Monday, June 26, 2006


Stop Press

Reading through the Scary Duck linked logs (as you do) I came across Razzamataz = Read what he says about a burglary - and the comments thereto
This is what we are up against - We are doing our best - I don't know what Police force area he lives in but - take my word for it - It don't happen here ! - and the more people read - the more they believe
I am now going to bang my head against the wall - it's nice when it stops


Send Police Quick - He's got a Weapon !

The proliferation of "service" blogs is amazing - one minute there's only a couple of us and we're all worried about the powers that be closing us down ! The next thing you know "David Copperfield" is being quoted in the Times and all manner of Coppers, Control Room Staff, Specials et al are "at it like rabbits" Good thing too - for too long we have been the Silent Service- No Comment was the official line - There are some great stories out there. I was reading one of the new ones - Extra Special Constable - He was talking about a subject dear to the heart of all of us in the Control Room world. The caller that makes it up. I used to be a Village Bobby, before the great retirement in the sky gave me 3 weeks off before starting back in the Control room as a Civvie. One of the major parts of the job was talking to the various "groups" in the village - WI. Rotary, Masons. PTAs etc., and one of the main themes was "What should I call 999 for" Being, in those days a caring and concerned type I used to give advice about suspicious types hanging about - not just bunches of local kids playing footie or just being a bit noisy - just let me know and I'll talk to them and or their parents. Any disorder, which included any sort of Weapon - knives, baseball bats, hockey sticks etc was an immediate 999 please ! You can see where this is going ! On the days when I was not available - even plod gets a holiday now and again - some of the locals would have enough of the little darlings and start to call in on 999 as they knew the village bobby was not available. When they got the standard answer of - "We will take a message and pass in on to your local contsable when he is next on duty" - The next call was "I think at least one of them has a weapon of some sort" Guaranteed result ! - Although not quite as bad as the "Blues and Twos" addicts Who make malicious calls quoting the magic word "Gun" or sus package just to see the pretty blue lights and the Whoopy Doos. One of the really difficult jobs of the call taker is just that - sorting the wheat from the chaff - You get to know the real caller rather than the bogus caller - and 90% of the time get it right ! - But as the exception is bound to prove the rule - one day you will get it wrong and the entire hindsight mob (20/20 !!) or as the americans so cogently call it Monday morning Quarterbacking" will grind in to action and no matter what the outcome the call taker is going to be the one jumped up and down on !
Keep the faith kids and remember

Saturday, June 24, 2006



Another weekend of “World Cup Mayhem” – As usual, too many jobs, too few people to take the calls – let alone deal with the jobs! Hey ho – had a few days chill – so “once more unto the breach dear friends” etc the great thing about our current shift system is just that – You get four days down time. Pity its all going to change in the New Year. Still – minor giggles – 999 call from the proverbial lady locked in the lavatory – spent a while trying to sort it out – It transpired she was trying the wrong door to get out! Some of the CCTV footage of the anti social types performing on Saturday night aught to make the “Police Action” TV shows anyway – I wonder who gets the fees for the tapes? – Won’t help our budget anyway
As I have often mentioned we have the local Football Club at the end of our road, and as again I have often mentioned they have the dreaded “teenage” discos. I have never seen so many loud, drunken scantily clad teenage girls in my life. Tried to take the dog out before going to bed and there were girls throwing up, throwing bottles, throwing their extremely loud voices and throwing their micro mini skirted bodies about. Boys carrying 6 packs of cans and behaving like a pack of wild dogs. The usual litter and damage to gardens. They tell me that they don’t allow drink in the premises
Fine ! They just come to the Old swimming pool car park and let it all hang out – literally in some cases. Got dog walked and went to bed and tried to sleep (up at 0500 for earlies) – Ignoring shrill screams and smashing glass managed to get to sleep about midnight ! – Then one of the little darlings managed to set the neighbour’s house alarm off!! – They are away, and, as I am fully aware of the new alarm triage policy – unless there is an obvious break in or it is a “key holder” alarm company alarm – no one will come !! – Thank the ultimate being – it only went off for half an hour by which time she who must be obeyed and I were thoroughly awake !! – Ripped my pump mask off in temper and went to sleep without it ! – Woke up to alarm going, madam snoring and feeling like something I picked up in the dog pooper scooper !
So am at work now – snarling at all and sundry !
Grumpy old Mog

