Relaxing with a scarcity of meetings but not enough cycling
Thursday passes without incident and I’m really getting in these decent bike rides and multiple showers, however barely keeping pace with the full English that starts most days.
On Friday I have a ‘walkabout’ with the Hounslow Director I work most closely with. We start at Osterley station take in some A4, then Jersey Road , down past Tesco to Gillette corner. Syon Lane, then back along London Road, Wood Lane and back to Osterley. We’re looking at the state of the environment – roads – all OK; pavements – a few defects reported; litter – the A4 has improved markedly but there is still long-standing mess in the undergrowth whether on private or public land. It was a couple of days after the fortnightly clean in OSG ward and in general all was well apart from some of the gutters which need to get swept. In the underpass by Osterley station and nearby there 50 or more pieces of handwritten A4 with messages from someone who seemed to be disturbed and allegedly a victim of crime. We picked them up and the director took them away to take some action. Not a happy discovery.
In the afternoon I delivered my house guest to Reading. He had been granted parole for the weekend on the condition that he stayed with his sister. He had to ring his wife in Vienna to get his sister’s address. Anyway a lovely evening sitting outside a pub consuming large quantities of fattening food. More cycling needed.
Saturday morning I spent roasting outside the Verdict with the chair of Brentford Voice. Good conversations about many things, then the rest of the weekend was mainly dedicated to (you’ve guessed it) emails, bike rides and a bit of social. Oh, and there was a cricket match going on. I enjoyed the tweet which said (roughly) ‘Greatest Innings by Englishmen at Headingley: Butcher (173*); Botham (149*); Pietersen (186); Gooch (154*); Stokes (135*); Leach (1*)’. Riveting, and I was surprised there was little mention that Jack Leach was actually responsible for saving the Ashes: his run tied the match which meant at worst we would go into the last two tests 1-0 down. So he was the real hero: can’t understand why all the admiration was heaped on Stokes, who was only really dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s with that final 4.
Anyway, it feels like we’re in a phoney war period at the moment. Very few meetings, blooming hot, plenty of emails, lots of cycling and a house guest. Loads of different social media to attend to. I try not to rise to the stuff that is sometimes posted there but sometimes I can’t resist it. I get the occasional supportive message off line and I got rather a sad one this week. Someone I’d crossed swords with once or twice but with whom I’d later struck up a (cyber) relationship of mutual respect tells me he is seriously unwell and now housebound with a progressive disease. I’m hoping things look up for him.
Not much to fill a blog as I doubt there’s much interest in the minute changes to my cycling routes. The Blitz starts next week, however, and I’ve been trying to persuade my printer to deliver a few hundred pages for cabinet on Tuesday, mainly the details about CW9.
On Tuesday, though, I was just by Victoria bridge when the chain snapped on my bike. After various fannying around in central London (including a bike shop who said they could fix it if I left it there to mid-September) I decided to take it to Chiswick on the tube to one of the excellent bike emporia there. First time I’d taken a bike on the tube but fortunately not crowded at midday and I escaped with just a few aggressive glances. Fixed same day at Fudges.
I did have a meeting yesterday at the FoodBox, where we agreed some changes to the constitution and briefly reviewed the risk register that had not been updated for a while and mulled over matters Brentford as people from Brentford will.
Later I got some sad news: John Chatt, former leader of the council (twice) and one who was an ever-present in the Civic Centre supporting us newbies and dispensing wisdom from 30-odd years as a councillor, passed away in West Middlesex hospital. A powerful presence, always helpful and calm. That’s two of our elder statesmen gone in as many months and, like Raj Bath, John will be much missed.
My daughter has been on holiday in France and sent me a plaintive message to pick her up from Gatwick as she wasn’t too well. So I trundled off late evening (I wonder when the transition will come to me sending plaintive messages asking to be picked up) and sampled the delights of the North Terminal. I’m not sure this will go down well when he turns up for work at the bank on Monday.
As for me, various meetings today and tomorrow then will try to have a look at Johnsons Island on Saturday and definitely the Brentford Festival on Sunday.
Cllr Guy Lambert
August 29, 2019