Saturday, March 19, 2005

 

Badgers

Badgers ! I don’t know whether its due to the people being more environmentally friendly or less inclined to cruel sports (badger baiting et al) but there seems to be a lot more badgers about in Oxfordshire. To the point that as I went home off nights at 0’dark early this morning there were no less than 3 squashed badgers on the A420 through Pusey woods. Not close enough together to be a family, over a mile or so of road. A few years back when I was the village bobby for the area I used to patrol the woods and very rarely saw hide nor hair of them. I did know of a family of them that used to troop along the side of the road every morning at about 0500 towards the convent. There were five in the family and it was nice to see them – I saw them most days when I was finishing nights and doing my final sweep through the village. She who must be obeyed had never seen a live badger so I took her out one morning and she was entranced. They have a peculiar rolling gait which makes them like drunken sailors ! The biggest – I presume the family patriarch was wonderfully marked like a bloody great Everton mint and the three little ones were big balls of fluff. The memsahib was really pleased to see them. There must be a lot more of them now – or they are getting stupid as I said in the beginning – three squashed ones in a mile of road. However I used to see a hell of a lot of squashed hedge hogs on the same stretch of road – Either they are getting scarce or they are getting brighter and not crossing busy roads ! – These profound thoughts kept me awake for the whole 20 miles it takes to get home in the morning
Evenin all
Mog

Friday, March 18, 2005

 

The Sun has Set !

I know that I’m a dinosaur and hark back to days of Empire, and “gun boat” politics. Days when the world consisted of Great Britain and her Colonies, and the world was a safer place Pax Britannica ! Rose coloured specs I am well aware, and also not politically correct etc etc etc.
I am as diverse as the next man and any prejudices I hold I keep to myself. But, I remember when one of the great offices of state was the Foreign Minister, a grandee who would dine with Kings and Presidents a man who’s words and pronouncements were listened to with awe. In short, not a man who you would bump into , bumbling round the fruit department of your local Waitrose. Literally bumped into Lord Hurd of Westwell, who was dressed in his customary old tweedy coat and cords, with his shopping list and pushing his trolley like the next man and thought
How the mighty have fallen – this political giant, guiding the ship of state through the stormy seas of diplomacy reduced to pushing his trolley through Waitrose ! – This gave thought to what would other politicians do when they get their ermine ? Can you see Baron Blair Queuing
In The Butchers, Count “two jags” waiting in line at the Post Office – I don’t know but it’s a fascinating thought ?
Good old Duggie ! Not a bad sort of bloke (for a conservative peer that is)
Evenin all
Mog

Thursday, March 17, 2005

 

Tales from the Training School

More from the archives of the youthfull PC Mog – (I must admit at this stage that I was actually never a youthfull PC Mog – having served Queen and Country as a squaddie for 12 years before joining “The Job” as it is universally known). I was however, fit and keen – I could not believe how unfit some of the other recruits were at the Police Training College – even at 18 years old they were fat and wheezing and a lot of us ex-service types ran rings round them ! A couple of fondly remembered incidents from the dreaded Eynsham Hall Training College. We used to prance about in the Gym in shorts and plimmies learning what the instructors called self defence – Having learned a much nastier version called kill the bastard before he gets a chance at you I kept quiet on these lessons, along with the other ex servicemen and several other re-joining policemen. Up jumps the instructor waving his cardboard cut out knife about. He pulls out an unwilling ex City of London re-joiner “What would you do if I came at you with a knife in my hand “ “This” said Trevor and pulled up his tee shirt to expose a foot long scar right across his abdomen ! Apparantly he was on a raid on a drinking club when he was in the job – he was in the lead going down the steps into the club being pushed by the press of Officers behind him – straight onto the knife of the ungodly bastard coming up stairs trying to get away – he spent three months in hospital – “Ah” sez the instructor, “fall back in”. You would have thought he would have learned his lesson but no – He pulls out an ex serviceman again – I don’t know whether he thought that as Brian was ex RAF he might not have been trained in the kill the bastard school of defence but there he went prancing about with the cardboard cut out ! “Try and kick me in the balls” he shouts to Brian. Brian gently waves a foot at him
“No, you namby pampy Crab”,(derogatory term for RAF- Fly Navy, Sail Army, walk sideways!!) “Try harder than that” – At this point, Brian who, before he retired from the RAF was the Combined Services full contact Karate champion – sort of quietly sighed and without any extraneous movement at all – “THWACK” You hardly saw his leg move at all as it was so fast – Upshot was the instructor writhing about on the mat with severe genital contusions and Brian quietly ambling back into the pack
After that we quietly concentrated on Aikido holds and trying to talk our way out of trouble – but that’s another story
Mornin all
Mog

