. Unlike many others, this one hasn’t been hotted up or given a duo-tone paint scheme. Instead, it has been beautifully restored to original specification and painted in the factory shade of Old El Paso Beige. Restored 7 years ago by Ted Sparrow, owner of renowned Mini restoration specialist Team C (formerly East Anglian Mini Centre) the car was fondly named 'Ellie' and has remained a show stopper ever since. The second Mini is the striking and more sporty 1980 Austin Morris Mini 1275 GT. If you head back to 1957, a very small team led by Sir Alec Issigonis designed and built the first prototype of a very small, quirky and
AC12 - Anti-Corruption Unit-12 AFO - Authorised Firearms Officer ARU - Armed Response Unit BBB - Bombay Bad Boy (Pot Noodle) Bent as Ninepence - Suspected crooked copper CHIS - Covert Human Intelligence Source (snitch/grass) COM - Covert Operations Manager Cottaging - A homosexual action of engagement in a public toilet (aka ‘a George Michael’) CPS - Crown Prosecution Service Cuckooing - Drug dealers have taken over vulnerable person’s home for use as base DVD - Digital Versatile Disc Extra Pinta - Note to milkman Fahrenheit - Order to shoot to kill Father Ted - Kate & Steve’s nickname for Hastings FLO - Family Liaison Officer GSW - Gun Shot Wound MIT - Murder Investigation Team MMH - Any packets of Monster Munch handy? MTV - More Tea Vicar? OCG - Organised Crime Unit Osman Warning - Warning of death threat or risk of murder P&C - Pie & Chips Packing a Punch - Suspected of carrying a weapon PNC - Police National Computer Reg 15 - A ‘yellow notice’ meaning an officer will be investigated by anti-corruption RTC - Road Traffic Collision SFC - Strategic Firearms Commander Sit Rep - A report on the situation SIO - Senior Investigating Officer SO - Smooth Operator SOA - Insufficient time to ‘scratch one’s arse’ Status Zero - Radio code: Officer needs immediate assistance TFC - Tactical Firearms Commander TOS - Tin of Soup UCO - Undercover Operator
economical car, built to accommodate four people. Over 20 years later, the Mini was voted the second most influential car of the 20th century, narrowly missing out on the title to the Ford Model T. Although the look and style didn’t change, many variations were introduced. When the Clubman was new, it failed to convince enthusiasts and was discontinued after 11 years. This decision has made the 1275 GT a rare find and desirable addition to any Mini fan’s garage. The third was an Almond Green 1996 Morris Mini Cooper 35. This special edition 35 was designed to celebrate 35 years since the Mini Cooper first rolled off the production line and went on to make history. Winning the Monte Carlo Rally three times in the Swinging 60s, it out-manoeuvred far larger and more powerful rivals in countless other racing and rallying events. The Mini Cooper was a small miracle. Competitors simply couldn’t believe that the cheeky little cars storming past them up snow-packed Alpine slopes had only a 997cc engine and rubber cone suspension. The engine was developed in 1071cc and in 1964 John Cooper increased the stroke to produce the 1275cc Mini Cooper. It raced to victory on its first outing. Bridge Classic Cars felt that such a winning streak deserved celebrating. So now three lucky winners can drive a Cooper which are certain to become collector’s items. The Mini Cooper 35 is startlingly like its illustrious forebearers. The unique Almond Green paint is an original colour, specially reproduced for the Cooper’s 35th birthday. What’s more, the drive and handling are as exhilarating today as it was three and a half decades ago. Perhaps even 'the best fun you can have on four wheels'.
Will Kate succumb to the lure of her Scottish charms and start ‘batting from the pavilion end’ with DCI Joanna Davidson?
The Edge 01245 348256
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Fish Shack is a lively new fish & chip take-away situated in Havengore, Chelmsford, brought to you by the owners of the White Hart in Little Waltham, offering a traditional 'chippy' menu with a difference. However, their primary focus is serving you the tastiest, freshest, sustainable fish, all hand sourced from Billingsgate Market. Choose from either crisply fried in batter, grilled, or coated in breadcrumbs, served alongside fresh cut chips, a wedge of lemon and their homemade tartar sauce. In addition to fantastic fish & chips is a superb selection of fresh cold counter fish and seafood favourites, including delicious fish platters, a half-pint of prawns (with Marie Rose sauce) and cockles in malt vinegar. Despite being a ‘Seafood & Chips’ take-away, Fish Shack have also worked hard to ensure they offer a great balance of meal options. For the meat eaters amongst you, there’s also a local Butcher's Meat section featuring handmade burgers, slow braised barbecue ribs and jumbo sausages, in addition to a selection of delicious handmade pies. Vegetarians & Vegans are also well catered for with a great range of options including vegan roasted spring vegetable shortcrust pastry pie, garlic panko breaded mushroom and battered vegan sausages.
Nor have they forgotten their younger guests, offering them fantastic Fish Shack Kids’ Meal Boxes complete with toy duck and stationery. On top of all this, they also offer a range of desserts, 'Catch of The Day' Specials and some fantastic ‘Daily Offers’, ensuring there truly is something for everyone at Fish Shack. Open 7 days a week from 12-noon, you will be welcomed by their warm and friendly team for luscious lunches and/or delicious dinner take-aways!
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WE ALSO REPAIR CARAVANS!
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www.training-space.co.uk NAVIGATION ROAD, CHELMSFORD, CM2 6ND Page 12
(Behind C&C Autos)
I was, readers, I truly was. Not totally, but I was having to turn the tele up reet loud, like the father-inlaw has a tendency to do whenever he visits. I knew what it was though, as I tend to be prone to it. Wax (Cerumen, but who the hell calls it that?) building up in the ear canal until it completely blocks the drum, at which point your hearing is drastically impaired. Only I’d cut out an advert for an ‘EWRS’ (ear wax removal service) from one of those mags that gets shoved through your letterbox, as I thought it might come in handy one day. And so it proved as I met a Maltese lady by the name of Jennifer Oakley (with loads of letters after her name) of Clear Ear (see page 5), who actually hails from Detroit and has a belting accent. As my accent’s somewhat unEssex, we hit it off in an instant. Once my hearing started to become impaired, I’d started dripping Olive Oil into my ears for about a week prior to my appointment in Maldon, as it helps to soften up the wax. On all the other occasions I’d had my ears syringed it had always been done by an NHS nurse at my local surgery who pumping warm water into my lugs, whereas these days it appears to be done via a sort of an ear hoover. First up though, Jenny peered deep into both of my tabs with a pair of pretty impressive spectacles, it has to be said, and confirmed that not just one, but both of my lug’oles were clogged up. So she rubbed her hands together, rolled her sleeves up and immediately got to work. And the result? Well, just check out the photo below. Yep, totally out of focus, but that ‘big blob’ on the end of her probing instrument is exactly why your editor had been constantly saying “You what?” for a fortnight. So if you’re prone to getting blocked ears, readers, you know what to do, don’t you? Only make sure you tell Jenny you read all about her in The Edge. One thing she told me was to never ‘puggle your ears’, not even with cotton buds. I never knew that as I generally stick my little finger in with a piece of toilet tissue around it and wiggle it about a bit on a daily basis in order (I thought) to keep my lug’oles clean. But apparently this is a no-no as it compacts the wax. P.S. We’ve all tasted our own ear wax, right, readers? Thought so. Only Jenny reckons she never has. Not even once. Oh come on! Clear Ear, 63E Bright’s Path, High Street, Maldon, CM9 5EP.
www.clearearmobilemicrosuctioning.co.uk The Edge 077 646 797 44
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friends in Chelmsford. But let's see what the next 10 years bring, once we are mortgage free and our outgoings are less.
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So they say. You’re only as old as you feel, or as old as the person you're feeling (in my case, that adds a couple of years onto my age...sorry, wife). But what is age? For me it’s merely a number and something I don't worry about too much. I know for some they dread each and every birthday and reaching certain milestones. But I'm just grateful when my birthdays arrive, as for plenty of us they don’t. It's funny how we look at things differently at certain ages. When I was younger (even up to the age of 30) I hated the beach whenever we went on holiday, or even just out for a day in the UK . At the time I couldn't stand the thought of laying on sand and trying to relax - and no way was I going in the sea with the chance of getting eaten by a shark. I used to constantly nag my Mum and Dad: “How much longer do we have to stay here?” as I used to get bored within minutes, just as they were beginning to relax and switch off from the world. At the time I just couldn't get my head around it, but now that the roles are reversed, I fully appreciate it, especially during the past 10 years when the penny has finally dropped. Relaxing and switching off from time-to-time is without doubt one of the most important things we can do. The appreciation of the simple things in life is something I think only comes with age. I, like our editor, have seriously thought about what it would be like to ‘up sticks’ and move away to an area closer to the sea over the past 12 months and be able to relax on the beach and even go for a run on it. Somewhere where there’s far more countryside for family walks, because walking is something good that’s come out of the lockdowns and we now really enjoy doing them on a daily basis where possible. At the moment it's only a pipe dream and I’m not sure if my better-half is at present as keen on the idea as I am, which is also the case where our daughter is concerned, who has all of her
As I write this article, the week has been mad full of drama in the football world. Jose got sacked (no surprise) at Spurs and there was uproar of the so called ‘Big Six’ English clubs breaking away into a self contained ‘European Super League’. Thankfully the threat that was posed to the English football pyramid was quickly squashed as fan power soon made club owners realise their sins of greed and within 48/72 hours the ESL had been dismantled in its tracks. It's funny how the potential loss of income got FIFA and UEFA acting so quickly to put a stop to the team's actions, including threats of life bans, fines etc. And yet, when it comes to kicking out racism, they don't seem to be half so quick to punish individuals or teams, including finding a way to severely eradicate those sending abuse via social media. I think for many of us, all this week has shown is that the beautiful game is getting further away from the working classes (everyday supporters) than ever before and has got most people starting to look elsewhere for their footie fix, be it the lower leagues or grassroots level and supporting the likes of Chelmsford City instead. So I guess something good has also come out of other people's greed as well.
