Wednesday, April 27, 2005


thanks to j-mo for this link (isle of jesus) to ben's space. good reading there.

mrs hope is poorly and her doctor has signed her off work to recover.

my bike's front brakes squeal. i can't stand it, nor seem to fix it.

why is a raven like a writing desk? because there is a 'b' in both and an 'n' in neither.

Monday, April 18, 2005

congratulations to charlie, juliet and amber!

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

why a d-lock sometimes just isn't enough

yesterday, mrs hope and i finished our sign language course and had the exam. it went quite well for me, and i think mrs hope will have passed as well.

the Bristol Deaf Club is on Kings Square, which is near Jamaica Street and Stokes Croft, as you know. i had cycled there from work, and after the exam we went to a pub, just off Jamaica Street, to relax. i secured my bike to a 9' post just down from the pub. we'd been there about half an hour when a guy comes in and asks if anyone owns a bike, because he's just seen a group of guys steal it and cycle off.

i ran outside with a guy from the sign language course called simon. we saw them away down the street and ran after them - as we were running i could see they were a group of six black lads, maybe 20 years old. i slowed down a bit!

simon, however, ran right up to them and i followed (it was my bike i suppose) and we confronted them. i said something dumb like, "Hey, you've got my bike, can I have it back please?" the guy riding it got really agitated and defensive and asked why i wanted 'his' bike. i told him i could see it was my bike - it still had the lock on it and i had the key in my pocket. he denied he had stolen it, but claimed he had bought it off a druggie. i apologised for saying he'd stolen it, but asked for it back nonetheless.

they didn't try and run away at any point, but all stood around while we spoke to the guy on the bike. but when simon put his hand on the handlebar to keep a hold of it, and the guy punched him in the chest, knocking his glasses off. simon bent down and i watched him pick his glasses up; we then both noticed that the guy had taken a 2" blade out of his pocket, which he held down by his side. we both backed off a bit; i tried to calm things down.

one of the other guys suggested we buy the bike back - as they had paid £10 for it I could have it back for £10. i said i wasn't carrying any cash on me, and showed them my wallet. they even said £5 would do. i said that my wife had some money on her back at the pub, and suggested we go back there and i'd pay for it. he put away his knife and said that would be fine; we shook hands on £10 and he gave me my bike back!

we walked back to the pub; i wheeled my bike, with simon ahead of me. the lad and his mate walked with me; i started chatting to them, introduced myself and asked their names. i think he told me a name, but i can't remember. all i was thinking was how to get to know them better! i asked where they were from, and they said Easton. i made some small talk about having good curry houses in Easton, but they replied they "hated Pakis", which was the end of that conversation.

by the time we got nearer the pub, mrs hope and our other friends were standing on the road. the two lads didn't approach the pub, but waited just around the corner. i assured him i was going to get him £10 and come back and pay him. so, carrying on with my bike, i took it inside the pub and asked mrs hope for a tenner. she gave it to me, but i was prevented from going back outside by my friends who insisted i shouldn't pay any money for my own bike. simon was on the phone to the police by that stage, and someone was trying to tell the barman what was going on.

as i hadn't returned with the money, the two lads outside came closer to the pub, and eventually were standing outside the window where we were seated. he asked me, through the window if i was going to pay him. i told him i wasn't being allowed to by my friends. he came and stood in the doorway of the pub, but didn't come in. he demanded the money again, and i said i couldn't pay him. he threatened me for a while, saying "If you don't give me my money, you'll get seriously messed up!", before the bar staff chased him and his friend off.

no-one got hurt - simon seemed fine despite the punch to his chest. i am slightly apprehensive about bumping into the guy again - it's a strange feeling to know that there is someone who might bear a grudge against me.

i'm not sure how i actually got my bike back - it all seems slightly surreal. i suppose i did use the magic word though.