Friday, June 23, 2006


Further Muppet Musings

Being a sad sort of muppet – great Charlotte Church advert – sounds triff ,with a Welsh accent – sorry touch of the Ronnie Corbett’s again ! I have a 30 odd minute drive in to work passing through the picture scew (my dear old departed mum always thought that was how it was pronounced !!) Oxfordian countryside
I go over what is reputed to be the oldest bridge over the Thames
(Why is it called New Bridge then ??) Which reminds me of the Civil war – Faringdon was one of the last bastions of the Royalists – Cromwell’s cavalry went over the bridges at Radcot – bit of a dust up there (Sealed knot did a battle re-enactment !!! weird) and Cromwell himself brought the heavy stuff up over new bridge
On to Kingston Bagpuize (for the rich bastards) or Southmoor to the rest of us – Never have quite worked out which bit is which – Although William De Bagpuize was one of ole’ William the Bastard’s
Toadys and got a lot of Oxfordshire for his trouble and put it in the Doomsday book. On past Millets Farm (the sort of UK version of Boone’s Farm without the Strawberry wine) But it has got a Maize maze (don’t ask) Then to Frilford Heath – bleedin expensive Golf club – only played there a couple of times – very nice but a bit like the car insurance advert !! Past “Joscas” Prep School – “Where’d you go to school then Chuck “Joscas. Then on to Stow !!” pretentious gits, never get stuck on a 9-5 shift as the entrance area is stuffed with Chelsea tractors, X5s, Volvos etc – Yah ! I then go though a “Wiggly” bit in Marcham (Must find out what Denman College actually teaches one day) Anyway in the middle of the wiggle – Beloved of the 38 tonners and Artics trying to get through is a small non-conformist “chapel” Which has what I am reliably informed is a “Wayside Pulpit” – one of them boards – usually with some sort of trite homily (Jesus Saves (usually with the Woolwich))
Etc. But – and now the somewhat convoluted point of this entire ramble through the backwoods of my ratpack of a brain is that somehow, somewhere, who ever writes these things has, for the last few months either got a damn good “Ad agency” in or some creative writers as they are beginning to make sense – so much so I actively look for the board now – I read the slogan and the rest of the journey passes in a Zen like state whilst I mull over the words
Latest one – Standard crucifix with the words “Who have you forgiven today ?” – Back to song lines in short circuited brain – Affirmation – Savage Garden “I believe in Karma what you give is what you get returned” – Arrive at work to find report that one of the operators has made a “minor admistrative error” (office speak for cocked up big time) Who Have I forgiven – “go and sin no more”
In the quid pro quo of life I expect to win the lottery this week !!
Hey ho
Madness of King George !! I should say so – my word yes

Saturday, June 17, 2006


Its Only me Pursuing somethinng I'm sure of !