Due to Covid infections, Paul Deeks of @Springfieldrdfc had to postpone his half-marathon I mentioned in the February Edge, which was in the name of Football v Homophobia, but instead he went ahead on 18th April. I was proud to run alongside him and Jamie McCarthy (who was on his bike keeping us supplied with water and gels). We started at Springfield Road and finished at our charity football team’s adopted home ground at Heybridge Swifts F.C. Paul managed to raise roughly £400 from his first ever halfmarathon, so well done Deeksy and a massive thank you to the owners and committee of Heybridge Swifts for allowing us to have our finish-line at the stadium and welcoming our families, friends and supporters to enjoy some sensible socially distanced drinking afterwards, including the presence of ex-Hammer Julian Dicks, the newly installed manager of the Swifts. Stay safe, support your local businesses (and local footie teams as well). Be good. The G.P. The Edge 077 646 797 44
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HERE COME THE GIRLS
A Beaulieu Park Wife’s Diary in which names have been tweaked to spare blushes and exposed breaches to Pre-Nup Agreements.
Well folks, we did it! We are out the other side of another lockdown and emerge ‘bigger’ (all you Uber-Eats junkies) and better than ever. The hair has been restyled, brows arched to perfection, and anything that needed to be waxed, plumped, jabbed, sculpted and massaged, well, yes, all is once again in order. As soon as the salons opened, I was on that phone quicker than you can say ‘hyaluronic acid’ booking myself in. Tan? Check. Nails? Check. Teeth re-whitened? Checkety-check (definitely needed something to reverse the effects of all that red wine during the great winter of discontent) and am ready to get out back out there and mingle. ‘Out’ is obviously the appropriate word here, as I can’t say I’m loving the enforced al fresco nature of drinking and dining at the moment. Hot on the heels of a month where we experienced four seasons in the space of two weeks, the thought of sitting freezing one’s tits off on yet another ‘prosecco patio’, or draped in my beloved Gucci Rhombus wool shawl, shivering in some ‘casual dining’ space is far from appealing. The gastro-advertising world is obviously taking tips from those Farrow & Ball peeps (the likes of who dress up banal brown paint and call it something wonderful, like ‘Mouse’s Back’, to garner the sales). Yes, that’s right, we’re being peddled some pretty creative, poetic language to entice us back into these licensed establishments, but at the end of the day, no amount of ‘foliagedraped’, ‘cosy fire pit’, ‘fairy light twinkling cocktail terrace’ can disguise the fact that it’s really f@cking cold! As an evening’s libations draw to a close, your hands feel like the circulation has been cut off and you’ve probably emptied the bar of whiskey in an attempt to stave off the pneumonia you’re likely to develop over the coming days. But we are all doing it, aren’t we? I mean, the urge to meet people, to indulge in the odd portion of sweet potato fries, to get back on the ‘Fizz Friday’ train is just too good an opportunity to turn down, isn’t it? After months of languishing at home with the remote, click & collect meals, and nothing more exciting than old Simon
Bassett romping during the infamous episode six (if you know you know, right ladies?,) the lure is simply way too great. Any invitation I’ve had so far has been attentively accepted and I can’t tell you how excited I have been to finally be able to wear all those gorgeous garments I have squirrelled away over the past few months. There was never a moment where I held back on buying an outfit because I had ‘nowhere to go to wear it’! I was simply ‘planning for the future’ and ‘wisely investing’ all the money that Nathan has saved by not having to fork out on train fares, parking fees and boozy, gluttonous lunches, whilst the City has been effectively shut. And very responsible on my part too, I might add! One invitation I haven’t (yet) accepted is the opportunity to receive ‘The Sting’, as some are referring to it. I’m still very much undecided as to whether the vaccine is for me. I’m probably something of a lone voice amongst my Beaulieu pals, who have all rushed off to get theirs. “Oh, it’s just another ‘injectable’ nestling amongst the Botox, Juvederm, Restylane and Kybella,” they tell me. But never have I been so undecided. I’m usually the one with firm views, strong opinions and a battery of facts to hand out to enforce my point. But with this though, I truly haven’t a clue. I just can’t buy into something whole-heartedly when I read phrases such ‘emergency-use authorisation’, or if I feel that I am comfortable enough to plunge into the unknown of long term side effects when only ‘tens of thousands’ took part in clinical trials, for something being rolled out to billions worldwide. Who bloody knows, hey? It’s all a bit of a minefield to my mind. What I do know though is that in Nathan’s corporate world, ‘early adoption’ (i.e. having access to an advantageous new product or technology before others) is not always beneficial; such products or systems can be ‘buggy’ or ‘malfunction’ and the client serves as something of a ‘guinea pig’. As a dedicated follower of fashion, I’m usually more than happy to be an ‘early adopter’. After all, who doesn’t want to appear to be a trend setter? But on this one, I’m quite content to sit back a little while longer and appear ‘soooo last season’. So hey, if you see me out and about at an outdoor eatery over the next few months, I’ll be the one with blooming great hair, subtle Russian lips, a ‘wearable blanket....oh, and just one head!
BEAULIEU PARK HOUSEWIVES
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Kick-starting your day with a ‘nice’ (eh?), refreshing, cold shower is one way to adapt the body to harsher conditions, which in turn makes us potentially (but not definitely) more resistant to stress. It’s been a hideous past 12 months. As a result, many people have become depressed, some without even realising to what degree. But one simple treatment known to benefit some is electroshock therapy and you can make this happen by simply turning the dial of your shower down to ‘distinctly chilly’ two or three times a week. The cold water then works its magic by sending out electrical impulses to the brain (i.e. ‘F@cker, that’s cold!’), which immediately jolts our system to increase its alertness, clarity and energy levels. Endorphins, which are sometimes called ‘happiness hormones’, are also released, which in turn leads to improved feelings of well-being and optimism. Water that’s colder than body temperature immediately causes our unit to work harder in order to maintain its core temperature, which both increases and benefits our circulatory system. There’s also a theory that cold showers can help us lose weight. Some sudden deaths catch you completely off guard. Such was unfortunately the case last month where Paul Ritter was concerned, he of Friday Night Dinner, Harry Potter, 007 and, more belatedly, Chernobyl fame, at the tender age of just 54 - which let’s face it, is no age to croak. Ritter had apparently been fighting a brain tumor for some considerable time, unbeknown to many of his friends and associates outside of his immediate family. His terrifying performance as Anatoly Dyatlov in the multi award winning Chernobyl was reckoned to be nothing short of spectacular, which somewhat annoyingly The Edge still hasn’t managed to see. Paul Ritter was a bit like the late Peter Postlethwaite, don’t you think, readers? Perhaps not one to ever be the leading actor, but that didn’t make him any less of a great screen presence who will most definitely be sorely missed.
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Back by popular demand! Hello again, dear readers. I received a record post bag last month. Only just into double figures admittedly, but it’s really nice to hear from people. A few more of you popped up on my Instagram account and followed me there, which was also very pleasing. It makes writing all the more worthwhile if people take the trouble to say they enjoy something. And the horse names were very popular last month by all accounts too. I also had one abusive message, which surprised me, I must admit. The guy was unhappy about my positivity regarding the vaccine, basically saying I had no right to put a positive spin on the matter. A friend did say to me to be careful when commenting on Covid-19 because I might attract the haters. She was right. The woodwork creaks and out come the freaks! Honestly, anything I write in The Edge is just my opinion, and you know what they say about opinions? They’re like arseholes, everyone’s got one.
