I used to be one of Mill Hill's four musketeers. Two of my best friends rented the caretakers cottage at Bunns Lane Works and my band - The False Dots - started it's life rehearsing in the front room. It seemed like every single night was like a scene from a movie, be it "Mad Max", "Night of the Living Dead" or even sometimes "Escape to Victory". The band would rehearse four or five times a week and afterwards we'd chill out in a variety of ways.
Under the lights of the M1, midnight games of football would take place. Strange people would turn up and then disappear. Bizarre excursions would be planned, such as to the Ridgeway to try and ride the horses (with rope bridles and no saddles). Strange card games would take place, such as the barrell of doom. A game where the loser would have to immerse themselves in a barrell of dirty rainwater. The last time we played this game, a fellow musketeer, Brian lost 3 times on the trot. To prevent such a thing happening again, he emptied the barrell. As the water flowed out, he wished he hadn't. There was an army of drowned rats at the bottom of the barrell. In the kitchen was a brickbuilt cupboard with a sturdy door. This was known as the Turkish Cell. Should you be stupid enough to be lured in, the door would be shut and you'd spend the rest of the evening in there, on your own.
Home made fireworks would be made, along with other pirotechnical treats, such as suspending plastic bags from the ceiling and settingh them on fire. On another occasion, a real fire was made in the Kitchen fireplace. All of a sudden, we became aware of a strange ticking. As we debated what this could be, there was an almighty expolision. Burning cinders flew everywhere. Another Musketeer, Dermot, had thrown an inhaler on the fire, to see what happened.
Bizarre conversations were had and strange challenges were issued. Perhaps the strangest, was the challenge which was thrown down to have sex with Pia Zadora, the actress. During the course of a conversation, I had mentioned that the previous evening, I'd had a bizarre dream that I'd been being pleasured by the delightful Pia Zadora. Not such a strange dream for a young man you may think? Well it was more complicated than that. In my dream Pia had explained to me that the way to obtain maximum pleasure was to have the act performed whilst I stood on my head. The thing was, I wasn't just standing on my head, but I had to put a swivel chair on the table, stand on my head on the swivel chair and gently rotate it using my feet, whilst Ms Zadora did the business. She explained that this resulted in a huge rush of blood to the head and the most fantastic experience possible.
My fellow musketeers and our assembled friends looked stunned. Even for me, this was a rather strange dream to recount. Then fellow musketeer, Brian asked "Do you think it's possible?" Dermot said "What?", Brian replied "To put the swivel chair on the table, stand on your head and rotate yourself through 360 degrees using your feet?". We all looked at the chair and table. It didn't look promising. At this Brian said, "Lets see". Sure enough, Brian managed to get up and swivel himself around. As it was my dream, I was up next. I can honestly say that it was one of the scariest things I've ever done. It wasn't stable and I'm not a small guy. Next up was Dermot. As he was half way around, the door opened. It was Dermots girlfriend. She entered the room to see Dermot balancing on his head on a swivel chair, which was balancing on the coffee table. We were gathered around ready to catch him. She asked "Dermot, what the hell are you doing?" At this one of our friends, Captain Ubungus, announced "He's having sex with Pia Zadora". At this the total ridiculousness of the situation dawned on us. We burt out laughing and Dermot lost his balance. The whole sorry caboodle came crashing down. Amazingly, no one got hurt. As ever there was a forfiet for failure. Dermot refused on the grounds we'd nobbled him. We insisted. He asked for another go. We relented.
A couple of weeks later, at the pub with a different group of friends, we were chatting and Captain Ubungus said "The funniest thing I ever saw was when Dermot fell off that chair, whilst having sex with Pia Zadora". A friend (unaware of the context) said "You saw Dermot having sex with Pia Zadora?". Ubungus replied "Yes, he fell off the chair when Claire (Dermots Girlfriend) came in, we were all watching". The friend, completely shocked by this revelation said "What did she do?" Ubungus replied "She creased up". The friend looked at us and announced "You lot are weird!".
The funny thing is it actually seemed like quite normal behaviour at the time. Mind you, I could never watch another Pia Zadora film without giggling.
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We the Undersigned, are totally opposed to the closure, sell off or downgrading of the Library service in the London Borough of Barnet.
We believe that Libraries are a vital part of the Borough and recognise the importance of having trained Libraries run by trained librarians. We believe that it is vital to have "quiet space" for students to study.
We believe that closure of the service would cause untold damage to the citizens of Barnet and is totally opposed by the vast majority of the population.
I got into blogging about politics by accident. I had intended to blog about local music.
I've run a music recording & rehearsal studio in Mill Hill, North West London since 1979. I play in a band called The False Dots, over the years we've played all over Europe, but now we mostly just play local shows as we're all too old and lazy. We play up tempo punky tinged rock, tinged with a very dark humour. We've bene joined on stage by various friends over the years such as Boz Boorer (Morrissey's Musical director) and Huw Lloyd Langton of Hawkwind.
I've organised many charity gigs with artists such as Kate Nash, Chris Spedding & Lee Thompson from Madness.
I also help organise many local festivals. I love a good row !!!! Oh and I did a blog on the Edgware Times for a while.
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If you have received a penalty fare at a Thameslink Station and you sent an appeal off to the Independent Penalty Fare Appeals Service, did you notice that this says at the bottom of the letter you got back "London and South Eastern Railways T/A IPFAS". In other words, it's not independent, it's an arm of a train company. They actually run Blackfriars station.
I believe that it is a scandal that this service calls itself independent, but there is no right of appeal and it's run by one of the train operators. I believe that the penalty ticket scheme is a scam to generate extra profits for these companies.
A little tool to help you defeat the invisible men
I've added an IP address lookup tool. If you get an email or you have a stats counter on your blog, you can see who it is and where they came from using this. If you've got an email from someone, view the email. Click on File, then click on properties, then click on details. Now click on message source
You will see some text as follows :- X-Originating-IP: [188.8.131.52]
Where I've put 184.108.40.206, cut and paste this number into the IP lookup and hey presto, you know where the email came from.
If it says it's from your bank, but the IP address is Freds chipshop, you know it's a scam.