That Number Rings a Bell

I’ve been told I have a peculiar kind of memory and that’s being kind. My brain seems to hold on to the strangest bits of knowledge and locks them up securely, releasing them in brief floods of connectivity.

I was sitting in the line-up for Starbucks and my Nan’s telephone number just blurted out in my mind, 837-2247, or eight three seven double two four seven, as my mind has chosen to store it away. Now my Nan hasn’t been with us for over 20 years, and that phone number has been hers for even longer. This was back in the day when London had a single prefix 01 added to the number if you were outside London.

This got me to thinking of the other prefixes that London has been inflicted with. 01, was a staple ever since I could remember, then two new prefixes were introduced, to seemingly give London more phone numbers to offer, 071 for Central London and 081 for outer London. This now meant that if you lived in Central London and wanted to call a number in Outer London, you had to add the prefix and vice versa. This you would think would be enough, but no, BT in their infinite wisdom a few years later decided this wasn’t good enough and changed the prefixes yet again to 0171 and 0181. I think with this change you had to add the prefix, even if you were in the same area code, which was a major pain, when you were used to dialing a seven digit number.

You’d think that change would be enough, but no, London had yet another change in the early 2000s. The regular 7 digit number now adopted an extra digit, 7 for Central London and 8 for Outer London. This was in addition to 020 which now became the new area code for all of London. So My Nan’s phone number went from:

01-837 2247

Kind of makes me wonder who is using the number now. All of that from a long lost memory.

My Septred Isle is Stained

I’ve been in Canada for over 10 years. While it’s very important to assimilate and embrace the country in which you live, there is always a part of me that will stay devoutly English. However with the recent spate of mindless rioting that England is suffering, it’s takes the shine off something for which I have always been so proud.

I understand people’s frustration and anger, I really do, but find it hard to believe this is the real reason that people are causing wanton destruction. Sure that’s how things start, but what they have now is nothing more than people using other peoples pain, for their own selfish gains. I remember the Tottenham and Brixton riots of the 80s, but this is a whole different affair.

I don’t have answers, but it appears more needs to be done, than apparently is being done now. I read on Twitter that police presence is being bolstered by up to 5 times and rubber bullets will be made available. Some of my friends on Twitter suggested water cannons, used in conjunction with dye to easily identify protagonists. Certainly I think having a curfew is an important next step if the violence continues to escalate.

It’s truly said, especially so close to the Olympics in July of 2012. How this bodes for the consideration of future events, we will have to wait and see.

Hopefully the perpetrators will be taken to task and receive the full force of the law. It’s time for England’s legal system to stop treating criminals with kid gloves and start doing what needs to be done. So many countries have become overtly “Politically Correct”, that the country is being overrun with all and sundry, knowing that virtually anything they do will result in a virtual smack on the wrist. Enough is enough.

We shall see how tonight pans out. Hopefully calm will prevail and the shine will once again be restored to the country I love so much.