Zebra-killing old people

Look, it's not that I want to make a fuss. But recently we've had a spate of letters to pravda complaining about people stepping out too quickly onto Zebra crossings. This, apparently, forces any car driver within two miles to brake sharply. Therefore burning rubber, and costing them whole pence at a time. The problem with Ickley isn't young skateboarders, isn't strange people asking stranger questions while hanging about the station, it's old people. Old people driving. Whether they're failing to signal as they maneouvre into Cunliffe Road, hesitating for more then twenty minutes whilst hanging about on The Grove (thus stopping those all-important deliveries to Betty's), or just sitting there in their pork-pie hats murmuring to themselves, old people are a problem. The number of times I've been half way across a zebra crossing when it becomes obvious that the car approaching the lane into which I am about to step has no intention of stopping is too high to easily estimate. Being six foot ish and moderately fit, I tend to take a hefty kick at the offending vehicle, and having once enjoyed the 'music' of Test Dept., I view the resulting clatter as a cultural event. Others might not be so lucky. But what really winds me up is people complaining about pedestrians. My beloved grandfather used to claim that 90% of accidents were caused by pedestrians, but he fought at El Alamien, drank a lot of gin, and this was therefore amusing. When Councillor Ma Brown does it, she's clearly whinging to protect the homicidal tendencies of one of her friends. (I would link to the original article, but the Gazette site seems to be broken on its archiving capabilities...) So, just to remind her, motor vehicles are required by the Highway Code to look out for people who may be about to cross, and to take special care when the view is partially obscured (like by a bank). It is not a pedestrian's fault if you end up braking sharply, it's yours...you were going too fucking fast. Wonder if our beloved Police force will be doing anything about it? No, neither do I... The only solution, frankly, is a cull.

Google-tastic Pt 2

A look at the latest ratings, and this site has moved up to No. 12 on Google when searching for 'Ilkley', and has gone top ten with yahoo. It's not hard to see why, given, with blogs, the number of times the title is repeated on one page. Soon to be No 1 on google, and then we take over the world... However, what is very strange is the review of Treacle Moon being no. 1 on google when searching for, uhhrm, 'Treacle Moon'. Given that it's also the name of a very successful restaurant in Newcastle with lots of sites attached to it, you'd expect us some way down the line. Google is a bit screwed, or gives rather too much weight to blogs, methinks!

History lesson

There's long been a debate about the siting of the Roman Fort of Olicana. Most Ickley writers assume that Ilkley and Olicana are one and the same, but many alternatives have been suggested. This adds more fuel to the flames. Olicana here is sited in Elslack, not even close to Ickley in Castleberg. It certainly downgrades the importance of the place. But it relies on the suggestion that the origin of 'Ilkley' itself comes from a personal name, Yllica. Many writers make the more obvious linguistic connection with Olicana...Ollicley becoming Illeclei and so on. Take away the name connection and the evidence for Ilkley as the siting of Olicana is slight to say the least. Which would rather blow a hole in all those local organisations using the name!

Democracy

Well, got a little Parish Newsletter from our beloved rulers at the end of last week. It's effectively one of those tick-box exercises so beloved of our government. In order to get 'Quality Parish Council' status, the PC has to produce a newsletter. There's nothing really to put in it, of course, but its required in order to get the extra funding, so we do it. Hmm. Of course, it's designed to tell us all the great things the junta do for us (which basically boils down to a few community grants using our money), but it's also quite revealing about the state of our local system. At the last local elections, every single councillor returned in Ilkley represented the Conservatives. This, I guess, is not much of a suprise (this is Ickley itself, the councillors from Burley and Menston are not Tories). This means, effectively, that there is an in-built Tory majority on our council. Machine-gun defended this at the time by pointing out the different views held by the different councillors, in order to suggest they were all their own person, as it were. Which makes one wonder why they didn't all stand as independents as happens in many other areas. To which the obvious answer is that 'they wouldn't have been elected'. If one looks closely, however, at their addresses, it's noticeable that our Tory regime includes outsiders brought in, presumably, for their political views. Ben Rhydding ward is worst; of the three councillors representing the ward, one, machine-gun, lives in Otley, while another, 'Shaka' Heslop, lives all the way away in Addingham (it's not even on the same side of the town as Ben Rhydding for Kali's sake!). So what we have here is a bunch of councillors relying on an inbuilt Tory majority, parachuted into safe seats to keep the regime running. Which in turn means that decisions over what happens in the Parish, how the precept is set and spent, are not taken by voters directly but are taken by a handful of men and women in the local Conservative Club (or Ickley Golf Club...). Elected dictatorship... As Homer once said, 'When will people learn, democracy doesn't work!?'

Where's the paramilitaries when you need them?

Given that this is the fifth time Boots has had its front door smashed in the last twelve months, I should think they're starting to look at other options than having a store in our fair town.

Pravda reports that the pot of money available to our local leaders is rather more than I suggested. They actually have around 80K for special projects.

Now, that would buy some fine strapping lads to provide security, not to mention a few CCTV cameras, surely?

Of course, it won't help breed the chaos Ma Brown needs so she can declare her military crackdown and impose a state of martial law.

Other people's lives

Sometimes, voyeurism is good. There's sites like this, where you have no idea what's going on, know nobody involved, but it's a form of escape... Seems to be that some of them were once at Ilkley Grammar, so it's on-topic. Which is important. My considered opinion is, hmmm....

Treacle Moon

Which definitely sounds like a damn fine jazz track (either from Louis and his Hot Five or the sort of Miles Kind of Blue days).

What it is, though, is a damn fine deli. Bread, pies, ice cream (including the finest chilli ice cream) made on the premises by young Andy, who is the ex-Chef of Tubby's.

Compared to the Rocky Deli, the service is friendly, the cheeses are tops (and so are the meats the carnivores in the family tell me), and he does catering too.

He even made me a pie specially for xmas dinner. So this is by way of payback.

Just opposite Lishman's too...

The phrase comes from, I believe, Byron, who, when asked how his honeymoon went, replied, 'Call it rather a treacle moon'.