Reading through Scary, as you do, I looked at the “favourite line from songs” log and, without too much thought blasted out an old Dylan line and a bit of a Yaaahooo from Blur. But,as with a lot of Cunning Stunts from the Alastairian pen it gave me further food for thought in the “Shallows of the Night” Boy there are some great lines out there. Being a classic Baby Boomer (took me ages to figure out why there were so many in my class at School) (Work 9 months back from my birthday and you get VE Day – The old man might have managed to put his suitcases down first!!) First of no doubt many digressions ! – Anyway Being a baby boomer I have all the albums of my generation – still a lot of which are on vinyl up in loft = Sgt Pepper, Rumours, Dark side of the moon, Tommy, Bridge over Troubled Water et al. There were some bloody good lines “I get all the news I need on the weather report” – S&G (Only living boy in New York)Most of Pinball Wizard – I’m not sure whether I like the “Elt” version better. Either way Pete Townshend’s classic upsweeping guitar chords still great (not a lot of people know that his windmilling guitar playing almost took the top of one of his puddies !) This surfed me on from lines to great “Riffs” and bits –
The best guitar break ever in the 11 minute live version of Sultans of Swing on the Alchemy album – Fat bottomed girls from Queen – Now I’m Here – quite heavy when played loud – Soft Rock. Lots of REO Speedwagon , Sharp dressed man – ZZ Top. On to Hendrix – Star spangled etc – on to Woodstock and Crosby Stills and Nash etc – one of my all time faves (reminds me of she who must be obeyed) Suite Judy Blue eyes – Mein Gott – Country Joe and the Fish How could one ever forget “Gimme an “F” !”
Third movement of the Michael Hyden Trumpet Concerto – Overture to Marriage of Figaro from Mozart – Bach’s Brandburg Concerti (not a lot of people know that John Lennon said that the trumpet in Penny line was inspired by these !) Ode to Joy from the 9th – Fanfare for the Common man (I love the ELP version best)
Gadzooks – this is worse than Surfing the net
Oye Vay – enough already
Confused of Carterton

Friday, June 16, 2006


Earwig O Earwig O Earwig O

As one earwig said to another. Watching the inevitable slide into footy anachy- What is it about the beautiful game and the beautiful booze!! - Reading the blogs of other "Service types" It would appear that we are all in the same boat - drunks, damage,noise, domestics and other anti-social behaviour. This is the 21st century peeps - is there hope ?? (is there honey still for tea??)
Sorry slipped into literary mode for a moment (or as the late great Peter Sellars once famously said - Honeys' off love) Another strange thing is the relationship to the amount of work to the amount of staff - As is always the case "The Management" is cutting staff, bean counting and generally cost cutting whilst demanding ever more work under the guise of "value for money" policing or "rationalisation" or whatever the current buzzword is!! Is there not a strange parallel between us and Education or the Health Service ? Why do the Guvvermint always manage to vote themselves great big pay rises whilst those of us at the coal face seem to get less money and more taxez ! Burst into song at this point "I owe my sole (sic) to the Company Store (can't afford shoes either) - It seems to stretch into infinity this year - Footy, Ascot, Reading Rock
All with leave embargo - so when can we get some time off ??
Heigh ho - rant over for today

Saturday, June 10, 2006


Travels with a Transit

One of the call takers took a call from a a motorist who had managed to blow his engine by putting diesel in the petrol tank. "How could they do that", she asked ! This sparked a memory. As I said, just recently we have been back in touch with our friends from the Forest of Dean. Well, Steve's son Russell was a squaddie in Germany and had met and decided to marry a German girl. We were all invited to go to Bielefeld to celebrate the nuptials. Being poor we decided to go in a transit, which Steve had hired from a local garage. Orf we jolly well go ! down to the ferry, and off the other side at Calais. Diesel, being the price it is and Russell being in Germany (at this time English service personnel were issued with petrol coupons, which allowed them to buy petrol/diesel at much cheaper rates) he had arranged to meet us at Calais and top up the tank in the van with a load of jerry cans he had in the boot of his nice new BMW !! He had a boot full of jerry cans - some of which had petrol and some of which had diesel ! We get to a deserted part of the huge car park by th Calaise ferry terminal at about midnight and start the top up. You guessed it ! - Russell's fairly brain dead mate got the wrong jerry can out and started pouring diesel into Russell's nice new Beamer ! Doooooh ! There we were in the middle of the night, in the rain, with Steve trying to get under the BMW and undo the drain plug on the tank - lots of bad language, and trying not to notice the large spreading pool of fuel from the draining tank ! - quick kick some sand over it - no one will notice !! Re-fill with petrol, fingers crossed and - phew it worked - great weekend - Russell duly got married and we had a very nice time at the reception etc - back in the Transit for the journey back - half way down the Autobhan and everything begins to get dim - wipers slow down and - red battery light comes on ! Bloody alternators ! - Pull in to garage and try the ADAC (german equivelent of AA)
Man eventually arrives but not much help - rain bucketing down and trying to drive with no windscreen wipers - great - ring ferry - divert to Ostend, but not till next morning. Try to find somewhere to stay the night - go to local NOVOTEL - far to expensive so try to sleep in van in car park. Well, as you may know I have suffered with sleep aponea for years, and at this time had not realised it and was not treated (i.e. no pump) so snored like billyho ! Van full of suffering people trying to doze with me snoring like a very large and happy peeg ! Very unhappy night !
Managed to get the van going in the morning and limped in to Ostend ! - On to ferry - Just to keep the trip going it was a very rough crossing with the ferry unable to make docking for some 5 or 6 hours. Yo ho ho and a bottle of crisps ! Get off the otherside - now all very much the worse for wear and run into an AA man - who takes one look at the recalcitrant beast - makes a few adjustments (which he said any competent patrolman should know about!!) and lo we had lights, wipers and a functioning engine !! This was the final cherry on the top - I can now look back and laugh !!

