Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Trampolines in high winds are the latest status symbol.

We have had some relatively strong winds overnight and the BBC invited people to post pictures of the damage. Here are 2 examples:

These images tell us more about the people inhabiting the Home Counties than about the weather; they scream: "Look at me, I've got a trampoline in my garden". I doubt if there are many of us who could give a stationary fuck, let alone a flying one about a piece of flimsy gym equipment that the owners failed to secure properly.

I look forward to the new phenomenon being taken up around the world after hurricanes, cyclones and tornados.

Perhaps 'the comparative distance travelled by a trampoline' could be added to the international measurement of stuff index (alongside the equivalent distance in double decker bus heights or football pitch lengths or the toss we couldn't give length).

Saturday, 28 March 2015

Cyclists should dismount from their high horses!

The guy in the picture is not a youth who has nicked his bike, he is not an arrogant courier or 20 something king of the road. He is a late middle aged man who should know better. He is blithely cycling the wrong way down a one-way street.  He is one among many hundreds of idiots who do this every day, endangering their own lives as well as the lives of pedestrians. And probably, like all the other idiots on two wheels, he doesn't give a flying fuck about others.

I constantly hear the whinging of cyclists about their safety but if they refuse to abide by the rules of the road they have no come back.

A few days ago I watched as a cyclist got knocked down by a car in Portobello road. the woman driver was understandably distressed. The cyclist picked himself off the road, extracted his bike from under the wheel of the car and then, waving, yelled: 'It's ok, I was going the wrong way on a one way street'. then got back on his bike continuing his wrong way journey.

Cyclists pay no road tax, therefore we can safely say that they are using roads that are financed by motorists. They are the privileged  guests of said motorists and should show a little courtesy.

Cyclists do not, like motorists, have to take a test, so we only have their word that they are competent. Many of them are not.

Cyclists should, like all other road users, be registered and display that registration on high vis clothing and on their bike.

Cyclists should also acknowledge that footpaths are for (surprise surprise) those on foot.

Cyclists should dismount from their cod-eco, moral, high horses and accept that the world does not revolve around them!

Oh, and it is not just men:

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

My dog is not a TV, my dad is not an alcoholic. How sad is that.

A guest blog from an 11 year old boy.

I got a puppy for Christmas, outwardly that looks brilliant, but after a week or two the polish wears off.

I cannot watch TV on a puppy, I cannot play games on a puppy,  I cannot google porn on a puppy. All a puppy does is live and breathe and love me.

You would not believe the things a puppy does: it shits and pisses and expects me to clear it up. When I shit and piss I have my mum to clear up after me because thats what mums are for. Kids like me are for having puppies that play computer games and stuff & puppies that sit on my lap when the TV is on so I can say I am busy puppy minding when I am really just watching TV. Kids like me are not designed to look after a fucking puppy that no-one said was going to piss and shit or require feeding.

No one told me I'd have to walk the fucker.

Modern society has not taught me that I have to consider anything other than myself and my selfishness.

It is not my fault that my puppy does not understand this. I did not ask it to love me or need me.

All I ask of it is that it enjoys Spongebob Squarepants and craps on somebody else's watch.

I wish my dad was an alcoholic so he would use my puppy as an excuse to go to the pub every day.

Then I wouldn't have to walk it.

And I might love my dad a bit more even though he was an alcoholic and probably would beat my mum up when he got home from the pub.

A dysfunctional family is a small price to pay for me not having to look after my puppy.

Monday, 23 March 2015

Butchers, bowels and burgers.

Provenance, the butchers in Kensington Park Road opened a while ago, a welcome arrival after the closure of the Edwardian Butcher on Portobello Road.

Provenance won the New Butcher of the year award and quite rightly so. They sell very, very good meat, they are pleasant, patient and informative people. Good news.

A number of people I have talked to have complained about the price of their meat. they should consider a couple of facts:

Half  a kilo of Wagyu flatiron steak will cost them about £14.00. That is enough to feed four people at (I'll do the maths for you) £3.50 a head.  We eat far too large portions of indifferent meat in this country and would do well to go for smaller quantities of better produce.  The complainers will happily spend £8.00 on an indifferent burger from a stall yet moan about spending less than half the amount on excellent beef.