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

 

POLACC

Back in the dim and distant past (swing the lamp I'll tell you a war story) It used to be some time before a young policeperson got a driving course - It was usually either just before or just after the finish of probation - so you walked a beat for two years. Not really as there were attachments and courses, not to mention untold hours waiting to give evidence (In those days it was considered de rigeur to "Learn" your evidence and give it parrott fashion from the witness box and when asked questions request to "refer to my pocket book notes, made at the time or as soon as practicable afterwards, your worship"- I digress, just after the "continuation" course - at Ashford in Kent - great fun as you met up with a lot of the others from your course at Eynsham Hall - and found out who had lasted the first 18 months - told a lot of lies about the massive numbers of arrests for "firearms offences"
(Excuse me Mr Smith, your shotgun licence has expired, and we will have to impound your shotgun until your new certificate arrives) Massive numbers of arrests for "public order offences" - two pissed up locals "duking it out" in the bog of the Red Lion etc etc. Anyway got back from that to find the letter in my
"docket" - sort of "in tray" for the uninitiated - You have been selected to go on Standard Driving Course number *** at the Force Driving School at Aylesbury.
This was a four week course, culminating in a very intensive "check drive" in which we had to drive absolutely to the speed limits, other than the de-restriction sign (known as a GLF or Go like F***k)
when you floored it and then had to give a running spoken commentary to the instructor so that he knew that you knew what you were doing !! - It was quite hard to pass the course and I was pretty damned pleased to pass first go. Arriving back at the station, it was back to foot patrol for the next few weeks as cars were allocated on seniority and there were about 4 on shift above me still waiting for the allocation of a car
We worked 3 double crewed cars on shift, plus an enquiry vehicle, and the crews were all the old sweats who were then crewed with a newer driver to show them the ropes. This stayed pretty static and the only changes were for postings, sickness, leave, court or courses etc, so most crews had been together for a couple of years. The biggest cause of change was the dreaded "POLACC", or police accident - When ever the word came over the radio there would be a deathly hush as we all listened with bated breath for the explanation - which no matter how it happened, we knew the driver of the police vehicle was going to get suspended from driving - There I was on a quiet night, walking the High St when the Sergeant pulled up in the Supervisor's car, "Hop in PC Mog" he says, have a bit of a warm - "And I'll sign your Pocket Book whilst I'm at it" (Cunning bastard thought he would catch me out - not having made up my pocket book - but by now I had caught on and it was bang up to date
2315 hrs - foot patrol, High St, shop security)(testing door knobs) There is another story about them later !
Anyway there I am, in the warm glow of the car heater and feeling good as the Sergeant (ex Colstream Guards and a right B****D) said, ""Well done son, you're catching on now". first time the swine has ever said anything nice to me "Let's do a tour of the pubs" he said, "maybe we can get you a drink driver. Its about time for you to do one of those files" - In those days a Drink/Drive file was quite complex with Doctors involved, statement and lab submissions etc and it was quite a step up from Construction and use offences - dirty number plates, blown bulbs etc. So feeling fine and full of legal zeal we progress at a gentle pace down the High St - the radio, which had been quiet suddenly bursts into life
"HB, HB, B21 - am in pursuit of a red hillman hunter, reg no ABC123D, veh at high speed towards Hazelmere cross roads from Wycombe towards Amersham, speed 70mph in 30 mph zone"
The Sergeant drops the cogs two gears and off like a long dog - I get on the radio
"HB, HB BS40 en route from High St, supervisor on
board"
"HB to B21, keep the commentary coming"
"B21 straight across the Hazelmere cross, no deviation, speed 80mph and crossing the lights at Red
Trying to keep in sight"
For those that know the area - the road from Hazelmere to Amersham goes past Holmer Green, then down a steep hill into a compression with a couple of really good 45degree bends before going back up hill.
"B21, past the Country club, going down hill, speed now 85 mph and he is getting away"
The good old 1100 Ford Escort is now at full ramming speed and I remember the bends
"HB to B21", "HB to B21" - silence, same again, silence - We are just approaching the cross now - quick look both ways and over the lights - still red but luckily no one coming - "HB to B21" silence - seems strange - then a small voice "B21 to HB" I wait for the dreaded word POLACC, but then I hear "B21 to HB, can I have recovery please I have damaged my blue light" - Phew thinks I not so bad, he wont get suspended for that - "HB to B21, Clarify, how did you damage your blue light?" - Deafening silence - small voice then says "B21, I'm upside down in a field" -
For the first time I heard the Sergeant actually start to snigger, then giggle, then a full throated guffaw he was actually still virtually in tears of laughter when we went "on Scene" - Sorry sight - B21 hadn't made the bottom corner and sailed straight on, nosed into ditch and flipped over hedge on its roof - sure enough it had a damaged blue light !! "BS40 to HB, recovery for TVP Ford Escort MF333 - with damaged blue light please
"HB to BS40, confirm this is a POLACC". Another breathless hush. I don't know whether it was because he was amused or what but for whatever reason he then said "BS40 to HB, Negative POLACC, just a damaged blue light, will deal internally" - Silence and then a collective sigh HB to BS40 , Roger, out"
The red hunter got away, but B21 found himself back on foot patrol and I got my chance to drive - strange how things work out
evenin all
mog

