The last of the pre-season friendlies are gone – not too bad a start for Wingate & Finchley with some wins and a couple of draws and losses. I understand tha Hector scored from the halfway line in the last game against Maldon & Tiptree – no way I’d get that in a single photograph! But, all-in-all, it looks like The Blues may be ready for the new season and we’ll soon find out.

Saturday will see Carshalton coming to visit at Summers Lane. This was a match that was in doubt until Tuesday last week. Much has been written about league rules, the application of those rules and the behaviour of the Ryman League, Football Association and certain clubs in blogs better placed to explain matters than me. Suffice to say that due to irregularities surrounding a certain player we would have been playing Thurrock FC but they now find themselves relegated and Carshalton are reprieved.

The School Holidays have also arrived and I found myself with a week to fill between the ersatz war and the real thing. Keeping kids busy is hard work especially if they just want to play Battlefield or similar. Sunday wasn’t too bad – he was due at Church anyway! Monday was planned to be a wander into town and perhaps visit a museum as the weather was due to turn wet. It would turn out to be one of those…

06:30 – website I’m visiting launches a background window which is a warning from Europol about me visiting all sorts of illegal websites and locking the browser. They want £200 within 12 hours or they proceed with criminal action against me! My immediate message to you, my readers, is read the thing very carefully and see if it really fits with the law of your country as you understand it. Then realise that, if you really are on the police radar for the offences referenced (copyright violations, child pornography, etc) then they’ll be round to hammer down the door without sending you a browser message! It’s a scam aimed at getting your cash and it plays on the fact that none of us is innocent – most of us have viewed copyright infringing videos on YouTube for example. I went to great lengths to show Alasdair how to detect scams – since they’d given me the opportunity to do so. Apart from the point made above regarding how the Police really work, the dead giveaway is the poor English Grammar which I would not expect from any legal document being provided to anyone breaking the law by officialdom. Advice on how to deal with this ‘Ransomeware’ virus type is available on the web (look up ‘Your Browser Has Been Locked’) – But you can do it the quick and dirty way like me and uninstall the browser it has infected though only if you have more than one browser on your machine! After which you should do a full system scan with your anti-virus software to remove anything that is still loitering with intent.

Late leaving as a result, we went to catch a bus on East End Road. Two options – 143 or H3. We’ll catch whatever turns up first. It was the 143 (though the H3 was behind). Kismet comes in Red…If we’d caught the H3 the subsequent events don’t come into play for us! At the junction of the Archway Road and the A1 we met a huge tailback and it was quickly apparant that the Archway Road was shut and the Police we sending all southbound traffic over North Hill and Highgate Village. For those who don’t know the area that’s putting a Quart into a Pint Pot – unsurprisingly it was all grinding to a halt. We leapt out and walked.Scooter I took the opportunity to have a quick chat with a friendly Community Officer and to photograph his rather snazzy 3 wheel scooter which was boldly holding back the traffic from driving up Archway Road. Then we plodded up the hill past Highgate Station and continued down towards Archway.

9450088762_b95f919f95_zWe found the road fully closed at the Winchester Hall public house with a police vehicle blocking traffic and blue tapes closing off all routes through for traffic including pedestrians. It was apparent that a cyclist had been involved in a fatal collision and the Police were busy marking out distances as part of their investigations. I’ll take a point here to extend my sympathy to the family and friends of the dead cyclist.

We then diverted via the old Finsbury Park railway line to Crouch End before picking up Hornsey Lane across the Archway Road via the suicide bridge – ironic that some bus drivers were assuming that the diversion via Highgate village was due to someone jumping from the bridge and were explaining their diversion to passengers that way!Highgate Hill Diversion In fact the Archway gives spectacular views over London for those not intending to jump. The mercenary in me took the opportunity to photograph some buses off route due to the diversion but that was our day gone due to a tragic accident. We did pop over to Stratford and back but it wasn’t anything special in the circumstances.

The City

So what did we do next? To Follow…

So – He’s gone… If I abused a Police Officer I would initially have been warned and had I continued I would have been arrested (I’ve watched enough Police Camera Action to know that’s how it works) so I wonder if the then Chief Whip was warned by the Police Officer or did his position prevent that, making it an example of a one rule for them and another for us situation? 4 weeks after the event, the resignation letter admits to the fact that the Officer was sworn at which contradicts the Chief Whip’s claim in the House of Commons just a couple of days previously that he had not sworn at the Officer. So the story on one side of the arguement changed whilst the Police story stayed as constant as the Northern Star – based on the record of the incident in the Officer’s notebook which reputedly includes the word ‘Pleb’. Those of you who have seen Hot Fuzz will appreciate that an Officer’s Notebook is the most important tool in his armoury 🙂 Whatever the Conservative Chief Whip may have said to a Police Officer who was only trying to do his duty, it has left an impression with me and many others that the Conservative Party remains the party of those who sneer down their noses at the rest of us. The fact that it has been widely reported that he told the officer at the gates to “learn your place” and “you don’t run this government” doesn’t challenge this view of them either. And they should be doubly embarrassed as they have always stood on the plank of being the party of Law and Order!

As the resignation grabbed the headlines, another political story involving the Chancellor briefly raised its head on Radio 5 Live. Having bought a Standard class ticket, the Chancellor and his aide decided to sit in First Class. Now why would you do that? An honest mistake? I doubt it very much – I know the difference and I can remember the good old BR days when at weekends you would sometimes find First Class coaches carrying stickers with the legend ‘For the use of passengers travelling with Second Class tickets’ (in those days the standing joke was that there was also a sticker for the toilet window saying ‘for the use of passengers travelling without a ticket’). But, I digress…

Virgin Pendolino at Willesden Junction
Virgin Pendolino at Willesden Junction
Were it a strange route on a local suburban train then maybe, just maybe, it could be an honest mistake but the Chancellor was travelling back to London from his constituency – a journey that I hope he does lots of times as I assume that he still represents his constituents! No, the story appears to be very different – the Chancellor chose to sit in First Class with a Second Class ticket. The bad news for the Chancellor is that he chose a carriage with a Journalist in close proximity so what went on has become public knowledge. Apparently the Chancellor “couldn’t possibly sit in Standard Class” – Now why would that be? Because it’s full of Plebs? If he couldn’t sit in Standard Class, why did he buy a Standard Class ticket? – surely he should have bought a First Class ticket to start with. It begs the question as to whether he has tried travelling First Class on a Standard Class ticket before and got away with it? – I guess we will never know but there is no smoke without fire (or over heating electric motors and excel spreadsheets on the West Coast mainline). Anyway, it made most of the National papers today – You can read all about it with the reporter’s tweets that were sent as events took place.

So much for the Prime Minister’s ‘We’re all in this together’ speeches 😦

I actually thought… Damn – This is going to be a head on! – Until the police driver took action and jinked left to avoid the Dyno-Rod van that swept out of the side road into his path with no thought to the blaring sirens…Close...…I was right in the firing line if they had contacted each other. You’d think a van driver with his window wide open would be able to hear Police sirens wouldn’t you!