Flatiron steak is not a well known cut of meat in this country, it is, as its name suggests a flat piece of steak. It needs fast hot cooking before being sliced. It is, when served this way, incredibly tasty and perfectly tender. If you like steak well done then stop reading and go and buy a burger!

Provenance sell very good burgers too, which, if you so desire you can incinerate.

Their black pudding (We like the triangular one) is proper black pudding, not the pastiche sold by supermarkets. Enough for 4 people to have a slice costs £1.00, the same price as a bag of haribo jellies, How is that expensive.

Last Christmas, instead of the usual insipid turkey or overpriced goose we had a large chicken from Provenance. It was agreed by all that it was the best Christmas lunch ever eaten. It cost £17.00, how much was your Tesco, shed reared turkey that you had to overcook then smear in cranberry jam in order to introduce any kind of flavour?

You could always go to the popcorn shop round the corner where their stuff works out at over £85.00 per kilo.

So... Instead of complaining about the cost of quality they should be thinking about changing their dietary habits and minds. After all, minds are like bowels, better when frequently opened!

Provenance. 33 Kensington Park Road, London W11 2EU
020 7229 8814

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Orange coffee, Portobello Road.

Forget the likes of Starb***s, N**o and Rep****c. forget the expensive hipster places. If you want a good coffee on market days visit Orange coffee.

This is the sort of thing that will go if RBKC and Westway Development Trust get their way with the proposed development of the area. Ironically it is exactly this king of enterprise that makes the area so popular with Londoners and tourists alike.

They are opposite the tented market by the Westway. Their Facebook page is HERE

More on the Westway Development Trusts proposal for Portobello.

I swiped this from the Portobello Radio Facebook page.

Chris Sullivan writes:
As you might know the campaign against the horrific development under the Westway is underway see petition above) but here's what Rishard Adams has penned to underline what will be lost :
With regard to the proposed Westway Portobello Village development, it might help you to better understand their proposal if you were to google:
A. The development is shown as artist’s impressions:
Site A: Portobello Green Arcade
Site B: Elevated restaurant
Site C: Acklam Road Car Park
Site D: Acklam Village
B. Having now had the development looked at, we can surmise this is a:
1. United development with raised pavement linking the four elements
2. Is a retail lead destination common in new-build mini shopping malls (Site A)
3. It seeks to generate its own brand
4. Is targeted to generate value and increase high-end foot fall
5. There is cultural element, but the focus is on corperate events (Site D)
6. There is a leisure/ cafe/ restaurant/ terrace/ attraction, again targeted at generating high-end footfall (Site B)
7. There is a small vintage market under the elevated restaurant (Site B)
8. There will be a development of high-end luxury flats (Site C)
C. What are the consequences of the above?
1. The were no black people or people of colour in the architects site visualisations. Of the 40 people pictured in Site A+B+C+D, 85% were white, 4-10% could not be identified, a single figure, or 2.5%, might be a person of colour. To date, both the architect Stiff & Trevillion and The Westway Trust have made verbal apology, but black residents who saw the drawings are clear that all parties engaged in their generation have behaved in an ínstitutationally racist manner
2. The Portobello Road as a tarmac road with paving, will go (Site A+B)
3. The International Brigade Memorial under the Westway at Portobello Road, will go (Site A)
4. The Portobello Green stall area by tube bridge, the colonade area, will go (Site A)
5. The vintage market canopy will go, the market area will reduce (Site B)
6. The ‘Saturday' market stalls from the canopy to Ladbroke Grove, will go (Site A+B)
7. The √Ācklam Road/ Norfolk Place stall area will go (Site B)
8. The four motorway bays 55, 56, 57, 58, will go (Site D)
9. Bay 55 that is currently for market stall storage - for the vintage and Council markets, will go (Site D)
10. The Acklam Village and the Pop-Up Cinema, will go
11. All the current shops trading in Portobello Road and Portobello Green, will not have their leases renewed. They may apply to come into the new shopping mall or they will go
In summary everything you see today on weekday or market day will no longer exist. This development, led by a private consultant Phil Dibsdale, is akin to the Highland Clearances: seemingly 'no blacks, no poor, no bohemians' in the Portobello Village
Westway Trust and Phil Dibsdale want to go to planning in the summer, traditionally the time when people are away on holiday, we must devise every strategy now to defeat this appalling scheme. Letters, press, creative demonstation, everything that chips away or implodes the Portobello Village brand.
Please forward this information to all the people you think will share our concern 
The deadline for ‘comments to consultation’ looms. The deadline is on Friday, 20th March, but in my experience if the body of protest goes beyond the date by a few days, then the sheer weight of public opinion can’t be ignored. The person to write to is:
Angela McConville, Head of Westway Trust
The Westway of Trust
1 Thorpe Close
London W10 5XL