Friday, June 09, 2006


The Cold Winds of Change

Back in the bad old days when I were one (although I couldn't spell it - very old joke) It probably wasn't common knowledge, but unless you did something actually criminal you had a "job for life" This obviously led to jokes about Eternal flames (never goes out) and Ghurkas (take no prisoners !!) and there were an amazing number of old and not very bold Policemen skulking about the station - walking about with clip boards and looking important and waiting for the golden "25" or "30" - and having joined at 18 this meant a retirement on full pension at a very early age. This is a bit of a convoluted introduction to the fact that as we (Thames Valley) that is - have decided to ignore the nice men in the Home Office and are determined to "Stand Alone" instead of making a nice large regional force by joining with Hampshire. The upshot being that in order to become a strategic force - savings have to be made. Our department will have to make swinging cuts in order to survive. The worst of them being the change of the shift system. A couple of years back we managed to pursuade the powers that be that a four day, 12 hour shift system ( four on, four off) was a good thing - they tried it and Lo, they saw it was good and even the poor trash actually working the system enjoyed it. There may even have to be cuts in staff (without natural wastage !) Coming from the "job for life" background I now feel a very cold wind up me chuff !! - Our boss - like the proverbial football club chairman - saying to the manager "We have every faith in you" - means that you are probably on the way out
Great Zot - what is the world coming to - We tried the fast forward rotating shift - the Ottowa and even the dreaded 6-2, 2-10 and 10-6 - all well known killers - so we wait with bated breath for the next one to be foisted on us
Spare a penny Guv, wife and hungry mortage to support
god bless us all

Wednesday, June 07, 2006


Happy Hols

just back from Weymouth and all points east and west. (She who must be obeyed does not like to just sit and chill- we have to visit everywhere within a 100 mile radius) So we went to Lulworth Cove, Bridport Lyme Regis - etc etc etc ! - Funny thing about Lyme Regis - They are completely re-building the beach - JCBs, cranes and very brown, tattooed men in shorts and hard hats - with the obligitory shades and fag ! everywhere. You would have thought that they could have done a bit better planning so that the touristy types could paddle etc rather than look over the railings - First really warm bank holiday of the year - Sign said "This beach will re-open on 31st July" - Weird ! Did a lot of kite flying as it was quite windy - even got my big para sail type one up for a short time - but herself does not like spending time launching kites so had to make to with the self launching sportier types mostly- I am very tempted to try either kite surfing or kite boarding - as soon as I can afford it. My old mate Steve Smyth - of wind surfing fame - of whom I spoke last time has got me interested again - went out to garage and looked at my long race board - being now officially a fat git I don't think my short board would float with me on it !! - Still having internet problems at home so not doing much on the web
Ah well
as the old joke goes "tea break over lads - back on your heads"
evenin all

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