By the way folks, since last writing, I’ve now had my first vaccine and I’m due my second one shortly, with no side effects at all, I’m delighted to say. So let’s hope this really is the beginning of the return to normality. I feel a little predictable opening this article with ‘we went to the pub on Monday 12th April’ or ‘The Glorious Twelfth’, as my fellow columnist Phil Claydon called it when he sent me a photo of him necking a glass of real ale outside his local pub. But that’s exactly what we did during the afternoon when me and a few of my neighbours met up at The White Hart, my local in Little Waltham, to be served by Lou and her team like none of us had ever been away. But I’ve got to be honest and say it was a little cold
That you can’t even be bothered to go out and pick up a copy of The Edge? Well it’s lucky for you that you don’t have to. Simply log onto www.theedgemag.co.uk/subscribe and Bob’s your uncle, it’s absolutely FREE! Or head to The Edge’s Facecock page and click on the online subscription button thingy.
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for me, despite The White Hart laying on a marquee, heaters and even blankets for our legs. It just wasn’t happening, drinking beer in the cold in my winter coat and scarf. It felt a bit like I was only doing it because we were coming out of lockdown, which of course was precisely the case. So roll on those hot, gloriously sunny days in pub gardens, is what I say. I have barely been up to London during the past 12 months and of course I was doing that 5 days a week for 40 years before the pandemic. I do miss it. There’s something unique about London, so I’ll be venturing up there again shortly to resume my adventures, which is of course a perfect cue to tell you another story from back in the day when I was working for Coughdrop Bollox & Bellend. If any of you don’t know who they are, you can get up to date with my previous columns, which can be found at http://theedgemag.co.uk/blog/ As a director of Coughdrop Bollox & Bellend I was often entertained by suppliers and in turn I also entertained clients when the company agreed to release their otherwise normally tight purse strings. That was my life. Someone had to do it and it so happens I was very good at it. There was one lunchtime/afternoon/evening when I was out for a very long lunch followed by drinks in a Mayfair bar afterwards when the guy I was with declared he had to meet a diamond dealer in another bar as he was potentially going to buy some stones, as you do. Sure enough, his mate duly turned up and they got to discussing the merchandise when the guy suddenly whipped out a little velvet pouch and tipped eleven of the largest diamonds I have ever seen onto the bar. I’m not exaggerating when I say the whole pub lit up as there were beautiful dazzling light patterns reflecting off the diamonds that bounced all over the pub ceiling and everyone in there turned to look. Talk about drawing attention to ourselves. Anyhow, my pal elected to accept the product and we continued doing what we do best (i.e. carried on drinking). At some point I decided I could consume no more and that I must go home. We were both very much the worse for wear, but he insisted he still had someone else to met in Knightsbridge, so he persuaded me to look after his diamonds for him which, like a fool, I agreed to. Fast forward to the next day and I’m lying in bed on a Saturday morning, trying to piece together the previous day, when suddenly I remembered he’d handed me his diamonds for safe keeping. So I jumped out of bed, a little too fast, searched my suit pockets, searched everywhere I could think of, but I couldn’t find them. He then texted me and asked if we could meet up on the Monday so that I could return them. ‘Sure,’ I replied, even though I had no idea where they were. I spent the entire weekend turning the house upside down, only to find them late Sunday afternoon in the bread bin! In my drunken state, I had obviously decided that they needed to be hidden in case I was burgled. The guy was a bit of a legend, a really good friend, and the type of chap that could probably do a wheelie on a unicycle, if truth be known. I will share other stories about our adventures in future columns and then you will understand why I’m not naming him. So what else have I been up to? Well, I nearly burnt my house down and removed several layers of skin on one of my hands whilst making candles. You see, in my wisdom, I decided to melt down some old Christmas candles I had laying around and fill up a couple of trendy candle jars that were empty. I found a saucepan and placed the old candles in it with the hob full on and successfully completed the first candle. But then when I was boiling the second pan, a small flame ignited. No drama, I thought, as I simply took the pan off the heat and placed it beneath the cold tap. Oh dear, the fire wardens and fire fighters amongst you will be holding your heads in your hands right now. The saucepan of molten wax exploded over the sink on immediate contact with the water, as well as over the surrounding work surfaces and walls, and of more concern to me at the time, my hand. The resultant fireball then hit the kitchen ceiling and I now have an interesting black pattern over two thirds of it. Having said that, I think it looks quite arty, if I’m being honest. My hand lost most of its skin over the following weeks and only now, one month later, is it looking like it might heal. The wonders of the human skin, eh? I was lucky enough to have a nurse in the family, my daughter-in-law Samantha, who works in the Burns Unit at Broomfield Hospital, so I received a daily WhatsApp tutorial in treating and wrapping the burns. See, I told you my life is never dull, didn’t I? Now I do believe I’m coming to the end of my page in the legendary Edge magazine and therefore I must love and leave you once again. But I will be back next month, barring an unfortunate case of self harm or the like. TTFN Deaks Email email@example.com Instagram: gmdeakin The Edge 077 646 797 44
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TAKE-AWAY One thing I have really enjoyed in recent times is the ability to order take-away meals from decent local restaurants. Before the pandemic, it seemed that take-away food was limited to fish & chips, Chinese or Indian, but now the options are seemingly endless. For me, there isn’t anything better than ordering a nice Turkish or a Sunday Roast and enjoying it in the sunshine in the comfort of your own back garden. That way, not only do you not have to deal with slow service, screaming kids or having to miss the big match kick off whilst waiting for the bill and a couple of mints, you also get the bonus of receiving unlimited refills of your beer glass at a fraction of the price of a pub. Whilst restaurants have obviously had to change and adapt their business plans, I really do hope takeaway meals are here to stay as I personally feel as though I have ‘eaten out’ lots more, now that I can have it at home. And whilst I might not be ordering as many drinks, I am ‘visiting’ my chosen restaurants more regularly, which surely has to be better for them in the long run. What has surprised me most of all is just how well some of the restaurants have organised it. For instance, my own particular favourite is the Dog & Gun between Boreham and Great Leighs (no apologies for mentioning them again in one of my columns as their food is exceptional) who even go
one step further and deliver it to your door. For £40 you then have a meal for a family of 4 with no washing up afterwards either, for pretty much the same price I was paying for 4 or 5 drinks on a night out in London before lockdown, and I definitely know which option I prefer. I have heard people saying that the London economy won’t survive if we don’t get back up there and spend some of our money again, although a big part of me thinks I won’t survive as long as I might by going up there and back in the freezing cold every single day of the working week. What’s more, I like supporting my local economy and we really do have some amazing places both in and around Chelmsford that are more accessible than ever through their take-away brilliance.
BLACK BINS While I appreciate there are clearly more pressing issues to be concerned about, but does anyone else get really fed up with the tiny size of our black bins? I totally get that we should all be doing more to recycle and protect the environment, but there are just some things that have to go in the bin and having two little ones makes it almost impossible to fit two weeks’ worth of refuse in a container not much larger than a lunch box. Every bin day I see my neighbours pushing up and down on their lids, trying to squeeze that last bin bag in. Normally they end up giving up
and just leave their bags on the road for collection. Even the bin men must be cursing, because before they used to be able to cart off the skip sized bins, whereas these days they have to pick up all of the bags too. I try my best to recycle, but even that is a task as the cardboard sack is the size of a crisp packet and ever since I started ordering from Amazon, my cardboard consumption has increased to the level of a small country. It’s a strange world we live in where we get the delivery of something small, like a toothbrush, in a box big enough to move a 4 bedroom house, but a bin for two weeks worth of rubbish that’s the size of a matchbox.
ESL Hopefully, by the time you read this, everyone will have come to their senses and abandoned the idea of a European Super League. The idea is that the ‘Big 6’ from the Premier League will join a breakaway mid-week European League where 15 teams, who have not necessarily earned their place, yet even so cannot be relegated, join another 5 qualifying teams to compete in what is likely to be a series of friendlies for the benefit of a global TV audience and cold hard cash. Undoubtedly the first season would be a success and full of excitement, but that would soon wear off given the lack of competition and the inevitability that the kick-off times would be altered to
suit global fans and games played in the Middle East. The cash injection would be massive and I cannot see how those teams could continue to be part of the Premier League as it would totally devalue the competition, as their primary focus would be on the Super League. Of course, this next bit is easy for me to say, simply because I don’t like the club, but what exactly have Spurs done to deserve a place in such a league? And as for Arsenal, they are currently closer to playing in the Championship than the Champions League. I certainly don’t think we have heard the last of this debate, but I do sincerely hope this ridiculous idea gets completely thrown out and those teams conspiring to break away get relegated. Talk about taking the game away from the fans.
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ONLY JO KI NG! HELL
Here in hell, I am forced to wait for my motherin-law to get to the point.
ANGER ISSUES Me: "What do you mean ‘I have anger issues’?” Therapist: "If you'll just put me down, perhaps I'll be able to explain.”
BEING SEVENTEEN When I was 17, I was fecking about, drove my car off an embankment, hit a tree in mid-air, landed in a ditch, walked the two miles home, bleeding and burnt, in the freezing rain, but just managed to catch ‘last orders’ in my local. Whereas 40 years down the line, I had to take a couple of days off work last week because I tweaked my back tying up my shoelace.
SLEEP SMILING Aaaaah, bless. I caught my wife smiling in her sleep. Which got me to wondering how she’d killed me this time?
