We express here who the grand old lady of Cricklewood NW2 is to us. Cricklewood is a place where all cultures, all roads, all railways (not very many tubes) and, ultimately, all consciousness meets. Even if you don't live in Cricklewood, you can now take a little bit of Cricklewood away with you.

Friday, October 07, 2005

On happiness

Australia is the world's happiest nation

I was initially surprised to see this since Australia is a very long way from the world's happiest community, Cricklewood.

Then I realised that, when you live so close to New Zealand, you would have to be constantly in a state of delirium over the fact that you do NOT come from there.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Crime Wave in Cricklewood

In an extraordinary turn of events, some of the many visitors which Cricklewood has embraced have brought with them a sinister companion - crime.

The Ham & High broke the story first on 29 September:

"A 12-YEAR-OLD boy had his mobile phone stolen after being threatened in Cricklewood. The youngster was walking with a friend along Ash Grove at 2pm last Friday when they passed a group of teenagers sitting on a wall. One of the group got off the wall, intimidated the victim and stole his mobile phone before walking off down an alleyway. The suspect is described as 16, of eastern European appearance, wearing a baggy blue tracksuit and blue baseball cap. Anyone with information should call Detective Sergeant Dawn Clarke on 020-8733 4593."

Globalisation and international travel have brought with them opportunities to explore the world and experience new cultures. For years, Cricklewood has kept its borders open to other parts of London, embracing the cultural diversity that it brings and cherishing the opportunity to showcase the Cricklewood brand of tolerance, patience and virtue to other areas of London. Almost daily, as I wander down the Broadway, I can see pockets of tourists pointing to our peaceful streets; marvelling as cultures mingle; laughing at the antics of youths in hoodies as they demonstrate their fencing skills to senior citizens returning from their shopping and who gladly provide them with a £20 note to show their appreciation.

We open our homes to the world and we ask them in for a drink. And, of course, the world knows that if we are not at home, they are welcome gently to break a window and help themselves to a cup of tea or whatever it is that they need. It is this peaceful sense of community that brings people to Cricklewood and it is this spirit of openness that Cricklewood is bringing to London.

Against this background, the new wave of crime represented by this mobile phone theft is concerning. In any other area of London, it would of course go unreported as one of the least notable criminal offences. However, with this sort of thing going on in Cricklewood, we must ask ourselves how we are to protect our way of life. Fortunately, we have the Ham & High to alert us to the threat and, more thankfully, we have Detective Sergeant Dawn Clarke on the case, tracking down the thugs involved.

Three questions present themselves:
  • How bad is this crimewave and is it true that DS Clarke has listed a landline because her phone too has been stolen?
  • How many unreported telephone thefts have there been in the same period? I know that I rang a girl the other week and she didn't call back. Was she too a victim of phone theft?
  • Will we respond by keeping our phones hidden or will we respond defiantly, holding our phones out high in front of us as we walk down the street? This correspondent will be taking the latter course. These thugs will never break our spirit. Our spirit of openness will not be taken from us so easily.

Oh, and a final question. How exactly do eastern Europeans visually differ from bog-standard white people? I feel I have missed something.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Life after Tony Blair

What will our man, Tone, get up to next? The Herald's inside scoop

According to the BBC news website, Tony Blair has begun speculating about the future of Britain under Gordon Brown's leadership. The titan of a man who has held the reigns of this grand island for so long has said he will stand down before the next election. He predicted that Gordon Brown will not try to reverse his legacy of public service reform if he becomes prime minister and insisted that the big money man, GB, backed efforts to increase choice in public services.

The Herald believes that we should have consecutive days of national mourning from now until three years after the next election to mark the passing of this statesman, national hero and downright attractive man. We are also somewhat disturbed by the likely replacement of this adonis figure with someone who, frankly, is far less attractive. GB is a great wing man for the Tone. He adds like a machine and signs off new government bond issues like a seasoned professional but, as a leader? We can't see it.

Never mind though. We can't always have the best world leader. Not when we keep winning the cricket and rugby as well. GB for a bit, someone who isn't Michael Howard for a bit (when will we know?), maybe even that lunatic Scotsman for a bit. It doesn't really matter as long as Tony's work is left unblemished.

The question that everyone is asking is where will this combination of the best of Ghandi, Winston Churchill and Nelson Mandela apply his enormous talent and strength of intellect next? Frequent readers will have probably guessed the answer. Cricklewood, of course.

