There's a light-hearted approach to this column
A fairly quiet week on the meetings etc. front, which is good because I find myself writing this in the wee-ish hours of Thursday prior to taking myself off to Richmond, or more specifically Ham, to help out Christian Wolmar in his bid to supplant the odious Mr Goldsmith. I pick my battles carefully, and confidently expect Christian to be returned to Parliament in a landslide, landmark, victory. After all, the bookies and the polls were wrong about Brexit and Trumpton, so I’m expecting a hat trick, and I don’t even possess a hat.
Saturday morning found me at Ruth Cadbury’s Brentford coffee morning in the Watermans Park building aka Max Factor to those in the know. Contrary to the sign which states ‘Office building to let’ and – as somebody helpfully pointed out to me – is in danger of falling on some unsuspecting passer-by’s head, this building is actually let with unerring Brentford logic to a charity from South London called Stand Up For Africa. Anyway, they were good enough to host Ruth’s coffee morning, with excellent cakes from the local Jobot business (they do hot dogs on match days in Brook Road South, if anybody’s peckish) and this was well attended and landed Ruth with a load of casework (councillors too). I told the estate agent that if they don’t remove the sign soon I will seek to have it locally listed as a heritage asset and they claim it will be gone multi-pronto. As they are an estate agent that must be true.
I was planning to attend the stall in Chiswick High Road protesting the gradual dismantling of the NHS but decided to head off to Norbiton for the by-election canvassing instead. I’d barely heard of Norbiton but find it to be a suburb of Suburbiton. Unfortunately there was a local outbreak of deafness which no amount of pressing doorbells or banging on doors could cure until we came to the Street of Tories. We told them that Goldsmith is no longer a proper Tory but they looked at us as if we had just arrived from planet Zog (or maybe Zac).
I’ve seen a complaint this week that I don’t take things seriously enough. If anybody can find the pills that help me take seriously Brexit, Trumpton, Boris as Foreign Secretary, Chris Grayling as Transport Minister and the phased abolition of housing that anybody can afford, apply here. Until then, I’ll stick to the light-hearted approach for this and confine my serious side to work!
Monday evening was a session with the Friends of St Paul’s rec at the Olde Griffin where various issues involving dogs, trees, railings, mopeds, sunsets and calendars were discussed and many facts uncovered. Having seen a picture of myself taken rather cruelly at Ruth’s coffee morning, my first drink was a diet Coke and my steely resolve to put Satan, in the form of London Pride, behind me lasted until the second drink.
Tuesday evening was the AGM of the Mission Hall management committee. I’ll wager that quite a few people in Brentford don’t even know this community centre exists (can’t say I did until I became a councillor). An interesting meeting – the previous chair had to stand down due to ill health (I believe) so this was a complete rebooting with the Melvinator surviving the coup and carrying on as vice-chair. A lot of new blood on the committee and I hope this means this very useful building very close to the heart of Brentford gets better used in the future. It is used at the moment, not least for the All About Me day nursery which I mentioned in the summer, but has capacity to do more. It belongs to the Haverfield estate so as a non-resident I was a mere onlooker.
Wednesday was the Mayor’s charity quiz at the Civic Centre. Mayor Ajmer Grewal hosted, together with her consort, Councillor (and former Mayor) Pritam Grewal – Prince Philip as I call him – and it was a very enjoyable evening. Our local ‘Royal Couple’ are both most delightful people and their enthusiasm for life is an inspiration. Ajmer is hoping to match the £67000 her hubby raised for charity in his mayoral year despite not having any Jubilees or Olympics to help. I was in the deputy mayor’s team and we came an exceedingly plucky 5th out of about 13 teams despite the absence of questions about British cars of the 1950s and 60s or pop and rock before 1976, plus our team youngster (46 I believe) going off half way through to play badminton. No commitment.
So, off to Richmond. Planning committee this evening so I will have to try and fit in some visits, though I’m surprised that there is nothing at all in Brentford despite all the big things in the pipeline.
December 1, 2016