Monthly Archives: July 2012

Booming Boris Everywhere

Bloody Boris banging on at the station
So far, I have heard Boris say “Hi folks” whilst waiting for trains at Blackheath.  I’ve heard him say “Hi folks” as I interchange at London Bridge.  I’ve heard him say “Hi folks” at Charing Cross whilst making my way to the underground.  I’ve heard “Hi folks” as I scurried through at least three tube stations.

And I could just about get by with the occasional grumble on Twitter to maintain my sanity.  But today, after hearing it three times at three different stations, I took a bus to Sainsbury’s.  The bus was full.  It was too hot. Everybody was standing.  And then, along came the aristocratic old Etonian who read Classics at Oxford calling me his “folk”.

I’m not his folk, and he isn’t mine.  I never will be.  It was only on the bus when I realised what a disaster the “Hi folks” recorded messages are.  They make you feel as though you are living in a police state.  I feel like I’m being told how to think, without any control over when I hear it.  It’s the same message everywhere, and it doesn’t change.  It’s relentless.  And it’s starting to terrify me.

I realise that we live in a democracy, and that we’re lucky to do so.  But playing the announcements everywhere with such ease demonstrates that most of the equipment is in place to remove our democracy at any time.  All the machinery necessary to tell you how to feel, and what to think is sitting there, and is ready to go.  And that scares the life out of me.

And it’s weird, because that Tannoy system has probably been set up for years, but I’d never noticed it until I heard it on the bus for the fourth time today.

Charing Cross photo by Flickr user Mike_fleming.  Booming Boris Johnson from Wikipedia.


Filed under blackheath, Olympics, transport

Love Waste Hate Food

Lewisham council garden waste collection... Or not

UPDATE: Name removed because Mrs Bugle said the problem was not down to one individual.

I don’t want Lewisham council to teach people how to compost. I want them to teach themselves how to compost. I’ve left several branded lewisham bags of garden waste outside. I’ve requested them to be collected, and they haven’t been. I’ve tried to re-request it, and got the screenshot above.

Greenwich collects garden waste by default. Lewisham’s recycling is pretty pathetic by comparison.

From the council:

I am writing regarding free workshops by Lewisham Council that I’d like to put on your blog. One workshop theme is about Love Food Hate Waste and the other theme is on home composting.
I can provide flyers with all the necessary details to go on the blog, but with so many workshops available I’ve decided to list them below as well in case that’s easier to see in one hit. Could you let me know if it is possible for these to go on your blog as soon as you’re able, as many of the workshops are coming up soon?
Many thanks, ####

Booking is essential. To book, please email ######
Please title email ‘compost workshop’, state which session you will be booking and how many people will attend. Please also include your phone details.
Alternatively call 020 8314 2145 to leave a detailed message. Please state which session you will be booking and how many people will attend, and leave your contact details.

Love Food Hate Waste and Composting workshops


Filed under blackheath

The mysterious parcel

UPDATE: As this has been solved by some very straightforward detective work, I’m going to remove the personal details from the post, and contact the person who asked me about it. I’ll leave the rest up for posterity.
Jamie writes:
> I’m hoping you can help me out with something. A package was incorrectly delivered to my building (# Bennett Park) and nobody > knows the person to whom it was addressed. We have contacted the delivery service to inform them of the mistake but they have proved > to be totally rubbish in sorting it out. I’d like to try and track down the intended recipient and was wondering if you might be > willing to create a post to help track them down?
> The package was addressed to: ### ####, ### ####, SE3 ###. >
> There is no flat H at no. ###and the postcode should end in ###. >
> Please let me know if you can help.
> Regards,
> Jamie


Filed under blackheath

Torch comes through Blackheath

People holding torches run through Blackheath. Everyone is delighted:

Great article in the New York Times:
The Olympic Spirit, British Style: When Will This Nightmare End?

Best quote:

“it’s as if someone else is throwing a party in our house, with a huge entry fee, and we’re all locked in the basement.”

Leave a comment

Filed under blackheath

Donkey man passes away

A donkey on blackheath by flickr user Eat Your Greens
Len Thorne, who looked after the donkeys on Blackheath, next to the gates of Greenwich Park has passed away. Below are some of the comments that were posted on another post, remembering him.