The Herald has learned that Tony is planning to accept an appointment as Cricklewood commander in chief. This is a position with central government akin to the various policy czars but a bit more important and with complete autonomy and total executive power. First on the list is addressing the chronic neglect of Cricklewood by the regional axis of evil - the Councils of Brent, Barnet and Camden. For years, Cricklewood has suffered by being at the nexus of these three councils. Councillors from lesser locations look to Cricklewood with envy and say to themselves that they will teach the smug little community of Cricklewood to laugh on the other side of its face. No longer. Tony is riding in on a white horse and emblazoned on the side of that steed will be the word "Cricklewood".

We think Tony should also consider:
  • introducing a new Cricklewood tube station on a new line which goes direct to Central London without stopping at lesser locations such as West Hampstead
  • undergrounding the Broadway, replacing the surface with a pedestrianised parkway
  • flood mitigation as previously recommended on this website
  • repairing the belltower at St Gabriels and evicting the happy-clappies
  • immediate immigration restrictions to maintain the charm of the area - particularly aiming at stopping New Zealanders
  • walling out Willesden Green

When you are Prime Minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, what is the next step up? Cricklewood of course.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Flood Protection

Protecting our heritage and culture

With the tragic events of New Orleans in recent days, I am buoyed only by the fact that I know that my fellow residents in Cricklewood have not a depraved bone in their bodies. Crime is something only experienced in Cricklewood on those occasions when nearby Willesden Green residents forget themselves and cross over from Walm Lane into Chichele Road. We can therefore be relatively comfortable that widespread devastation in Cricklewood would result in an orderly withdrawal by residents, followed by a later restitution of those residents to houses looted only by the storm which led to the events.

There remain some questions though. What measures have the London Boroughs of Barnet, Brent and Camden (our triumvirate of overlords) done to prevent flooding in Cricklewood? Have these councils sat, in joint forum, and asked themselves these questions:

  • Where would the home renovation plans of London be if the Cricklewood B&Q were to be closed down because of storms?
  • What would be the psychological effect on thousands of old-age pensioners if the Beacon Bingo ceased to trade?
  • Where would generations of children learn to snog if the Galtymore were blown over?
  • What would happen if the Crown were flooded with something other than beer?
  • If we have a hangover and Pedro's is not trading, would we survive?
Even a cursory examination of these questions demonstrates the urgency of need to protect Cricklewood from the events of New Orleans. We are not advocating for a wall, Gaza-style, to be erected. While many of us have entertained the idea of keeping out the rest of the world from our little corner of heaven, the fact remains that three things prevent this: our openness to outside influences, our natural curiosity (which leads us to travel) and our civilising influence on the remainder of London. We therefore embrace our openness.

We are therefore forced to the next best defence against floods - enormous pumps. These would be located at strategic sites on the Cricklewood borders including the boundary of Chichele Road and Walm Lane, the upper and lower ends of the Broadway, and around the A41. The objective would be to suck the water from Cricklewood and spray it in a wide arc in the direction of Willesden Green, Kilburn, Brent Cross, West Hampstead and so forth, as the case dictates. Tihs would marginally worsen any flooding in those areas but would not lead to any significant issues since (a) those areas don't count and (b) some of them are on high ground and therefore wouldn't flood too badly in any event. The second point underlines the need for very big pumps and a very large wide arc for spraying.

There is also the issue of security, we do not wish to prevent visitors in the normal course of events but in this situation, it may be considered appropriate to arm some residents for territorial defence. All Cricklewood residents (including Ken Livingstone) might be forced to wear an identifying mark such as a yellow star, allowing territorial defenders (or perhaps we might call them community wardens) to fire at will on those not so marked. In this way, the gangs from Willesden Green are likely to keep their distance at critical points.

As I write this, I know that the majority of Londoners reading it will be nodding their heads and murmuring to themselves something along the lines of "Sound idea! Reasonable thinking" but you will be astonished to learn that the triumvirate of overlords has yet to convene a joint council meeting even to consider the subject and they are yet to formally outline plans at all similar to these.

As with so many other things with which our newspaper and our people concern themsleves, our local representatives have let us down. Shame.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

I can only recommend that you always turn left here... and don't go too far. Posted by Picasa

Welcome to beautiful Cricklewood. Where dreams come true. Posted by Picasa

And when you need to stroll down a beautiful country lane... Posted by Picasa

This is where it all happens. Find the sign, find happiness. Posted by Picasa

Where do you go for a great night out? Where is one drink never enough? Where can you dance your cares away surrounded only by the beautiful people? Posted by Picasa

This is the beautiful Broadway. Note the confidence of the people, the quality of the cars, the freshness of the sky. A Cricklewood day indeed. Posted by Picasa