Beestonia and the Bigot; Cook-a-Likes;Yay to Booze; Beestonian Batman.

Birthdays, at my age, are not for celebration. I’m well past the inimatably weird ’21’ ,  and this one is no round number ; or a  halfway points,  another meaningless milestone/ millstone that slips by uselessly. Then a friend points out the following…37 is:

  • not just a prime number, but the first irregular prime: this is dead important if you’re into maths.
  • Its the body temperature of a healthy human (in Celsius, you’re pretty much dead if Fahrenheit)
  • The number of plays Shakespeare wrote: and as a fellow writer from the Midlands, this only lends to my kinship.
  • In 1937 Trotsky went on trial in the USSR for attempting to overthrow Stalin. My more right-wing readers are chuckling right now.

Such is the importance of 37.

My birthday was spent in the North West, and was brilliantly fun, but there was a notable occasion when I had a little soiree down the Crown as I attempted to milk the date for as much booze as I could squeze from my friends metaphorical beer-udders.

I arrive at The Crown with a couple of others, order a Cad Ale, and take a seat. A group of very-refreshed blokes are sloshing lager and bickering loudly with intent near us, but generally its a warm environment, reinforcing the Crown’s reputation as a wonderful gift to all us Beestonians to swig our booze in*.

Then my good friend R turns up. R is, I’m afraid to say, notfromroundhere. Hes from Wollaton, and hey, if you’ve got a problem with that, I’m from Stapleford, k? Doesn’t make me any less Beestonian.

He buys a beer and walks to join my burgeoning coterie, and as he does, one of the lager-swilling gents that stand between myself and the bar asks

” Yuzzzvapatucks man?’

I’m intrigued, cos R is also struggling to work out how the guy knows him, and Im actually impressed that hes being recognized for his sports-journalistic talent, or his mastery of the bass guitar, but no, its something I’m sure you’ll all find utterly HILARIOUS.

The bloke, who for descriptive reasons will now be known as Spudhead, repeats himself and it’s actually ‘Oi, look, its the manager of Pataks’. R is of Indian descent.

I feel something cold swell in me. Pataks , as I will surely patronisingly point out, is an Indian food manufacturer who sell widely in the UK, and thus anyone who looks vaguely sub-continental is evidently a manufacturer of said products, and if they are not, then fuck it, they are still foreigns, aint they, and if they can’t take a fucking joke, then its politicalcorrectnessgone mad, innit??????

R widens his eyes as his request to re-hear the question regarding his stewardship of a comestible company is answered with no embarrassment, no shame, no realisation of the utter stupidity and nastiness of Spudhead’s ignorance…the and twat laughs his assumption again, and he barks with his own brilliant observation, as he turns to his friends and forces his spittle splutter into their faces, and I feel something wither.

“You run Pataks, don’t yer?’

Ah, this was normal once. I went to school in St.Apleford and Sandiacre, both massively white areas, and we thought nothing of the odd paki joke, the occasional reference to coloureds…invalids were Joeys!. Anyone vaguely moving from their gender norm was evidently ‘queer’; ….. I still drop my jaw when I recall. Yet to mitigate, this was no hate, this was ignorance. Once I knew how cruel and nasty this was, I stopped.

So the guy who says that, I should forgive him, cos hes ignorant? Nah, hes had enough years. If you choose to perpetuate his hate, why should he even breath? I’m bunching fists and swelling with rage, yet I get told, by my own internal dialogue: “maybe you’re only angry at your own previous prejudices”. I sit back and sigh, and just hope one day….

And then I write that, and feel so swelled with self-righteousness….

R sends me this, by text:

HAS ANYONE TOLD YOU LOOK LIKE A (more) GAY NIGEL SLATER

I was livid. I mean, as if:

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Again thank you for the people who stuck money behind the bar at the Crown…it was a shock, I’m sure I assume when I write stuff on here its akin to farting into a hurricane: im chuffed to know its not. Lets have a pint soon. Particularly Simon, who told the barstaff he was buying me a drink as he found me ‘funny’. I will be busking jokes in Beeston before long, if that works.

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SoubryWatch: Latest News; Apparently the CWU have sent a complaint to the Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow, regarding what they see as Soubry’s misrepresentation to the House. I don’t know the way such a complaint progresses: i’m guessing its a long and fruitless process, but I wish them luck; there is far too much cynicism towards politicians for going against what their voters truly want: I believe this is called ‘Clegging’.

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Being out of work and a member of the library has increased my ability to absorb useless facts with a rapacity unmatched. Normally these are useless tit-bits: Bernard Manning was one of the guards who guarded over Rudolph Hess in Spandau Prison after the Second World War; Hull City is the only league football club that has letters which can’t be coloured in, and so on. Today though, while gazing over the Trent towards the NG11 lands, one jumped into my head and it’s just too good not to note down.

It’s often been a source of amusement that the little village of Gotham shares a name with the imaginary home of Batman, though this is no mere coincidence. Gotham was popularised in medieval folklore for its cunning ruse to keep King John from setting up a local hunting lodge (for its presence would have drained their resources), by pretending to be fools. It worked, King John took his hunting elsewhere, and the term ‘Fools of Gotham’  came into modern parlance.

As such, when the American writer Washington Irvine was looking for a mocking nickname for New York City, he recalled the story and thus christened this ‘city of idiots’ after the tiny Beeston neighbour: Gotham City. Which was then used by the Bob Kane as Batman’s home. All very weird.

But it gets weirder.

Not only is there this link, but Batman’s companion is not called Robin due to his resemblance to the seasonal bird that isn’t turkey, but due to the costume he wears was based on….Robin Hood. Who, I think you might have heard once or twice, was from round here*. Thus we have further proof that EVERYTHING in the world can be linked directly to round here. Beestonia is the hub, all else is wheel.

