Tuesday 31 May 2016

We shoot gorillas, don't we?

I was appalled at the shooting of a gorilla in a zoo in the US at the weekend. The real issue is that gorillas are close relatives of us. They can be taught to communicate in sign language and in natural habitats live in well ordered social groupings. They simply should not be locked up in Zoo. We do not lock people up and charge people to gawp at them. The UN should ban this and allocate resources to protect their natural habitats. Then this crap wouldn't happen.

If you want to admire animals buy a David Attenborough video. In Victorian times, we paid to visit asylums to laugh at the lunatics. It was claimed that the cash raised helped pay for the care of the poor unfortunates. The truth is that this needs global action by the UN to protect endangered species and habitats. Those causing damage should face the same sanctions as terrorists, with jail, property seizure and blacklisting. I consider destruction of our environment as dangerous, if not more so than terrorist activities. Zoos are a symptom of our lack of respect for our planet.

World market coming to Mill Hill Broadway

The recent French Market in Mill Hill Broadway was an amazing success. On weekend of June 10/11 we welcome the World Village Market and Live Music Stage with Craft Beer to the Broadway over a three day weekend and finally on July 8/9 the debut of the amazing ITALIAN MARKET will take place and I will be looking forward to having a chance to buy authentic Italian goods on Broadway.
The markets will begin again with an Autumn and Winter programme from late September until early December including provisionally 1 or 2 Christmas Themed markets.

Here is the poster for the SUMMER MARKETS please share and the new HD Video Promo for the next market.

Monday 30 May 2016

Top Gear - What is all the fuss about

I'm not a petrol head, therefore Top Gear wasn't really something on my radar for many of the early years following its launch in 1977. Perhaps for me, the favourite aspect of the show was the theme tune Julia by The Allman Brothers. In the early years the potent mix of Angela Rippon presenting and Noel Edmonds testing cars simply didn't float my boat. Then that all changed, when the delightful Julia Bradbury got involved.

Of course that isn't what anyone remembers is it? Nope, Top Gear is the Jeremy Clarkson show, ably assisted by Richard Hammond and James May. This was the result of a reboot in 2002. And all of a sudden a rather quaint and niche program became a massive, mainstream show, becoming one of the biggest moneyspinners for the BBC. Clarkson and co conquered the world (well most of it, the Argentinians were none too impressed and gave them the same short shrift we gave them when they invaded the Falklands).
The new Top Gear Team
And yep, it was great. If you didn't like Top Gear, you were probably a miserable sod who simply doesn't enkoy being entertained. It was like a modern equivalent of the Circus. The Lions, Elelphants and Tigers were replaced by Ferrari's, Lambourginis and Mustangs. The clowns were replaced by celebs wheeled in to do test laps. The amazing feats were replaced by monumental epic car journeys. There were also the projects which inevitably resulted in Reliant Robins getting blown up. Coming from a family of pyromaniacs, how could I resist.
Then is all went wrong. A key ingredient of the success of the show was Clarksons arrogance. Arrogance is a very strange personality trait. Much as we'd love to hate arrogant people, when they are on a roll, we are strangely drawn to them. We forgive them all their sins. This is perfectly normal human reaction. We want our leaders to be brash, self confident and arrogant. Who would want to be lead into battle by a quivering wreck. Sadly like all such men, ultimately this arrogance was Clarksons downfall. He believed he was untouchable. His appalling behaviour got him the boot.

This gave the BBC a major problem. How on earth can you replace such a figure. The show is a huge moneyspinner and they would be negligent if they simply ditched it. It had history before Clarkson, so there can be no argument that the show was Clarkson. However I think that last night we saw they'd picked the wrong man. Chris Evans just hasn't got the charisma for the job. He's great on the radio and he's pretty good when he's in his comfort zone interviewing drug addled rock stars. But Top Gear is a completely different beast.  I think the consensus is that his co-start Matt Le Blanc was actually pretty good. He clearly loves doing stupid things in cars. I am pretty sure that the BBC are savvy enough to figure this out. If I was them, then I'd get the editors in and recut the whole thing. I felt all along that Evans was a poor choice. They could have done something really radicle and got Jodie Kidd. I think she'd have been great and added a whole new chemistry to the show. It is early days and it may well be that eventually Evans gets it, but he simply comes across as a loser and a dork in the first episode. That really is not a recipe for success in a show like Top Gear.