TOWIE A couple of the blonde bombshells from TOWIE are at a market and discover a perfume stall. "Wor baht this one, Gems? Vanes e Mooey. Suit you, eh? Cos you’re a bit of a cow, ain’t yer? Heehee!” "S’av a gander. Viens é Moi. What’s it smell like?” As Gemma splashes some on liberally, Del Boy ghosts over and says, "Ladies, ladies. It is pronounced Van a mwa. It’s French, see. It means 'Come To Me’.” "Nah,” says Gemma, offering her wrist to ‘Chelle, "Does that smell like come to you?”
WORTHLESS Don’t let anyone tell you you are worthless. Because my god, have you seen the price of organs on the dark web these days?
YOU SAID IT "I’m not going to dignify that with a response,” she replied.
GAMER “I don’t need to get a life. I’m a gamer after all. I’ve got loads of lives, I have...” said The Edge’s columnist, Kingpin.
MASK If you’re prone to wearing a mask in your car when you’re driving by yourself, one can only assume it’s to keep you from licking the windows.
CONFUCIUS Confusius once say: “If dog barks, it is undercooked.”
WIZARD Man: "A wizard is never late. Nor is he early. He comes precisely when he means to.”
Woman: "Whatever. But I still think you’re way too premature and should see a doctor.”
STRONGER The past 12 months or so has made me realise that we need a far stronger word than f@ck.
SCREWDRIVER Meanwhile, at the bar... She said: "Can I have a screwdriver, please?” I said: "Certainly. Slotted or cross-head?” Her: Me: Her: Me: "Oh, so you’re giving me the silent treatment now, are you?”
PROFESSOR GREEN My kids think I’m so out of touch because I don’t know who Professor Green is. However, little do they know I was playing Cluedo long before they were even born.
TERESA Son: "Dad, how come you picked Teresa as the name for my sis?” Dad: "It’s because your Mum loves Easter and Teresa is an anagram of Easter.” Son: "Oh.” Dad: "Anything else, Alan?”
SPANKING I came home from work early one Wednesday and found her on all fours, scrubbing the kitchen floor. Her rear end was bobbing up and down and that got me all excited and I simply couldn’t help myself. So I lifted up her dress and gave her a damn good pounding. After which I immediately stood up and spanking her really hard on her bum. "Owww,” she cried. “What was that for?” "For not looking round to check who it is.”
COFFEE I text: "Fancy meeting up for coffee?” She replied: "That’s not how you spell wine.”
BORING DAY It's been a boring day today. Not exactly watching cricket boring, but awfully close.
NEW TOASTER I need a new toaster as my old one only had two settings. 1. WTF, is this thing even on? 2. Viking funeral.
HATE MEN I fecking hate all men. All of the b@stards. No wait... Ah, he just text me back.
POPULARITY MATTERS If you think popularity matters, remember that ten years ago, BlackBerry phones were very popular indeed.
SCIENCE DONATION When I pass away, I'm going to donate my scrotum to medical science. After all, it's the ultimate sac-rifice.
THE FUTURE Years from now, I'm lying on my bed, surrounded by my children and grandchildren. Daughter (soothingly): "It’s okay, Pops. You can go now. Be at peace.” Me: "What? But I'm only 55. Get the feck out of
my bedroom.” Son: "Do us all a favour, Dad. You can’t last forever, you mean old b@stard.”
SLEEP Anyone who says 'slept like a baby’ has clearly never had one.
OCTOPUS EXCUSES No, sorry, I honestly can’t. I’m busy regrowing a tentacle.
ZEBRA Ever wondered how much a zebra would cost if you scanned it?
EYEBROWS Shucks, these peeps who draw their own eyebrows. Do they have a range of expressions? I mean, how do you pick how you’re going to feel all day?
KINDLE My damned Kindle. Honestly, I wish there was a way to read books without the constant hassle of recharging.
NEED A DRINK Me: "Give me a drink. I just lost my best mate.” Bartender: "Bud Lite?” Me: "Oh sure, twist the fecking knife, why don’t you.”
MEN All they want is someone who’s unpredictable, has a lot of snacks, is slender with large eyes and has zero issue shoving nuts in their mouth. Like a squirrel. So hey, go get a fecking squirrel.
PREGNANT Doctor: "It looks like you’re pregnant.” Patient: "Oh that’s fabulous news, doc. We’ve been trying for ages.” Doc: "Hey no, that’s nor what I meant. You’re not pregnant. You just look like you’re pregnant. You should really try to lose some weight.”
SPOTS Patient: "Are you sure these spots are normal?” Vet: "Sure. You’re a Dalmatian.”
DURING SEX Her: "Hurt me, baby!” Him [panicking] "Uuum, you wear far too much make-up and your lips are all swollen.”
DUNG BEETLES Daddy Dung Beetle: "Watcha eatin’?” Kiddy Dung Beetle: "Not sure?” DDB: "Is it good?” KDB: "Tastes like shit.” DDB: "Awesome, son. You’ve hit the jackpot.”
TRAUMATIZE I just saw a book titled ‘How To Traumatize Your Children’. Now I don’t want to brag, but back in the day, my parents didn’t need a book to know how to do that.
FARMER & CHICKEN Chicken: "Hey look, another egg. Will you look after it for me, please? Like you’re doing all the others?” Farmer: "Sure.” Chicken: "How many chicks do I have now? I can't wait to meet them all.” Farmer: [walks off, mumbling under his breath] Damned stoopid chicken.
All jokes published are supplied by Edge readers. Please send your ‘egg yokes’ to firstname.lastname@example.org
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When The Edge thinks about cartoons, it thinks about cartoon programmes from its yoof what used to be on the TV, like. Such as Top Cat, Wacky Races, The Flintstones, Woody Woodpecker, Popeye, The Pink Panther Show, Foghorn Leghorn, The Great Grape Ape etc. Not print cartoons, the likes of those below, decent though they are. But the cream or the crop was surely Tom & Jerry. Whatever happened to Tom & Jerry? Is it somehow politically incorrect these days? If so, how? Or was it the fact they were way too violent, what with all their brush whacking and mousetrap antics? It didn’t do your editor any harm tho’ (much).
I suddenly realised I’d left my tuba in the car with the doors unlocked. So I raced back as quickly as I could and, sure enough, there it was. Q. What do you call ten tubas at the bottom of the ocean? A. A good start. Q. How do you fix a broken tuba? A. With a tuba glue. Q. What do you call an arrogant tuba player? A. A brasshole. Q. What's the difference between God and a tuba player? A. God doesn't think he's a tuba player. A father decides to put his son in a music class. When the child comes home, the dad asks, "What did you do today?" Child says, "I learned how to play the C note." Next afternoon, his dad asks him the same question. Child says, "I learned how to play the G note." The next day, the dad asks, "And what about today?" Child says, "I joined an orchestra. We set off on a worldwide tour first thing tomorrow morning." Accordion to a study, people don’t notice when you replace any given word with the name of a musical instrument. However, I don’t believe that tuba true. Q. How many tuba players does it take to screw in a light bulb? A. Five. One to screw in the light bulb and four to complain it's too high. Have you heard about the new website that hosts videos of people playing brass instruments? It’s called YouTuba. So the next day, after my friend’s birthday party at his house, I told him I was really impressed with their golden toilet. Only he didn't know what I was talking about. So later on that afternoon, walking home from school, I went back to his house again and he asked his Dad what on earth I was referring to. His Dad eyed me up and down for a while, before whispering, ”So you’re the little shit who took a dump in my tuba, are you?" My neighbour knocked on my door this morning at fully 3:00am. Honestly, can you believe that? Luckily for him, I was still up playing the tuba. A guy had organised a huge New Year's Eve Party. At the very last minute, the band he had hired had to pull out due to a sudden death in the family. He is totally stressed out as he has 100 invited guests and no band. So on 30th December he contacts the only local band available, a duo, consisting of an accordionist and a tuba player. He has reservations, but he hires them all the same, otherwise he will have no live music. To his surprise, the duo are a massive hit with the crowd. The party turns out better than he ever could have imagined. After the event, he walks over to the duo and says, "You know, I never thought in a million years that I would be saying this, but you two were great. So hey, can I book you again now, for twelve months down the line?" “Oh sure,” the duo reply. "In that case, we may as well leave our stuff."
