Bit of a short one this issue, as Ive been out of the loop for a while. I dont
know where you spent the summer but for me it was two months on the Sussex coast and
coming back in to Stokey was a big slap in the kisser. All my friends say the same. Their
hearts sink at the state of the place.So its Decision Time Chez Heal.
first get inside your own front door. Fighting my way through mountains of pizza leaflets,
Indian takeaway menus and burglar alarm estimates, I found several red and inflamed
envelopes. Ripping them open Christ what have I forgotten to pay this time ?
I discover that Miss Lynn Watts has been up to her old tricks again.
Who is Lynn Watts? You tell me. Theres a drink in it for you. Ive written
about the scams which abound in N16 where various neer-do-wells purloin your
address. But Lynn Watts is the Godmother of them all. Roughly a year ago she registered
her car at my address. Now, I dont drive, have never passed my test and never owned
a car. But for months Ive been plagued by fines, penalties and court appearance
dates because La Watts has done everything from parking half way up Nelsons Column,
belting through every red light in North London with a cheery one- fingered wave and
Congestion Charge what Congestion Charge ? Ask Sue Heal for it. Half my life has
been taken up with mopping up this mess and convincing those lovely polite Welsh people in
Swansea that Ive never even heard of the bloody woman.
But during my summer in Sussex events moved on apace. The bailiffs had called; they were
coming back with a van and locksmith next week. Transport for London can eventually get
the message, as can the DVLA and Horseferry Magistrates Court. But Hackney Council Parking
Penalty Department are impervious.
They can smell blood. Its mine not hers but, hey, lets not argue semantics.
Despite acres of letters, faxes, phone calls in various states of mounting hysteria
Hackney are copperbottom determined to send the boys round. Hackney Council must pay a
fortune to bailiffs and how far does it actually get them? I know people whove been
a tad late with their council tax cant get through to the relevant department
to say cheques on its way and the next thing they know two brick
shithouses with no necks are on their doorstep.
Presumably those who cant pay cant pay anyway, regardless of quickfire,
heavy-duty threats. Its all so crass, disorganised, traumatic and unnecessary.
Direct the thousands of pounds being paid to these firms into sorting out the problems at
source. Each time Hackney send the boys round to seize Lynn Watts goods and
chattels, the bailiffs are bunging on another whacking fee.
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Well, theyve admitted it at last. Hackney are seeking damages and
costs from the architects of Clissold Leisure Centre. The place has been a cock-up par
excellence since it opened 18 months ago. But once again its throwing good money
after bad. I suppose lawyers are heavily involved creaming off another layer of everyones
hard earned cash? Who hired these architects in the first place ? Why didnt they
spot it was all going pearshaped.? Im no Richard Rogers but give me the chart and
even I could measure an Olympic sized swimming pool.
And now a plug. I strolled into Shine the other day, the new Holistic Hair and Alternative
Therapy shop on Church Street, and very spanking it is, too. They were giving out free
Indian head massages and my shoulders were up round my ears. I also gave their Shiatsu a
try out Im very keen on a drop of Shiatsu. I left blissed out. Its a
great place, very serene in that tranquil, slightly spooky way that alternative places
are. Even a slight raising of the voice would rattle the rafters. Everyones wearing
an all - knowing , greatly understanding half smile all the time. I did enquire about
getting the barnet done but the brochure says they only use hair colourists which are kind
to the environment. Im not sure they cater for my two bottles of Domestos look. My
last stylist wore a World War One gas mask.