All that said it is early days and it is just a TV show. It will be interesting to see what Clarkson and Co come up with on their Amazon show. Will they stick with the tried & trusted formula and risk the charge that it has become stale? Will they try something different and risk bombing? For Amazon, this is a massive opportunity but also a huge risk. My guess is that Clarkson and Co will go for the jugular. I'd guess that no opportunity will be missed to lampoon the BBC, Evans and the old show. We've already seen that Clarkson doesn't know where the line is that he shouldn't be crossing. I suspect that perhaps the best scenario for both Clarkson and the BBC is that both shows do well. If Top Gear fails, then Clarkson will lose a huge store of barbs and digs. If the Clarkson show tanks, then the BBC also may well suffer. I suspect that Clarkson fans will actually watch Top Gear, even if they don't like it so they can get the jokes.

One thing I've learned over many years is that new shoes always hurt at first. As a child, I can remember thinking every Doctor Who was worse than the previous one after the regeneration. It usually took half a series, then suddenly you realised that the new Doctor was the Doctor. Will this be the way with the new show? We can but wait and see.

Sunday 29 May 2016

The Tweets of the Week in the London Borough of Barnet - 29/5/2016

We know you've been waiting for it , so here we go again. It's our fave weekly article and there are a few crackers this week!

1.  The World comes to Mill Hill Broadway! Mark Richards is pretty excited! ( We all are)

2. Barnet Rebel is getting all excited at the prospect of a brand new Mayor of Barnet!

has been installed as Barnet Mayor, with Cllr Sury Khatri as Deputy Mayor.
3. Fancy some comedy? No not at the Town Hall.

Colindale Comedy Club - free comedy - guaranteed enjoyment! 1st Thursday of the month - 8pm
4. And the local Police are keeping us safe! Disturbing seleection of knifes recovered

Two knives handed in at Colindale Police Station & off the streets
4. This is the sort of Tweet we like here. Interesting useless fact!

Fact of the day: Barbara Windsor used to live in Owen Luder design Hendon Hall Court.
5. Dramatic scenes in Finchley!

6. A message from Becca Breslin-Peel that we should all support

All done ... The Edgware blood donor centre staff are lovely ... Painless and quick process ... 💉
7. And one of our local superstars (and good mates) had a birthday recently

Martin James "Boz" Boorer > born 19th May 1962 Edgware, UK > Happy Kickin` Birthday Boz!
8. The Borough of Barnet's oldest resident!

Trees can tell incredible stories. This is LDN's 2000+ yr old yew in Totteridge. 2moro!

9. Our favourite Cafe owner is not happy about her rates (and her biggest admirer was on cracking form with a rather witty riposte which did make me snigger!)

Week 4 My business rates have increased the services have gone Outsourcing for you
you should tidy your bedroom up yourself and not expect the council to do it for you

10. And finally, Mill Hills favourite studio has made a promo video they want you to watch!

Ever wondered what we do at Mill Hill Music Complex. We made a little film to tell you!

Saturday 28 May 2016

The Saturday List #90 - The ten most influential organisations in Barnet

Ever wondered what the most influential organisations in Barnet are? Here is our list.

1. Royal Free Trust - They run Barnet General hospital. The statistical probability is that if you were born in Barnet or you die in Barnet (or both) this is where it will happen. You might even get better on the premises if you are lucky! I guess life and death are the most important things in life (and death) so it is clearly the winner. As someone who has spent far too long in their company over the last few years, I have nothing but praise for the staff of the organisation.

2. Barnet Council (and the bits of it that it controls but doesn't control such as Barnet Homes, Your Choice Barnet etc, the schools). The largest landlord in the Borough, the biggest carer and the people who take your kids away if you decide that its more fun to shoot up smack and smoke crack than care for them. Pretty damn important if you ask me. In my humble opinion the staff do a damn fine job, sometimes in very difficult circumstances.