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So finally, here we are in May with the threat of the Covid Pandemic beginning to recede in the UK. But make no mistake, it’s not completely over yet. Unlike Europe, we seem to have mastered the vaccine roll-out, enabling the UK to be able to return to some form of normality. But whether we’ll be able to travel abroad remains a big, big question. However, on the plus side, at least next season we should be able to see some ‘live’ football, most likely with some form of Covid-19 safety protocol being in place, though I wonder what percentage of the ground will be filled, and whether away supporters will be allowed to attend. Like everything, we’ll just have to wait and see. Meantime, a small number of fans were allowed access to Wembley to watch the Carabao Cup Final and the FA Cup semi-finals, so at least it’s some form of progress. By the time summertime arrives, most of the UK adult population will have had both of their vaccination jabs (with a top-up likely to be offered at some point during the autumn) and be raring to go! However, the likelihood is that foreign travel will be limited. I strongly suspect that most of Europe will be a no-go area, as will parts of the Far East, while the Caribbean and Americas will be like the Curate’s Egg - good in parts. Therefore we’ll all have to pile onto planes that’ll take us to the Emirates, Seychelles and Maldives, or instead stick with the UK and have a ‘Staycation”. Despite our huge success where the vaccinations have been concerned, some form of Covid-19 Passport (or documentation) will no doubt be necessary, so whatever you do, don’t lose your blue immunisation card. Keep it safe as it’s likely to be your ‘passport to freedom’ inc. fun, food, wine and travel. In terms of Covid-19, it would seem that herd immunity is unlikely to be achieved unless the entire population is vaccinated. If - and it’s a BIG ‘IF’, some 10% of the 45+ population REFUSE to be vaccinated, that’ll mean that some 3million plus adults remain unprotected and susceptible to catching the virus, which means there’s a strong likelihood that there will be a third wave with the possibility of yet a further lockdown and the reintroduction of yet more restrictions. So, whilst the exit from the Pandemic looks probable, it’s predicated on vaccine acceptance, public support and cooperation. For those of you who remember Hill Street Blues (1981-1987) the opening scenes always showed Sergeant Esterhaus (played by the late Michael Conrad) finishing the
morning briefing with the expression: “Let’s be careful out there”, which surely rings true right now.
Summer is coming and the tops are coming off! I’ve always been a lover of a convertible car. It‘s always seemed just right to drive topless, even on a cold, crisp day with the heater on max! On a sunny day, it’s good to see all the convertible cars out and about and there are some very good looking topless motors being driven around the roads of Essex, that’s for sure. These include the Mazda MX5, Mercedes SLK, E and C class cabrio, as well as the Audi and BMW versions. Of course, the standout convertible is the Porsche 911 which I think is
a truly pretty car, though noisier and slightly rattlier than it’s specifically designed topless younger brother, The Boxster. The ultimate luxury everyday convertibles are the Mercedes SL, Audi R8 and the Aston Martin Vantage, but they can be a tad experience. Whichever convertible you choose, you have to appreciate that the loss of the roof compromises structural integrity (even if it’s a folding hard-top) and gives you a noisier driving experience, even with the roof up. Additionally, convertibles are often more expensive than their solid roofed counterparts, with less (or absent) rear seating, together with limited boot space. But you don’t drive a convertible to transport lots of luggage or antique furniture around, do you? So, if you do choose a convertible, make sure it’s been specifically designed to be topless, rather than a model variant that the manufacturer thought would be a good idea if it didn’t have a roof. The Edge 01245 348256
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Still there? Good.
over the coals, or before a judge, for such outright bigotry. However, the Pontins case shows that there’s still a lot of work ahead to rid the world of such attitudes. Sadly there are apparently still many people thinking like this even if they know they have to keep it hidden nowadays.
This month’s missive from the Golden State is going to be a bit of an odd one, because it starts off with a few thoughts about that grand old British institution - the Holiday Camp. And just why would anyone living in a place with year round sunshine, beaches on the doorstep and mountains and deserts not far off be thinking about a British holiday camp? Excellent question and under any normal circumstances the idea of a Butlins holiday would evoke not very fond memories of the 50s and 60s. A period in the UK’s history when a week in the rain at a concrete prison camp complete with a knobbly knees competition was considered the height of aspiration for some. Yeah, yeah, OK, it’s not the same now. However, having not thought about holiday camps for years, nay decades, something was reported in the news recently that had this correspondent wondering if there was some sort of a time-warp stargate thing going on that nobody had told us about. That purveyor of summer fun, Pontins, suddenly hit the headlines. If you thought they were long since bankrupt, then you are mistaken. They appear to be alive and well and very definitely stuck in the 1950s. Who knew?
Here’s where this gets interesting on a personal level. Included on the list of undesirables was anyone with the name ‘Ward’. The quicker thinking will have noticed the byline on this column and put two and two together. You didn’t know that Ward was Irish, right? Well, it is, even though in my case it’s nearly 200 years since the ancestors fled the poverty of the potato famine and headed to the grand finery and opulence of life as an agricultural labourer in the cold, wet, mud of East Anglia. Yes, apparently the Irish are not welcome at Pontins. Digging a little deeper, it turns out the intention was not to exclude all Irish, just travelers. You have to assume that in the past the traveller community have proved a bit troublesome and as a privately run business, Pontins has the right to refuse admission to anyone it chooses.
Now, without investigating, I have no idea if they still aim to provide such sophistication as glamorous granny contests. But if they do, and there are enough people prepared to fork out some of their hard-earned for it, well, that’s OK. That’s not the reason they hit the headlines though. The old maxim goes that any publicity is good publicity, but the suspicion is that doesn’t hold true in this case. It became public behind the scenes that Mr Pontin, should there be one, had emailed a missive to all his Prison Commandants that they were not to accept a booking from anyone with a surname that was on a list he’d put together. That list included the names O’Connell, O’Reilly, Murphy, Delaney….you will no doubt note the linking factor because you are smart.
But this ham fisted attempt at filtering the guest list by tarring everyone with an Irish surname as ‘trouble’ is redolent of an earlier time when it was perfectly acceptable for landlords to advertise their rental properties and include the stipulation ‘No Dogs, Blacks or Irish’. In general we’ve become a bit more civilized since then and anyone being so blatant about their prejudices would quite rightly be hauled
So for the first time in well over sixty years alive I’ve come to understand how it feels to be judged not on who you are, but what someone else thinks you are. It stinks. Well, actually there was that ginger hair thing at school…so make that the second time. But this is all a storm in a teacup, isn’t it? People should be free to call a spade a bloody shovel if they want to - it does no harm and it’s just being honest. Why should Pontins be cancelled? Well, because there are several things wrong with that attitude. At the lower end there’s the fact that being ‘honest’ in this context is actually just being bloody rude, while at the other end that mode of thinking in stereotypes keeps getting black people shot by white cops in the USA. Speaking as a member of a downtrodden minority (kidding), here’s a cheer for those trying to undo centuries of persecution based on race, nationality or hair colour. Thank you. No matter what the Daily Mail says, you are not woke snowflakes, just decent human beings. We’ll close, not for the first time, with an apt quote from Martin Luther King Jr. As he so nearly said, “I long for the day when a man is judged not by the Irishness of his name, but by the content of his character.” Amen, and anon.
So, let me introduce you to a few characters to whom I owe, and whom I share, my DNA. Great Great Uncle Henry - Born in 1857, one of nine children, and on the 1871 census form he was living in Horningsea, Cambridgeshire, and aged just 14 was employed as a coprolite labourer. Coprolite? Apparently, it’s fossilised dinosaur shit - yes, seriously. Look it up! And in the late 19th century there was a shortlived boom industry for the extraction of the deposits from the fields around Cambridge which were then processed for the fertiliser industry. The work was labour intensive and dangerous, but the wages, even for boys, were 4-5 times those for general agricultural labouring. Henry died aged 43.
Edge of the World travel correspondent. Embarks on assignments in a futile effort to preserve his sense of youth, always acknowledging that he ‘Won’t pass this way again’. I penned this article in early spring when legislation prohibited us from leaving our homes except for a very short list of permitted activities and it was against the law to go on holiday. A truly chilling statement I’m sure you’ll agree and it’s a scenario we could never have contemplated becoming reality; this is the UK after all, surely this is unimaginable except on screen or within the pages of a dark dystopian tale. But such has been the transformation of our lives, our concepts of freedom and the extent to which we’re willing to comply with rules that confine us to our homes, that this is now the existence we’re content to endure. So, whilst it might be spring outside, this is not a fertile season for travel writing. I’ve decided that my exquisitely crafted homage to my regular unsociably distanced walk around the village, occasionally incorporating the highlight of a swift face covered visit to the local CO-OP, is a bit lacking in cultural revelations or exciting social interactions. On reflection, it certainly doesn’t merit column inches in Chelmo’s premier glossy paged aspirational lifestyle journal. I’d been really struggling to think of a subject for this issue’s article. Then it struck me; with reporting from around the globe, or even the next village, being a ‘no no’ I’ll adapt to the situation and embark instead on a bit of time travel. So, I’m going to take you back to explore a few snippets of social history courtesy of some research I’m undertaking to relieve the tedium of UK Lockdown III. I’ve always been rather fascinated by social history and a bit of family history research is an accessible way to personalise it. I must declare from outset though that my research has simply served to confirm what is bloody obvious to anyone who knows me; that I’m a very ordinary bloke from very ordinary stock. Alas, I certainly have no royal or aristocratic connections and I really do reckon I’d have sensed that by now if I had. Surely people with that elite 5-star DNA must instinctively feel different, equipped as they are with an innate sense of authority and superiority. Not me though, I’m descended from generation after generation of working people, predominantly described on countless census forms, as agricultural labourers. Their lives were spent toiling in the fields of Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and North Essex and if they ever had occasion to look up, from what was in all likelihood back-breaking labour, I imagine the horizon they gazed upon represented the boundaries of their existence and aspirations.