The story was also covered by The News Hopper, and the same story appeared in This Is Local London.

According to their story, the donkeys will continue:

To book the donkeys, or find out about the funeral call Ms Ahmet on 07762 389 814 or email

Below are the comments from the other post. Apologies for not managing to write this post sooner:

House of Joy wrote:

This is […] about the sad news that the Blackheath Donkey Man Len Thorne died last week on 11th July. Flowers mark the spot nearest to where the donkeys were and there is a notice giving his family’s phone numbers. Len devoted 64 years to bringing his donkeys to Blackheath. He was also an anti-war poet. A brave man. His Humanist funeral is planned to take place on the track – look out for news.

Jane True wrote:

“so sad to hear this… Len’s donkeys carried my bridesmaids through Deptford market at our wedding in ’97 , he was a lovely man. I was proud to be an honorary donkey girl. God Bless you Len .”

Michelle O’Brien wrote:

“This is the gentleman whose donkeys were alleged by the Daily Mail a few years ago to have been killed and eaten by immigrant gypsies (I forget where the Mail said they came from – Romania perhaps, possibly Bulgaria; anyway somewhere definitely “foreign”.)

The donkeys had in fact been at home in their field on Shooters Hills enjoying a well-earned rest from giving rides to kids on Blackheath for a few weeks.

The Guardian exposed the Mail’s story as a fabrication – a typical piece of anti-immigrant, anti-traveler Mail bigotry – and backed by the true facts launched a mini-campaign to get the tabloid to publish a retraction.

Needless to say, the Mail simply ignored this and let the story stand – with no retraction, no apology, and no acknowledgement of the truth.”

House of Joy replied:

“Absolutely correct in all you say Michelle. Thank you. It says it all about the Daily Mail. Mr Thorne was a serious, thinking man, dedicated to his donkeys amd also concerned with world problems – not long ago he read to me an anti-war poem he had written. We used to discuss so many subjects when I visited him, May he rest in peace and also get the Humanist funeral he wished for, right there on the donkey track.”

Jon Lee wrote:

“I seem to remember it being The Daily Star and Somalian refugees. But I can see that the Mail might have made up their own version of it.”

Blackheath Bird wrote:

“Michelle/House of Joy – While the gutter press may well have fabricated the bit about Mr Thorne’s donkeys being eaten by foreigners, surely it is true that some animals were actually stolen? I clearly remember a TV interview in which a female member of Mr Thorne’s family said she feared the donkeys had probably “entered the food chain” (her exact words), and Mr Thorne has referred to the theft in subsequent interviews over the years. There is of course always the possibility that animal lovers who dislike seeing donkeys used for rides could have taken them.”

ThePirateKing wrote:

“I remember talking to Len on Sunday and being very moved by just how upset he was about the recent theft of some young donkeys that had been taken from the field at Shooter’s Hill. So some animals were stolen for real. My hazzy memory places the recent in early summer. They included animals a few months old, I think.
Mr Bugle – any chance the news of Len’s sad passing might get its own front page slot. I only found it be accident here? Thank you, Sir.”

House of Joy wrote:

“Yes Mr Bugle – please put on front page – I don’t know how to operate this system in order to ask you. Pirate King – could you try too please? News of Len’s funeral not available yet. His wish is for a service on the donkey track before the cemetery.”

Photo is by Flickr user Eat Your Greens.


Filed under blackheath

Con Men or Cameron?

House of Joy writes:

Has anyone encountered an (almost) David Cameron look alike asking for money because he’s lost his wallet. Public School English, very well dressed – casual/smart? Encountered him yesterday (16th July) on Lee Terrace and was so intrigued I gave him a couple of quid.

I had a similar experience near Lee Sainsbury’s. Well dressed guy in his 30’s wearing headphones claimed to have lost his wallet and needed the bus fare. I was almost tempted to follow him to see if he was telling the truth… Has it happened to anyone else?


Filed under blackheath

If you’re going to use a cow sign…

… then the correct spelling is “mooved”.


Filed under blackheath