Portobello Radio are HERE

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Middle aged men on kids scooters

Walking up Kensington Park Road the other day, pushing a buggy, enjoying the spring I was suddenly confronted by a fat middle aged guy hurtling downhill towards us on a scooter. As he passed I said: 'Aren't you too old for that'. He ground to a halt, turned around and came back. He said: 'You said something'.

I said: 'Yes. I said aren't you too old for that'.

He said: 'Why'.

I explained that while I understood the need for small children to be allowed to scoot on the pavement because the roads were dangerous I felt it was rather dangerous for adults to belt about the place without any care for other pedestrians.

He said: 'I don't agree. It is fun and it is good exercise'.

Having said his piece he then turned tail and scooted on down the hill.

The guy was FAT, he was exercising one leg on a part time basis. Had he been walking he would have been getting 4 times the exercise, had he been on a bicycle he would have been getting 8 times the exercise. He was fat and lazy and in denial.

What was most interesting was that by the fact that he came back to discuss the matter he let me know that he knew that he was fat and lazy. Aggressive defence being the refuge of the obese.

As the population grows we need to be more aware of the space we occupy and the space other people occupy. Just because we are fat and guilty does not give us the right to bully the people we envy.

Envy is nasty. Envious fat people should just eat less and leave the scooter at home.

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Portobello Documentary.

This is from 2011, I have not seen it before. It is ok but it could have included a much wider range of voices.

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

St Patrick, patron saint of English binge drinkers.

The Welsh don't do it. The Scots don't do it. The Irish do it, but he is their Saint. So why do the English wrap themselves in this faux Oirishness and proceed to get bladdered on St Patricks day?

I suspect it has something to do with national self esteem or the lack of it.

Portobello Live coming soon.

'Portobello Village' development from a child's perspective.

A guest blog from Morgana, aged 22months.

I have looked at the drawing of what Westway want to do and it isn't very good.  There are no cars or vans in the picture but in real life the place is full of them, making me think that the drawer can't draw cars and vans or they want to make it a dull pedestrianised area like Huddersfield town centre (I like the word Huddersfield because it almost says shudder which is what I did when I saw the drawing). Huddersfield town centre only has pound land shops, hair salons, nail bars and a Greggs. Oh and lots of expensive coffee places that cost twice as much as Wetherspoons which is the only pub left. I am not allowed beer or coffee so I don't think that is very good.

Cars on high streets are good because they make people walk on the pavement close to the shops and see what is in the windows rather than walking down the middle close to the drinkers and homeless people and the concrete planters full of dog poo and dead plants.

Vans would have been good in the drawing because it would have told me that there was still a market there because all the market people have vans for their stuff and if there were no vans there would be no stuff to sell so the market people might as well stay at home. Especially when it is cold.

I don't like the big pink thing in the drawing. It is not very good and I could make a better thing with my lego and it would be colourful not pink (even though I am a girl and supposed to like pink). This building will take up space where, on non market days, us children learn to ride bikes or skateboards, play with remote controlled cars and stuff like that. I particularly like practising my walking there and have recently moved on to an unsteady sprint. I like climbing the concrete blocks that stop the tent blowing away when it is windy.  Kids do this stuff under the tent because the park next door is full of smelly people drinking or taking drugs or letting their scary dogs run around pooing everywhere. The other nearby park in Tavistock road is just the same. I thought parks were for everybody but it seems not, these days parks are only for the aggressive disenfranchised (I found that word in my thesaurus and like the shape of it, it is nearly as good as hippopotamus).

They should have a little cafe in the park with tables and chairs for the grown ups to sit on while we play and the people who run the cafe could tell the nasty people to go away or they could get a slide shaped like a fierce dragon which would frighten them away ( and their dogs who are frightened of dragons too).