3. The Metropolitan Police. These are the people who will cart you off if you are a naughty boy or girl. There is a large Police college in Hendon, where new recruits come far and wide to learn how to legally beat people up and restrain them, arrest them and generally make sure we all behave ourselves. In our humble opinion, they do a damn fine job. Barnet is a peaceable place and our boys and girls in blue are a credit to the Borough. Unlike the Police in many countries, in Barnet when we see the Police we feel reassurred (unless we are being naughty in which case we feel most unreassured - which I guess is a good thing). I think our local Police are a fantastic organisation.

4.  The London Fire Brigade. If you are trapped in your house, it is on fire and you are about to die, then there is no finer sight than a member of the London Fire Brigade. As readers of this blog will know, they have helped my family out in the last couple of years. Luckily no one was hurt. Can we just pay tribute to them.

5. The London Ambulance Service. If you are having a heart attack or your aged mum is having a stroke, we appreciate the ambulance service. Maybe we should all appreciate them a bit more when our nearest and dearest don't need them?

6. TFL. Have you used a tube or a bus recently? Have you driven on an A road in the Borough? Even if you haven't, your dinner has! TFL are in the process of becoming even more important. They will be taking over trains from the awful Thameslink operators. In my humble opinion, the organisation does a fantastic job keeping London moving.

7.  Brent Cross Shopping centre. So we come to the private companies in Barnet. Brent Cross is the largest shopping centre in the Borough. Love it or hate it, it is a huge player in the Borough, We cannot ignore it. It is about to get even bigger.

8.  Saracens RFC. The largest sports club in the Borough. European Champions and current league champions. A true jewel in the crown of the Borough.

9. Mill Hill Music Complex. Londons largest independent studio. With 2,000 musicians a week using the company and the organisation that has helped launch Brit award winners such as Amy Winehouse and Kate Nash, music made in Mill Hill has touched the four corners of the earth. Africa Moto by Mose Fan Fan was used as a theme tune for the World Cup in South Africa. This was recorded in Mill Hill and is recognised as one of the top ten most listened to songs on the planet.

10. Thameslink. Last year approx 2.5 million people in Mill Hill alone used a Thameslink train, Another million used one from Hendon. Sadly for many, these journeys are all too frequently a misery, as the service is run by the nations worst performing major operator. We can only hope that things improve when the service is taken over by TFL.

Of course, this is just our opinion and we are quite clearly biased! What do you think should be in the list?

Friday 27 May 2016

Who are real Superheroes

A huge bugbear of mine, which in some ways is completely irrational is the use of the word 'Superheroes' in movies. These individuals have special powers that allow them to perform feats us mere mortals cannot, such as flying, X ray vision and telepathy. They use these powers to save babies, dogs and even sometimes the planet. But is it really heroic to simply do stuff well within your capabilities? What is a real superhero.

First let's ask what is heroic. It is performing a selfless task, at great risk to yourself, to the benefit of others. Pulling a child from a car crash, when there is a possibility of explosion is a classic example of heroism. So how do you become a Superhero? Well I'd say to do such things repeatedly.

Perhaps the strangest thing is that we are surrounded by such people. We meet them all the time. Members of the Pilice, Fire service and armed forces. As they are heroic, most don't walk around wearing medals or seeking recognition. 

People such as my Father, who was a WW2 bomber pilot. He flew 40 missions over hostile territory, was shot down, taken POW, escaped and survived. As a member of bomber command he received no campaign medal for his sacrifice. I once asked him his thoughts 'my reward was to bring up a family in freedom and peace'. That is a true superhero response.

Sadly our governments over the years have treated such people as dirt. Injured servicemen are forced to rely on charity handouts from organisations such as help for heroes. To me it is clear who the superheroes really are. It is also clear who the arch villains really are. The disgusting truth is that most of them have been elected by us through the ballot box.
My father, Flt Lt Lawrence Tichborne RAAF shortly before his death in 1987

The Friday Joke - 27/05/2016

Critical Thinking

At Its Best!
Do you drink beer
Man: Yes
How many beers a day?

Usually about 3

How much do you pay per beer?

Man: £5.00
And how long have you been drinking?

About 20 years, I suppose

So a beer costs £5.00 and you have 3 beers a day which
puts your spending each month at £450.00In one year
, it would be approximately £5400.00 correct?

If in 1 year you spend $5400.00, not accounting for inflation, the past 20 years puts your spending at $108,000.00 correct?


Do you know that if you didn't drink so much beer, that money could have been put in a step-up interest savings account and after accounting for compound interest for the past 20 years, you could have now bought a
Do you drink beer?