Great Uncle Frank - Born in 1895 in Offton, Suffolk. One of thirteen children. He enlisted and went off to fight for his country in the Great War. Frank was lost in action, aged just 23, on 15 April 1918 in what has become known as the Fourth Battle of Ypres defending against the German spring offensive. His only legacy is that his name is listed on a panel at Tyne Cot, the world’s largest cemetery for Commonwealth forces. Great Grand Aunt Charlotte - Born 1874 in Kedington, Suffolk. One of seven children. The 1911 census states that she bore eight children of which only two survived to adulthood. She died aged 62.
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In Mike Judge’s 2006 satire ‘Idiocracy’, an ‘average American man’ ends up in the future where he is now the smartest person on the planet, due to society having become so incredibly dumbed down. The most popular film showing at the cinema in this new timeline is a movie simply called ‘Ass’ (US spelling), in which only the image of a man’s hairy buttocks appear on screen as he lets rip every now and again.
mean a fantastical idea that although we can acknowledge is not reality, draws us into its world due to great storytelling. We know classic movies such as The Matrix, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, ET, Superman and even the original King Kong are pure fantasy. Yet they work because they have their own internal logic. But great storytelling and logic are simply non-existent in this particular movie, as two giant monsters punch each other and buildings fall down, giving us the cinematic equivalent of watching a 5 year old smashing their action toys together, before kicking down their younger siblings recently balanced building blocks. In short, watching Godzilla vs Kong will make you dumber, it’s that simple. And yet, worryingly, this is the film that has brought American audiences out of their protective Covid lockdown homes in order to head back to the big screen. With half of all US cinema
My Grandad Horace - Born in 1894 in Wattisham, Suffolk. One of eight children. He was a blacksmith & farrier. In 1915 he enlisted, along with four of his mates, and was sent to the front. He was at the Somme in 1916 and survived (which was fortunate for me). Three of his mates didn’t return from the conflict. He spoke very little about the war. He lived to 85 and died in 1980. These are just snippets of four unremarkable lives but to say they all encountered adversity is probably an understatement. They and their families lived through harrowing tragic episodes but ultimately their heritage, their DNA and humanity prevailed. Whether they often, or ever, achieved a sense of fulfilment or joy we’ll never know. They had God of course; faith and the church were constants and offered a template for how to live life and always the hope of salvation after. But where does this leave us? What is the message; the take-away? There’s surely no fitter prompt to reflect on our existence than a retrospective on those lives so limited by poverty, premature mortality and the monotony of hard physical labour. Do you know what? I think we’re in debt (and not just the £355bn or whatever it is that Rishi has borrowed). No, we’re in debt to those who’ve gone before us. We owe so much to their resilience, their fortitude and their sacrifice.
I bring this up as Godzilla vs Kong is the current day equivalent of the made up movie ‘Ass’. It is the single dumbest movie I have ever seen - and I’ve seen Speed 2: Cruise Control - yet inexplicably it has garnered mostly positive praise from the vast majority of critics and audiences alike. It seems that as long as you get a giant ape punching a giant lizard it can pass as entertainment. With these types of dumb blockbusters, people often use the excuse that “it isn’t meant to win any Oscars; what do you expect?” Well, I expect a resemblance of a coherent plot and some character development to start with. Then how about special effects that don’t look like a video game. And perhaps, most importantly, a sense of plausible fantasy that creates true escapism. By this, I
remaining closed and with restricted capacity for social distancing, Godzilla vs Kong made more money it its first week of release than it’s pre-Covid predecessor ‘Godzilla: King of the Monsters’, whilst completely shattering last
summers mid-Covid, high brow sci-fi gamble, ‘Tenet’. It may therefore not be too many years away where audiences will be crawling off their couches to go and see ‘Ass: The Movie’ for real at their local multiplex.
And the payback terms and conditions? 1. Stop bloody whinging about the pubs being closed for another month or two, about Marbella being out of reach this year or about the salon being closed. 2. Start finding joy in the present. Our days are a limited resource but even in lockdown we live in a world of boundless variety and beauty. Now get outside and grab spring in all of its vibrancy and embrace the sense of hope and new beginning it heralds. Breathe it in, absorb its energy. Love life. Pub gardens are open again.
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What do I really think?
billionaires who are all right-wing conservatives. How balanced and After last month’s upbeat column, fair do you think they are? Their priI’ve decided I have to come clean mary interest is in keeping all that with you all. Yes, there are a lot of money flowing in, because that things I genuinely enjoy in life. Yes, money gives them the power to I do believe that a lot of people are The Kingmeister reports keep the status-quo in place. You basically decent. But no, I’m not don’t do that with the truth, you do typing the following from a darkover £100k of public money after shagging Boris that by gaslighting the public with lies about immiened room whilst wallowing in self-indulgent on his sofa, Matt Hancock giving Covid related gration and demonising single mums or the despair. contracts to his mate who owns a pub. The list unemployed. Do I, as I exhorted you all last month, look to the just gets longer and longer. And what happens? They wield an enormous amount of power, not future with a lot of hope? No, I don’t. After the The Government’s approval rating keeps going just because of their billions, but because any events of the last decade I am genuinely conup, that’s what happens. What the bloody hell sitting government knows the media can so vinced that frighteningly large swathes of my felhas happened to this country? Go back 15 or 20 easily sway the public to go for or against them. low countrymen and women are blinkered, selfyears and any one of these scandals would have Here’s a quote from Rupert Murdoch that should ish idiots. And that’s not hyperbole either. I’m had ministers resigning, but now it’s just busigenuinely worry everyone. When asked why he now firmly convinced that at least half of this ness as usual. I don’t think we can just put it was so against the EU he replied: “That’s easy. country are morons. down to apathy either, not when there are literally When I go into Downing Street they do what I Brexit and the following few years were definitely tens of thousands of people saying they approve say. When I go to Brussels, they take no notice.” an epiphany for me, and I began to realise that, of the job the government are doing. Good grief, Do you think it was a coincidence that the last yes, millions of people really are labour government got into power that stupid. But don’t worry, I’m not after the tabloids suddenly going to start harping on about endorsed them? Do you think it’s Brexit again. All but the most ignocoincidence that Jeremy Corbyn, rant and deluded can see it’s turnwho made no secret of the fact ing into the shit-show lots of us at this point I wouldn’t be surprised to see a that he was no friend to billionaires, is now always said it would be and I have no doubt in news story about Priti Patel harpooning boat known as ‘the most smeared politician in history’? my mind it’ll get worse. people off the Kentish coast and people cheering But this isn’t a ‘Hooray for Corbyn’ piece either. “But we ‘got Brexit done’, Kingpin. Boris has said her on. While I definitely preferred him over the known so!” No. We’ve got another 8 years of various What happened to us? When did this become serial liar and philanderer who got voted in, I had grace periods ending to look forplenty of reservations about ward to. Eight years of things that Corbyn. Just because I despise used to be free and easy slowly the Tories doesn’t mean I love and steadily becoming costly and Labour. difficult. ‘Done’? You idiots, we’ve I don’t care who’s running the only just started. country, as long as they’re doing it I do want to say one thing about properly and doing the best they Brexit though, then it’ll be off my can to really take care of people, chest and I’ll shut up about it. If to help people live contented and you voted for this lunacy, then feck fulfilled lives, not queuing up outyou, and I mean that most sincereside food banks. The whole ‘my ly. I don’t care what your reasons team vs your team’ could possibly were. If you’re one of those nasty, be the biggest problem in our gammon-faced xenophobes, a society. simpleton that believed the ridicuThe amount of times I hear: “But lous and easily disproven falseLabour...” trotted out in any dishoods, or one of those pensioners cussion where the Tories are sitting safe and sound in your painted in a negative light is stag“The harpoons are already loaded, you say? mortgage free house with your gering. Here’s a little tip for you. If triple-lock pension that spent the Splendid. Let’s go rule the waves.” “But Labour...” is your best argulast 40 years profiting from being ment, then you don’t have one. in the EU and then taking that privilege away okay? When did incompetence, corruption and We’ve reached the point in this country where from the young, then seriously, feck you. lies become an acceptable form of governance? Boris and his merry band of incompetents can You’ve turned the UK into a global laughing It’s been crystal clear for some time that our curpiss down our backs and they don’t even have to stock, helped to usher in the most incompetent rent government are only interested in the wellpretend it’s raining anymore, because they know and corrupt government in living history, manbeing of certain people in this country. Since they lots of people will just lap it up with a smile and aged to ruin a good few businesses and lives came into power, homelessness has increased say: “At least this isn’t Labour piss.” into the mix, and maybe started trouble kicking by 250% while the use of food banks has risen What a sorry state of affairs this is, and what a off in Northern Ireland again while you were at it. by 3,900%. That last one isn’t a typo. In 2010 we damming indictment on all of us it is too. Maybe I’d say you should be ashamed of yourselves, had just over 40,000 food banks in the UK and seeing as how we’re so eager to believe the lies but I know you won’t have the self-awareness to now we’ve got over 1.5 million. But that’s okay. we’re being fed, so easily divided and blinkered realise what a monumentally selfish and stupid Dominic “I hadn’t quite understood how reliant to the real issues by such petty and counterprothing you’ve done. But I hope you’re proud of we are on the Dover-Calais crossing” Raab says ductive tribalism, we’re just getting exactly what yourselves. I hope you’re proud that the most they’re just people with a temporary cashflow we deserve? meaningful democratic action in your lives was problem. If the Tories don’t romp home in the next election one of self-harm and sabotage, you despicable How is this a functioning democracy in a firstI’ll be amazed. The media don’t have to find pieces of sh . world country in the 21st century? How can any another group to vilify now, they’re already laying ** So, Brexit was when the idiot-cake went into the of us not be ashamed and embarrassed at the the boot into the ‘evil EU’ for, er, giving us exactly oven as far as I’m concerned, but the icing is state of ‘Great’ Britain? I’ll tell you why. Because what we voted for, and they know they can flog definitely the double-whammy of Coronavirus it’s always someone else’s fault. We know this that horse for years to come. So just how much and the Conservative Party. because the media tells us this. And they’d never hope do I have for the future? lie, would they? We’ve got a right-wing majority government, a Snouts in the trough powerless opposition and a centre that has been absent for a decade. Staggering levels of inequalLies, lies and more lies Only the most die-hard, smooth-brained and ity, rising poverty and a tsunami of economic lack-witted Daily Mail readers will try to deny that Yes, yes they would, and yes they do. The media fallout from Brexit and the pandemic crashing our current government aren’t the most blatantly in the UK is pretty much broken and desperately down at any minute, and we appear to be quite corrupt we’ve seen this side of a banana repubneeds reform. Ninety percent of it is owned by content to be told it’s all someone else’s fault. lic. I don’t want to hear euphemisms like just 3 companies, while approximately 85% of the We’re a country of stupid, spoilt children, blaming ‘Cronyism’ and ‘Chumocracy’. I think we need to UK print media is right-wing conservative. others for our own ineptitude and short-sightedcall it what it is: Corruption. I know, I know, saying things like “the mainstream ness, rather than admitting we could and should The Greensill lobbying, Dyson texting Boris to media can’t be trusted” seems like tinfoil hat do so much better. ask him to ‘fix’ the tax issue that might stop him wearing territory, but it really can’t. Hope for the future? making enough profit over supplying ventilators So, we’ve got an industry that millions of people Not so much. to us during the pandemic, Jennifer Acruri getting rely on to tell us the truth owned by a handful of email@example.com Page 27
“If you voted for this lunacy, then feck you, and I mean that most sincerely.”
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BIZARRE NEWS FREEWILLY
Did you see this photo that an Aussie lass took at the bottom of the ocean during one of her regular ‘litter blitz dives’, bless her, where she regularly rids the sea of a multitude of plastic items? What a bizarre, phallic-shaped creature this ‘penis worm’ truly is, otherwise known as priapulida. The freediver was scouring Rye Front Beach in Victoria, Australia, when she came across the oddly-shaped ‘marine willy’. Despite its eyebrow-raising appearance, the creature is not a ‘swimming cock’, but actually an ancient beast with a history dating back to around 500 million years. These cylindrical worms can ‘grow’ up to 39cm long (aye, aye) and are found in relatively shallow waters all around the world. The name priapulida comes from the Greek Priapos, which is an ancient phallic god symbolising male reproductive power. They are believed to be predators who feed on smaller worms they often find in the mud on the sea bed. While they may resemble ‘Percy in your pocket’, some experts think they should be dubbed 'cactus worms' instead (how boring). “Wow! Some marine animals are going to have a lot of fun with that!” hooted one idiot after the diver loaded the picture up onto her Facecock page. Our girl in Oz says, “I have cleaned the beach for the past 10 years and I’ve seen what a difference such efforts have made to the water. Only I stumbled across this sea cucumber/penis worm thing, whatever it is, and immediately the nerds go crazy over what subspecies it is.” Apparently there are more than 160 species living under the pier at Rye Front Beach alone, where our marine-girl often dives, as she is “an advocate for positive behaviour to protect the marine environment”. “I love my underwater encounters,” she reflects, “and it’s odd-looking guys like these that I keep the beach especially clean for.” Now for some other odd looking sea creatures...
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Man on the Clapham Omnibus NORMAL
Normal. Now there’s an emotive word, beloved of people from a different generation. Growing up in the late 1960’s and 70’s things were a changing and being labeled as ‘not being normal’ or being told ‘you’re not normal, you’re not’ was a frequently obtained insult. This bon mot could be acquired quite easily from parents and teachers alike. The modern world would be a little more defensive of its use, but that’s a very different discussion path. I can recall, in 1974, being stopped in the main hallway of school, due to the bright yellow platform high leg (ladies) boots I was wearing. An ensuing chat with the headmaster took place. He was both bemused and amused, but accepted it, whereas the deputy-head was more traditional and my shoulder length hair and egg-custard boots were just not ‘normal’ to him, and I was told so. Clearly taste is a very un-‘normal’ thing as I personally thought I looked the nuts! I will add, at this juncture, that an old friend who is these days a leading celebrity Carnaby Street tailor who dresses some very big showbiz names, thought so too. NB. Another ‘normal’ in modern life is to plug things, so here is an unashamed and unpaid, I might add (for the sake of good journalism), plug for Mark Powell in Soho. Have a look... But you may ask why ‘normal’? The second Saturday after we were allowed to go out, on the path back to ‘normality’, there it was again. The location: Southend. A brisk walk in the cold, biting 5-degree air, simply to be outside and feel like, yes, you’ve guessed it, ‘normal’. Our route was a gentle stroll from The Kursaal to the Rossi head office, just short of two miles each way. But what was NOT ‘normal’ during the lockdown period was the abject lack of decent ice-cream. Therefore, our Rossi encounter was a no brainer. Not a long walk-in real terms, but a very much needed escape from my home-office, from where I have been working an ‘unnormal’ 60 sodding weeks by the time you will get around to reading this, so the stretching of legs was to be capitalised upon. During our outward journey we partook in chips, fresh coffee, and at the turning point, a four quid stack of fresh soft scoop ice-cream. Remember from a previous Motco piece that there is no room in life for bad ice cream? None whatsoever. Just before the ice-cream parlour we had spied two people swimming in the sea. Yup, you read that right, both wearing woolly hats. The man casually stepped out in a pair of swimming shorts, neoprene socks, gloves and the aforementioned headwear. We made eye contact, me in several layers, including hat, scarf, big coat and gloves. He basically in a pair of chuddies, as if it was the most ‘normal’ thing in the world. He then removed his hat and chucked it on the beach, as though he’d been wearing it on a hot summer’s day and it now felt uncomfortable. I felt obliged to chat. “Wow, it must be cold in there?” “Not really,” came the casual reply. “It’s only two degrees colder than being stood right here.” With that, I immediately crossed the road to buy myself the biggest ice-cream this side of the English Channel, which was surely an equally ‘normal’ thing to do on a freezing cold day. On the return leg we almost got back to the car when the waft of hot
doughnuts caught us unawares and, as ‘normal’, we decided upon the ‘six for a fiver’ option. A seat was then taken on the sea wall as we watched yet another swimmer disrobe and casually stroll out into the sea as though it was the Med, while her husband and children took a far more ‘normal’ approach and sat cooped up in a little tent on the beach with a bag of chips. Upon returning home I spoke with my sister and confessed the calorific car crash of a nice walk in the fresh air. “Oh, so a ‘normal’ day out in Southend then” came her reply. So it is the concept of ‘normal’ that has been bugging me in recent weeks and the constant talk about returning to ‘normality’. Only I’m fed up to the back teeth of hearing about it. What the hell used to be ‘normal’ anyway, and will ‘normal’ be as we once knew it? Pubs I would have never normally dreamt of drinking in I would have taken to with open arms during lockdown, so just any form of ‘normality’ in practically any pub will do for me right about now. Will I be travelling five days a week on Crapper Bungler trains once again before very long? I so hope that is no longer the ‘normal’ way of things. Three days working in London and two from home sounds like a much better ‘normal’ to me. How are we to define ‘normal’? The dictionary says it’s ‘conforming to a standard; usual, typical, or expected’. Despite an international reputation for reserve and stiff upper lips, I don’t think we, as a nation, meet the formal terms of the definition. Yes, we have all the usual things, such as tea, bicycling vicars, cricket and saying sorry when we actually want to ask a question, not to mention our obsession with the weather etc. But, dear readers, we also think it ‘normal’ to go swimming at the seaside in winter, eat ice-cream while wearing five layers of heavy clothing, watch Morris Dancing and tolerate extreme queuing almost as an Olympic event. There has been a lot of time for navel gazing and reflection over the past 14 terrible months, with sadly still some more to come, as we trudge thirstily towards the new ‘normal’, whatever it ends up being. My Open University degree was partly to do with Social Sciences, the first rule of which is ‘who says so?’ So exactly who dictates what ‘normal’ is? I hope that what has happened will make people take it all a little more light-heartedly, including myself, if I can simply allow things to just be. Today a dear and close friend responded in an email to the standard enquiry of how are you: ”My view of life is I’m above ground and breathing, so anything else is a bonus.” I guess that should be the new ‘normal’. As long as you keep it legal, don’t accept ‘normal’ as normal anymore. Have a go at doing the things you’ve always wanted to do. Personally, I’m not sure this wonderful country of ours has ever really been ‘normal’. But I digress, because I have always felt naked-unicycling invigorating, although my neighbours are still a little uptight about it. Yours aye,
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the ‘margins’ had stopped me going into deficit and sold my coins off. I still don’t get what margins are, but the long and short of it was that I’d lost the bloody lot, along with all of my hopes and dreams. I cried. so Pierre invited me to come and meet him for a coffee and a hug at his office to commiserate and plan my next investment. I declined. I’d had enough of his advice. I was inconsolable.