 

It always bloody rains in Wales

As some of you know I am a caravanner - not one of the sad, bucket and chuck it types - but one of the Range Rover and 26ft twin axle van with satelite TV and full central heating, fixed bed etc - I don't. however speed on the motorway or, conversely hold people up on other roads - (unfortunately a life time in law enforcement keeps reminding me of how easy it is to get points on the licence) ! So as part of my re-habilitation into the world - having been struck down in the prime of life by the dreaded tummy lurgie, followed by the heavy cold giving me a good kicking when I'm down - She who must be obeyed, after confering with the rest of the Coven (mother and sister) decide that as its "Mothers Day" on Sunday, and we won't see them again till after Easter, We will all meet at Newport (used to be famous as "Home of the mole wrench)(aside - has anyone ever tried to wrench a mole?) As Mumsie lives in Bray, Sister lives somewhere unpronouncable in Wales and we live in Oxfordshire. She (etc) then decides as that as I am not signed off the Dr's Certificate till Tuesday we can go down on the Friday and stay over the weekend. "But, my little cabbage", I say with passion still coughing and sneezing, "It always bloody rains in Wales". "Don't wimp out on me, mog - the change of air will do you good". So - much against my better judgement, we load up the truck and move the family
Brecon Beacons - my Arse ! Every flogging road sign is written in two languages English and something else with multiple fffs and the odd ww - Given that when Welsh was actually spoken by SOME of the inhabitants of this outcrop of our home Island (GB)
Motorways, Bus lanes, speed cameras etc were not invented - Why in the name of Offa and his beloved dyke do they need to invent words for them with 3 fffs and a double ww ??? And it bloody well rained - all weekend - and to cap it all Swindon town got beat !
Arrrrgh
mystic

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

 

I Been Struck down in the prime of life

Sorry to anyone out there who reads the ramblings of a grumpy old man like me but I done been ill! - All Winter I have been taking my Cod liver oil pill, every day with my "Danacol"drinking yograt, had my flu jab and generally gloated over all those on my team who succumbed to the dreaded winter lurgies ! We have had a particulary vicious tummy bug doing the rounds, especially round the younger ladies on the team ! The good old, politically correctness, dead from the neck up boss suggested that the ladies weren't washing their hands properly after using the loo- This, as can be imagined, went down like a lead balloon and after a longish chat with the diversity advisor he was a lot quieter with his opinions - the mumbling didn't die down until he went down with the bug himself ! - Needless to say I got it, having then spent four or five days within sight of the loo got a nasty cold and sore throat etc - so have been off work dosing myself with hot lemon drinks, paracetemol, hot toddies etc. Have not felt like logging on at all - just logged on and been through the loads of e mail at home - I dread to think how many I got waiting at work !! Have been signed off for another week so probably won't be able to wind my self up to do a proper blog until next week - until then Hasta la Vista
Sniffle, Sniffle
Mog

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