And then, and I SWEAR this is true, just as I was pondering these facts earlier as I stared over the cormorant swarming river, a bloody Robin only flies down and pecks up some grain from the wall I’m leaning on. Surely a divine sign?**

Its Christmas, so heres a totally gratuitous picture of Dogs in Fancy Dress.

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*sod off, Doncaster.

**That I have far too much time on my hands.

Beestonia On Ice/ Hail a CAB / Windy Filler / Naughtie Words / Buy Me a Pint

*SUBSCRIBE TO BEESTONIA! CLICK TOTHE RIGHT!  THEN JOIN ON FACEBOOK (SEARCH ‘BEESTONIA’ ) ITS FREE!
 

Beestonia is under a glacier, and the only two people who can get round without landing flat on their arses when venturing out are Torvill and Dean, and they live in Wollaton. Probably.

It’s a harsh winter, in more ways than one, and being on the dole right now is possibly the worse place to be outside the front stalls of a performance of  ‘We Will Rock You’, but if I’m in a bad place financially, im in a decent place geographically.

To be potless in Beestonia will never be a fun thing, but it’s greatly mitigated by several  institutions that I’ve found invaluable at a time when the Natwest have frozen my account, my landlord and housemates are losing patience with my debts and getting the lump-hammers out to stove my kneecaps in, and I was so hungry the other day I ate the first three weeks of December out of my advent calender last week just to stop my stomach sounding like a fire in a pet shop.

First, I’d like to doff my threadbare cap to Beeston Library. I’m a bibliophile, and despite being blessed with the dual wonders of Beeston / Oxfam Bookshops, I’ve had to reconcile myself to the fact that reading is now a luxury if I have to pay for it. So its off up Foster Avenue, and membership at the library.

Why didn’t do this earlier? The place is wonderful. It’s not just books, but DVDs, CDs, magazines, internet usage, a brilliant reference area and a little art gallery. Not to mention that now ROBOTS check your loans out, sparing blushes when you get books out that might raise a disapproving  eyebrow from the librarian, such as Dan Brown’s body of work*.

A short walk away finds the true secular saints that are the Citizens Advice Bureau,  a fine body of volunteers who give up their time and experience helping pathetic fools like myself from being wrang out by the banks. They have been invaluable, helping me prevent a situation where I’d be playing Eeny-meeny-miny-mo with my limbs to determine which one I’d have to eat first to stave off starvation.I cannot champion them enough, and will willingly donate a chunk of profits to them should my witterings ever make money. As the chances of that happening are minimal, I urge you to go here: http://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/ , donate, volunteer, support them. And now I’m going to say something shocking.

Brace yourself.

Maybe pour a stiff drink.

Have a look at this picture, it’ll calm you loads..innit cute?

Disclaimer:Beestonia would like to point out that cats are still evil, despite this picture.

Ok. Here goes.

I’d like to say well done to Anna Soubry for raising concerns about Broxtowe C.A.B. and its funding difficulties:http://www.anna4broxtowe.com/anna-shows-support-for-citizens-advice-bureau . Credit when and where its due, and I shall be writing to Anna condoning her support. I urge you to do the same. Soubry may have her shortcomings (see below) but we must show some gratitude to the fact she’s not Kay Cutts, who is wielding the axe here. Let Anna know that you support her (I am staring with disbelief at my fingers for even typing that last sentence, but its true).

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A bit of balance then: Anna still hasn’t apologised to the CWU and her constituents for the misrepresentation to parliament. Theres been a lively discussion in the comments of previous pieces which Nick Palmer has used his experience of Government to chip in, thanks to all of you for keeping the debate alive. Its far from over, there may be soon something in the national press about the issue. It’s still very much alive: the meeting with the CWU I last wrote about failed to pacify the postal workers, so it rolls on…..more later.

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Having some residual hippy-sympathy left in me that hasn’t been eaten away from my soul by the vile realities of life, I’m always up for a bit of renewable energy. So when the University of Nottingham announced plans to erect wind-turbines by the Trent, a little bit of me went ‘Hurrah!’: after all, a significant part of the Ryland’s power is generated by the weir’s hydroelectric scheme; yet there’s always an issue. There are concerns about the placement of the turbines, and the fact that the University is not generating the power for the greater good of the community, but for its own campus….its a lot more complex than that, obviously, so I’ll let you make your own mind up via these two websites:

http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/renewableenergyproject/index.aspx

http://www.no2turbines.com/

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Some more news regarding the Uni: my housemate/friend/occasional sidekick Kat was involved in the recent protest against the Coalition’s plans for Higher Education: and shes not thrown a single fire-extinguisher…..whatever your felings towards the prospective legislation, students really are putting a lot of us to shame with their gumption and mobilisation when it comes to the ridiculous austerity measures: http://nsafc.wordpress.com/ 

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I was SHOCKED and DISAPPOINTED by James Naughtie’s slip of the tongue on the Today programme yesterday**. If you didn’t hear, he named The Chancellor of the Exchequer as ‘George Osborne’ rather than ‘Gideon Crudsocks’. A terrible error.

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Contrary to the impression the  juvenile joke above may convey, I actually get a year closer to mature middle-age on Saturday. A totally pointless, unremarkable age, so no big pressies, but if you would care to drop £2 for a pint of Cad at the Crown Inn (tell them its for Matt, the bloke whose teeth fell out) and I shall forever be in your debt. Literally, cos I’ll be 1,246 years old by the time I pay off my debts. Thank you, my lovely fellow Beestonians.

* I didn’t. I’d rather take out The Taschen Bumper Book of Donkey Porn.

**Yeah, it doesn’t sound right. Sorry.