Where's your Ferrari?

Thursday 26 May 2016

Donald Trump and the end of the world

Step into my time machine. Lets set the date forward exactly four years to the minute. News at Ten has just begun.

Bong. President Trump has warned President Putin that he will not tolerate Russian interference in the Balkan states following the dissolution of the EU and NATO. The German President blamed the UK for the crisis saying that had the UK remained in the EU, then none of this would have happened and in light of events Germany was looking to recover lost territories in Poland, Czech Republic and Austria.

Bong. Prime Minister Corbyn has announced that Great Britain is leaving NATO in response to President Trumps warmongering.

Bong President Trump has announced that Great Britian is Americas oldest Enemy

Bong. Leader of the opposition and recently deposed Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced that he is leaving Parliament and has re-applied for US citizenship as he considers Britian to be a basket case following Corbyns election.

Bong. The Pope announces that there really are aliens and he damn well hopes they turn up soon to save us from Donald Trump.

Bong. Arsenal announce the appointment of Jose Mourinho as manager following his recent sacking by Liverpool. Mourinho states in the press conference that he's always wanted to see how Arsenal got on with a specialist in success. After a successful first season at Liverpool, winning the premiership, he was sacked halfway through the season with Liverpool languishing at 16th. Mourinho claims that his problems with Chelsea, Man Utd and Liverpool were caused by him being too marvellous for the clubs. He announced that Arsenal were a different cup of tea.

And in other news, a large hole has appeared in the London Borough of Barnet in the shape of an A. Asked to comment, world famous blogger, Mrs Angry said "A large A hole in Barnet? Have you found Brian Coleman?" (A former mayor who disappeared into a mysterious black hole, which previously swallowed his Laptop and all his credibility).

As the old Chinese curse prevailed "May you live in interesting times?"

Wednesday 25 May 2016

The Barnet Swagger

Local residents gather outside Barnet Town Hall to protest at Council ineptitude last night
Last night a large group of protestors gathered outside the Town Hall to protest at the state of the council. In the last three months the Council has cocked up an election and behaved disgracefully towards disabled people, who had their Freedom Passes cancelled without warning, despite the Deputy Leader of the Council Dan Thomas claiming Freedom Passes were safe with the Tories during his GLA election campaign.

Cllr David Longstaff is Barnet's 52nd mayor
Barnets new Mayor - "resting" actor David Longstaff
Inside grown men were dressing up in fancy dress and dignitaries were tucking into a taxpayer sponsored buffet. In Barnet, they cannot organise elections, but they can organise a buffet. Some visiting dignitaries were clearly bemused with Barnet Councils obsession with pomp. The Deputy Leader of Harlow Council tweeted as follows

So many formalities & silly costumes at Barnet's annual council. Feeling smug Harlow is (relatively) modern & doesn't do any of this nonsense

Most Barnet residents would love to see Barnet Council get its house in order and its priorities right. Is it really appropriate for this huge, self congratulatory back slapping exercise to be conducted when the council is being investigated for electoral incompetence? Barnet has absoluetly nothing to boast about. Councillors should be hanging their heads in shame. Does our new Mayor look embarrassed? He damn well should.

After the meeting I adjourned to the Greyhound with a few residents and Barnet Council employees. One of them told me the most incredible story. He attended a Leadership course recently (after the Election Cock Up). He said the Leader of the Council, Richard Cornelius made a speech to Council employees attending the course. Cornelius told them that Barnet Council is widely admired, and they should all walk with "The Barnet Swagger" as members of an organisation that is widely admired. I have no idea who advised Richard or why he believes that anyone would admire an organisation that can't even organise an election properly or manage to ensure that disabled residents can use their legally entitled Freedom Passes without embarrassment and inconvenience. The two pictures above tell you everything you need to know about Barnet Council. Residents on the outside enraged about incompetence and red faced councillors on the inside slapping themselves on the back, telling each other how marvellous they are as they dress up in fancy robes and white gloves. As we have said on numerous occasions, you couldn't make it up.

(Many thanks to David Longstaff for correcting our typo. Sadly Emma Toal is not Deputy Leader of Barnet Council, but Deputy leader of Harlow Council- Now Corrected)