Friday, July 22, 2005

Hurray for Fridays

Mutterings continued.

Busy day, nice and easy evening.

More bad news from London. I did like this from The Northerner:

You knew it was a big story when the US TV crews turned up with the
lacquer-haired anchorman. There were Japanese crews too, plus a
worried-looking Belgian journalist scuttling past the wheelie bins in
the back alley behind Colwyn Road, in Beeston, Leeds, the home of
London bomber Shezhan Tanweer.

The media mob grew bigger every day last week and everyone living in
the terraced grid of streets was probably interviewed at least twice.
At times like this, locals tire of notebooks and lenses pretty
quickly and urge us to shove off.

But not in Beeston. After the two-minute silence, staff of the Hamara
community centre distributed bottles of mineral water to reporters.
As bomb squad teams prised open the shutters of the youth centre on
Lodge Lane, a man carrying a bottle of orangeade and pile of plastic
cups handed out free drinks to those gasping in the sun.

A reporter from the Yorkshire Post said a local greengrocer had given
her a free watermelon. In other hotspots they might well have thrown
it at her. And as police searched another house in a quiet road in
nearby Dewsbury, a resident saw the sweat on my brow and gave me an
ice lolly.

The paradox of Beeston is that this centre of inner-city deprivation,
which harboured fanatical suicidal killers, appears also to be a
place of multiracial and multi-religious harmony. "This is a
beautiful area with lots of different people, ideas, clothes, music.
Everyone learns something from each other," said one very
young-looking father of six.

Perhaps his glasses would have been rose-tinted, had he been wearing
any. But in the shop behind him the Asian British owner (from
Swindon) discussed the news with her white British friend (from
Cornwall). He promised to help her find a way through the police
cordons to the cash and carry.

Beeston, on the basis of a three-day visit, does not feel like
Bradford, Burnley or Oldham, scene of riots in 2001 and now the
target of government cohesive community strategies. Perhaps, amid the
horrors, there are lessons to be learned in Leeds.

Amen.

Can't recall how I discovered this site; suspect it was a link from the Dull Mens Club. A site dedicated to some of Britain's more pathetic motorways. The A57 is especially amusing.

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