IN FOR A PENNY, IN FOR A POUND This month’s column is being written outside in the sunshine and boy does it feel good to actually see the sun again after months and months of being cooped up indoors. I’ve mainly got through this past year of lockdown by watching TikTok. I started following all these young teenage Crypto Traders and their never ending stories of young guys who invested £25 and became millionaires in Bitcoin. So after a year of watching and following, I decided to test it and buy £30 worth of XRP. I set up a trading account and a Crypto Wallet to store all my future millions in Crypto currency that I was obviously going to gain and within an hour my purse increased to £50. Clearly I was immediately on my way and I even put myself on the Laboutin wait list, which is optimism! Later that day, I got a call from a lovely man called Pierre who introduced himself from the brokerage as my ‘Personal Wealth Manager’, there to help me with my trading portfolio. We quickly established that my goal was a pair of limited edition Laboutins and I thought to myself, ‘I have arrived. I’m down with the kids’. Thereafter I honestly couldn’t put my phone down, I was checking my trading account app so much. One minute it was £51, then £41, then back up again. I was literally on the phone to Pierre every 5 minutes, asking should I hold, sell, or leverage (buy more). See, I was even learning the lingo. By the end of the day I had Pierre laughing so much he told me he’d had more fun with me than any of his £128 million pound Hedge Fund Clients! I then started joining the Crypto Forums with names like ‘The Crypto Gods’, ‘The Bull Runners’, ‘The Moon Tippers’ (of which Elon Musk is a member)! The phrase ‘it’s going to the moon’ is what the crypto kids use when they talk about a coin’s potential. I thought, ‘look at me, I’m there alongside Elon with DogeCoin toe to toe’. I tell you, it’s not half addictive. I eventually fell asleep with £51.57 in my account and woke up to a message telling me: ‘Your positions have closed down. You have £0.00 in your account.’ The thing is with Crypto, it never sleeps. So I rang up Pierre in tears. “I’ve been robbed in my sleep,” I said. Pierre informed me that the market had dipped during the night and Page 30
So away I slunk to lick my wounds and that should have been the end of it. But no. I had to get back on the horse once I’d healed. So about a month later I opened up another account and got back on the saddle (forums). Everyone was tipping Ripple (XRP) at 84p, so I invested another £30 and within hours it had dropped to just £1.37. I kept telling myself that everyone has a hiccup at the beginners stage. This was my new start in life and I would soon be on my way. I was chasing the dragon. The Crypto Gods said to invest more (‘it’s going all the way’) and that the Chinese were going to adopt it as their crypto currency (which ought to have rang immediate alarm bells). ‘It ‘s going to the moon’, I heard once again. It was going to be £35 a share within months. Well, I got carried away and I emptied out my make-up fund of £137 and invested it all. And it still went up. So I emptied out a coin jar in the hallway, hot-footed it down to Metro bank to change it up and invested a further £45. I was flying. I was busy dreaming of all the things I was going to buy. Then my bestie told me to invest £200 cash for her and she quietly passed it across the table to me, the used notes all neatly rolled up, and I hid it in my scarf as though we were a pair of drug dealers doing a dodgy deal. So not only was I now a Crypto Warrior, I was a winner sharing the good fortune with my side-kick. The pot was £450. I was right up there with the big boys. And then BANG! The next day the market crashed and as I write this, we are at 146 bloody quid and going down like a lead balloon! They say Crypto Currency is the next thing we will all be using by 2025. Well, Iet me tell you, not in the UK we won’t. My Nan went to her grave screaming blue murder she’d been robbed out of her £5 Post Office savings when it went decimal. And right now, I know how she felt! I know there will be some clever ‘Crypto Warriors’ reading this who would tell me that Crypto really is the future. But after my little ‘Bull Run’ disaster, I’m just not sold on the idea. I have not got a clue how you ‘mine’ for bitcoin and ‘blockchains’. I kind of get it, but it all seems very complicated. We almost incited murder with Brexit when we refused to adopt the Euro, so I cannot see us all converting to Crypto anytime soon. So forget your ‘12 word phrase’ and your ‘wallet’ that’s locked forever so you can never get your money. Yeah, can you imagine that - half of us cannot remember the days of the week. I think the chances of me getting my money back are about the same as our Ed at ‘Edge Towers’ ever pulling a fiver out of his pocket and telling me to get the brews in and whatever cake I fancied. If only I’d known back in 2005 what a phenomenon I was witnessing back then. These things like Bitcoin only come around once in a lifetime. So my advice to you is to keep off of bloody TikTok late at night!
What a player Frank Worthington was. The Edge once saw him in action at his first club, Huddersfield Town, which was me Grandad’s local club, against Manchester City in the old First Division. The Terriers won 1-0 that day, incidentally in a time when all Saturday afternoon fixtures kicked off at 3:00pm prompt, although it’s highly unlikely that’d be the outcome these days, Frankie-Boy or no Frankie-Boy. He went on to play for Leicester City, after Shanks was desperate to sign him for Liverpool in 1972 (the transfer broke down due to medical reasons) when they were in their pomp during the early-to-mid seventies, with the likes of Shilts and Keith Weller in their starting XI, before moving on to Bolton Wanderers where he famously scored ‘that goal’ (look it up if you’ve never seen it) against Bobby Robson’s Ipswich Town and proudly shown on Match of the Day. A host of other clubs belatedly followed as he eventually lost his hair, though never his touch. In his prime, Worthers was a true class act, even outscoring Kenny Dalglish to land the Golden Boot in the 1978-79 season. It is nothing short of a travesty that he only gained eight England caps, scoring twice in friendlies against Bulgaria and Argentina, largely due to short-sighted, incompetent national team managers (not mentioning any names - ahem - Don Revie). Players of his ilk, and the likes of Tony Currie and Matthew Le Tissier, surely deserved far many more. As Frank said at the time, “Some England managers opt for workers and good, honest club players. But true international players are a breed apart.” He wasn’t wrong. And just look at him (above). Get him in a studio, in front of a breeze machine, with a crucifix around his neck and his shirt undone to the waist, and he’s your archetypical beardless Barry Gibb - a pin-up for both footie fans and young ladies alike. He was even Gary Lineker’s boyhood hero when he was ‘nobut a lad’ growing up in Leicester afore signing terms for his local club. “Frank was a beautiful footballer, a maverick and a truly wonderful character,” says Linx. And he was loved. Loved and adored by both fans and his team-mates alike. He was a ‘silky’ player who instinctively knew what was going on all around him whenever he was on a football pitch, which is a natural trait of all the very best players. In fact, he was the archetypical northern cult (footballing) hero who was ahead of his time, despite coming from Halifax. “My two brothers, Bob and Dave, were both defenders and played professional football for 20 years for the likes of Halifax Town, Notts County, Middlesborough, Southend United and Grimsby,” says Frank. “But I was blessed and given the talent to go all the way to the very top.” He wasn’t wrong there either. And it’s because of players like Frank Worthington that The Edge particularly worries about the likes of Jack Grealish, who is 25 already, possessed with far more skill, vision, determination and adventure than the vast majority of his peers, yet to this day has still only earned 5 England caps. So come on, Gareth, you should be building your team around this lad, not trying to fit him in every now and then. However, let’s never forget Frank, who once drove a red Ford Mustang in the seventies and sometimes used to turn up for training sessions dressed as Elvis Presley. P.S. It’s funny what you store in the filing cabinet of your mind. I seem to recall Frank played with Dick Krzywiki at Huddersfield! The Edge 01245 348256
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