My existence as a self-facilitating media node recently took a hit when, due to my great decision to leave my back door open overnight, some git slipped into my house and stole my jacket and man-bag, which contained my Blackberry, my wallet, and all my notepads for this blog and The Beestonian.
Weirdly, when the coat and bag (in a heap outside found by a very nice lady), they only took cash out my wallet and the phone, neglecting the notepads which contained fantastic article ideas, usually involving councillors having drinking contests (Cllr. Kerry and Barber, I’m looking at you). Nope, they were left, and I felt hurt. Not as hurt as my housemate however: they stole his CD collection, all tucked into a leather wallet, yet threw that back to. Having spent many evenings listening to his early nineties ambient techno rock tracks, I must give some credit to the burglar.
Still, not a good experience. Any readers who have stuck with me for over 18 months will be aware that I have been burgled before: when living on Marlborough Road, a burglar walked into my bedroom and had a good peruse through my top drawer, not realising I was in bed, off work with flu. I ended up chasing him down the stairs and through the house, before he jumped out the window. I realised continuing to chase him down the street dressed, as I was, merely in boxers, would probably be a greater crime than the one I was trying to avenge, so-called the police instead. And slipped into some trousers before they arrived. That was, I thought, the last time I’d be done over: statistically it would be absurd for me to be got again. Alas, chance don’t work like that.
Beestonians are great though, and despite the crapness of having stuff nicked, I had quite an amusing day. My first hero was Lesley, the woman who found my discarded belongings. She works as a carer in the old folks complex next to my house, and had a rough night of it by all accounts. Before finding my stuff, she’d had to call an ambulance for a passed out, near dead drunk, and came close to having to give him mouth-to-mouth. Despite just coming off shift and being evidently pooped, she still drove me to the police station and sat with me as I fretted that I’d lost my passport in the theft (I hadn’t, thankfully, or the holiday to Corfu I took last week would have been replaced with a week in the Costa Del Backgarden).
Poor Lesley had recently given up ciggies after many years, and I’m sure my stress-heading must have backcombed her nerves. Yet she still sat with me till an officer came over, despite me being an absolute stranger with unbrushed hair and possibly reeking of the previous night’s booze. Lesley, you’re a Beestonian hero. Good luck
And she’s not the only one. Later that day, a uniformed cop came round to take the obligatory statement. After running through the details of my property (‘I like to get us much details in as possible’ he claimed ‘Too many property shows’), he took the narrative statement. I explained what happened, then he read it out:
‘I was awoke in my bed at approx. 9am by a cat jumping on my chest. This rather bemused me, as I don’t own a cat”. He glanced over, I nodded my approval.
“However, I have made friends with several cats in the neighbourhood, and this was one of them”
I nodded again, then exclaimed ‘That makes us (my housemate and I) sound like a pair of spinsters.”
“Could be worse, I’ve decided to leave out the next bit of what you said”
“What was that?”, I asked: I’d blabbed most of the statement in what was only just the rational side of a stream of consciousness. He read back his rough notes:
“I recognised the cat to be one I call ‘Hitlercat’, on account of its resemblance to the erstwhile dictator. I am not aware of her real name’.
I agreed this was best left out.
PC Shaun Foster was a true gent. We talked of the recent riots, he’d been in a van that was targeted by a firebomb when travelling past Canning Circus police station. I mentioned how useful and informative Notts Police had been on Twitter over those weird nights. ‘Yeah, we got loads of plaudits for that, and for a week, the public seemed to like us”. He gazed wistfully into the middle-distance “but didn’t last long. The public are back to hating us again.”
I don’t, I think the police are broadly same as any other group of humans on the planet, in that they can be divided into two distinct groups twats and non-twats. No other distinction matters. And PC Foster was definitely in the latter camp. And for that, he also gets a full cap-doffing from Lord Beestonia.
A week in Corfu followed, glorious weather, lots of snorkelling and the discovery of a perfectly palatable red wine that retailed at under £1.75 per litre. I now appear to have been varnished, such was my refusal to not sunbathe, and looking at twinning the little village we visited with Beestonia. They seemed keen when I mentioned it. I’ll see if I can get it on the table at the next full council. I’m willing to do the travelling to facilitate this, and will be happy to serve as ambassador if my consulate lodgings is up to scratch. Feel free to set up a petition.
The next issue of The Beestonian is nearly ready to hit the streets, edited this time by my over-worked and unpaid assistant editor Rish. This is despite his other life as the brainchild behind www.eighteensixtyfive.co.uk , the best Nottingham Forest blog on-line. As I was eating gyros and swilling Mythos on my olive grove overlooking balcony, poor Rish was dealing with Nottingham Forest disintegrating before his eyes. After appearances on telly, radio and writing an article for the Nottingham Post, he had to come home to cobble together the next issue.
We also did a special student issue for the freshers, send an email to email@example.com if you’d like a copy. Also, we are really struggling to find funding right now (exacerbated by O2’s uselessness in getting my mobile back online, thanks, incompetent phone people). If you know anyone, or are someone, who’d like to help us in return for a coveted ‘TRUE BEESTONIAN’ award, then get in touch at the above email, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Cheers, and don’t have nightmares.
And finally, a special mention to Nosh, the very nice Chinese restaurant on the high street, for this mildly disturbing, and utterly perplexing dish available on their takeaway menu: