Friday, 29 January 2010

Do you really want to hurt me?

 As the famous "Boy George" once sang, "do you really want to hurt me?" I have been wondering why people have been trying to run me over, while I lollipop.

Was trying to help some small children across the road when I saw a cyclist, from TVU, cycling along the footpath on the other side of the road. I indicated to him that it would be nice to stop and he cycled straight at me. As he passed me, by less than a foot or so, he mouthed something about not being able to see me.

For a short while I had visions of his bike collapsing under him but I put the thought away and look forward to seeing him another day.

The very next day, I was crossing the road when a mini owned by a local estate agents did a similar thing. I was helping families across the road when this cream mini, slowed down and looked like it was going to stop. Then it sped up and stopped with a few inches infront of me.

Its probably unfair to mention them, however they have the same name as the first man.....

I wonder have I go so thin that I can be seen any more? Answers on a postcard

Monday, 25 January 2010

Long time no see

Almost a week since my last post.

Been busy with work and study. Am concerned about the state of the bins in the ward. With the snow and everything some people, including me, have gone at least 3 weeks since the bins were collected.

I have written to the Council asking them to see if the bin men can collect bags that have been left by the sides of the wheelie bins. Most people seem to have just coped, however there are a significant number of people who have over flowing bins.

Also I have been working with Labour colleagues to try and find a solution to student parking problems. More of anon.

I am still waiting for a reply.

Have just come back from somemore Street Pastor training, first aid this time. Very interesting, but unfortunately it brought back some nasty memories from when I had a very nasty motorcycle accident and the group almost had to practice their first aid on me. I came over all faint and had to leave the room.

The picture shows some of my Street Pastor colleagues practicing the putting someone in the recovery position.

Saturday, 16 January 2010

I like Pasty's

Its 2.30am and I've just seen a lad in the bus stop outside the Q bar looking, shall we say, confused. He sits on the bus stop bench with a thump and his checks billow.

I imagine that you know what happens next. Technicolour yawn, driving the porcelain bus home, talking to ralf, yes he throws up over himself and a portion of the bus stop. Probably not the worst thing to happen on Friday night, but he has now made himself unable to get home by taxi, as no one will take him, and perhaps he's been abandoned by his mates.

We walk towards him. In the Street Pastors kit we've got water, wipes, lollipops and if need be a space blanket. The later isn't needed but he gulps down the water to clean his mouth, the wet wipe sponges him down and washes his face so he looks presentable enough to get home. At the same time the rest of his mates turn up ad we check that they can manage and they whisk him off home.

The same place roughly, but a bit earlier in the evening. A lad is shouting the odds at the assembled Police officers and is very agitated. We move over to chat to him, to see what is going on. He tells us that he is f****** angry as he and his brother had been thrown out of a bar and the Police were talking to his brother and didn't want him to intervene. He on the other hand wants to sort out the problem with the Police. A lollipop and a chat persuades him that if he charges over to where his brother is talking to the Police, the Police are likely to arrest them both and the evening will be over, except for the hour or two he will spend in the cells. We chat to him, speak to the Police and after he calms down a bit his brother appears. They both stagger off in to the darkness to carry on their evenings excitements.

Apart from this we picked up loads of glass, gave out flip flops to those suffering from high high heel trauma and gave out loads of lollipops. Three am home on my push bike, tired tired tired and buzzed up by an exciting evening as a Street Pastor.

Sunday, 10 January 2010

We Dig, Dig, Dig, Dig the whole day through

Saturday saw me working with Parents and Governors at Alfred Sutton to try and get the car park cleared and make paths through the snow so the school could open.

We had a great day working as teams to clear the snow. It was about 8 inches deep across the car park and a bit deeper within the school. There were about 20 people working very hard, and only on the promise of a cup of tea and a portion of chips to keep going.

The effort was greatly helped by one of the Dad's going home and making 2 massive snow shovles, without these I don't think that we would have done it so quickly. Starting at 10 o'clock three of us were steadily joined by more and more people so that by 3 o'clock we had finished. We were a very international group, with Brits working with Dutch, German and Romanian to deafet the snow. You can see what we acheived in the before and after photos.

It was great fun, but if everyone was a tired as I was there were a lot of very quite homes that evening. I managed to fall asleep on the sofa at about 6pm and had to crawl to bed at 9.30pm. I still ache....

So the snow continues, please remember your neighbours to make sure that everyone is ok in the snowy week.

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Snow, Snow, Snow

No post yesterday, as I spent the day being distracted by the snow.  The picture shows the snow first thing infront of my house.

First hour or so was spent digging cars out of the snow with residents from Crescent Rd and then knocking on the door of older residents to see if they are ok. Had an impromptu discussion with some of my neighbours about cleaning the pavements.

What has impressed me is how people seem to be talking to each other. I have a big Russian fur hat which I have been wearing in the cold and lots of passers by have been stopping to talk to me about it. I have also been cycling about the streets as it is quicker to get about than by foot and this has caused a few conversations. I was pleased to be able to get up the slope by Newtown School to 2 wheels. Will have to take a break from cycling as I have broken the bike....

The members of the Neighbourhood Watch received the following message from the Police which I share here for you.

Message from TVP

This is a Message from Reading LPA Commander A/Supt Jim Weems please could we encourage you to look out for any of your neighbours who may be elderly or vulnerable, particularly so during these adverse weather conditions. Some people who are elderly or infirm are unable to leave their properties when snow and ice are on the ground and may need help to purchase essentials. We would ask if you could look out for anyone in your Neighbourhood Watch Scheme who may need some help during this time and as a community consider whether you need to call in extra help. Thank you for your help.

Motorists are being urged to be responsible and only travel if it is absolutely essential to do so.

A lot of schools are closed tomorrow Friday, including Alfred Sutton, I attach a link to Heartfmwho have a full list of closures.

Link to HeartFM Website

Monday, 4 January 2010

Happy New Year

Happy New Year, I hope that 2010 brings you everything you need and many blessings.

Had a relaxing Christmas, it was great to unwind after a tumultous year. I hope you did too.

With the New Year starts a new campaigning season. Went out on Sunday to check the state of the roads. I saw some huge potholes in the local roads. Not just the Reading ones, but my cycle travels took me to Wokingham and South Oxfordshires roads over Christmas and there were some real cyclist exterminators in each boroughs' roads.

I found this cyclist destroying pot hole on the London Road in Park Ward. I called the Council this morning to get it filled in. I expected a small pause in proceedings and was composing my "cross cyclist of Park Ward" letter in my head. The Highways dept called me back about an hour later to advise that they were sending a team out today to get it filled. How's that for service. They even thanked me for pointing the hole out saying how busy they had been. I was really pleased. It is not often that you can see such direct action. So first campaign of 2010 ends in a success, roll on the rest of the year.

Talking of my bike; I am pleased to say that I have only got another 60 miles or so to go before I have topped off 2,000 bike miles since April when I got this bike. Its predessesor was stolen. Its amazing what you can do with a bike, although cycling back from my sister's house in Woking, Surrey, with a family's worth of Christmas Presents on Boxing Day was rather exciting.