I hope Westway change their minds about this drawing. I have a new set of crayons and will do them a better one if they want or I could make them a lego model (I only have big lego at the moment because I could swallow the little stuff and I'm having enough trouble swallowing the nonsense that Westway are giving us).

People say that not enough people go to the shops under the Westway on days when the market isn't there but if they put shops there that had stuff people wanted to buy every day the shops would be full.  We need a proper toy shop, a sweet shop, a big pet shop with lots of real animals in it (not dog porn like the shop in Westbourne Park Road which is for ladies with rich husbands, not children who want to look at pets or buy a toy for their new puppy. I have a new puppy called Pandora, she is 10 weeks old and I would buy her lots of toys if there was a shop under the Westway to sell them to me) and a place full of coloured balls like at Ikea. Oh. And a Poundland!

Saturday, 14 March 2015

Mothers day for the now generation.

The boys came home at three
they are not my boys by the way
but my partners boys but my boys all the same
I love them as best I can
it is harder to love someone else's boys
loving your own boys comes easy by comparison
but i love them as best i can

i love the way they hate me for not being their dad

the boys make me think hard every day

the boys came home at three
after three hours with their dad killing time
killing time like they do each week or whenever their dad deems to turn up
killing time, killing respect, killing love

the boys came home at three
and said they had asked their dad
if they could buy something for mummy for mothers day
he said no.

Yes he said no
no shit he said no

the boys came home at three
after their dad had said that they could not buy their mummy
a mothers day present
because tomorrow
tomorrow, when mummy is having a lie in
you can go out and buy something with Jan

the boys came home at three
having completely lost respect for their father and hating me for that

I love the way they hate me for not being their dad

of course i will take them out shopping

On mothers day.

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Petition to stop Westway Development Trust from ruining Portobello Road.

Westway Development Trust are planning to develop the tented market on Portobello Road. If they succeed in their plans they will rip the soul out of the area. Westway do not own the land, they manage it on behalf of the people of the area. They have no right to do this but as RBKC/Tory poodles they naturally have no consideration for the wishes of the local community.

Please click HERE and sign the petition

My letter to Westway Development Trust:

The proposed development of the Portobello Green area is wrong for a number of reasons:
While the area is somewhat shabby and requiring some money spent on it It does not suit a development of the nature proposed. The anti-social behaviour problems cited as one reason for this 'improvement' is caused mainly by weak policing by WDT and by a lack of interest on RBKC's part in the needs of the local community. Sadly, street drinking and sleeping, angry dog ownership in order to demonstrate resentment and vandalism is endemic in our cities and will ever be so until more thought is put into how to address the problems. Building this development will not put an end to anti social behaviour; at best it will force it elsewhere in the area.
The tented market is, along with Portobello Road as a whole, quite rightly world famous. It is world famous because it is unique. It is world famous (and loved) because it allows individual traders to market their wares with affordable overheads. And believe it or not it is world famous because of its shabby originality and integrity. The proposal will destroy this uniqueness and a once vibrant thoroughfare will become just another soulless city street.
We do not need a 'fine dining restaurant' in place of the tent. The term fine dining says it all; it will not be for the benefit of the local community but of benefit to the well heeled incomers, who on the whole, from my experience, resent the local community and consider us to be rather 'infra dig'. There is enough fine dining to be had elsewhere in the area.
We do not need Westfield type shops. There are more than enough in Westfield itself.
It is horrific that the residential part of the proposal will be 'high end'. If any residential development takes place it should surely be affordable housing for the locals. Westway after all manages the land on behalf of the community and therefore I find the idea of them carrying out private developments on this land unacceptable. It wouldn't surprise me if it was illegal too.
On a personal level, as a resident of Cambridge Gardens (directly opposite the 'tent') I would like you to explain how building your shoe box on stilts and blocking our sunlight for a large part of the day, benefits us. I would also like to know how having a public balcony directly overlooking us benefits us in any way.
By all means spend some money on the area but do it in such a way that retains the dignity and the soul of one of Londons great assets.


Friday, 6 March 2015

Cost effective childcare.

Rusty writes from Lizard Bend, Idaho:

'Lula Mae spends most of her time baking these days leaving me with the child care problems.

I've got it sorted: