What a week it's been for me, the Cricket World Cup has seen me both despondent then higher than a kite, I was convinced we had blown our chances and would be dumped out by Australia.
I tried valiantly to avoid looking at the score but this plan was defeated by a colleague wandering over to me and telling me Australia were 14 for 3, when he assured me he wasn't winding me up my hopes rose.
Then my mind turned to the many times England have flattered to deceive, could Australia still nick the game, the final outcome was too much for me to take in, in a pressure situation England not only won, but won in style.
I was hoping to see the West Indies do really well, that however was not be be, but I would love to see a really strong W.I side in the future.
Now today it's the final, whether we win or lose its been a great tournament, with the Ashes still to come, and now I've got into the tennis as well, sport is consuming me.
The Grand Prix I can take or leave, I used to love it but its become a tad boring in my opinion, in fact I'm more interested in the E-Prix, those cars doing incredible speeds but almost silent, incredible.
Anyway apart from all this an update on my last post.
In my last post I covered some of the ideas put forward in the Council and their partners consulation document which closed last week.
I took part in that and I hope lots of others did too, what the outcomes are from this will be interesting as will how long things take to get moving, obviously as said before lots of thought is required.
I'm hoping the results of peoples input into the consulation will be published as I'm keen to see peoples ideas, we can't just leave this to those who make decisions as they have proved before to be, shall we say "unreliable" :)
Going off on a tangent and before I bore you to death, what do you think of this picture I manged to get a few days back, I was quite pleased with it, watching this stuff is a great antidote to the pressures of watching sport .
An update on the mess I saw last week on Campbell Square, see below -
I reported this to NBC and they responded saying it would be cleared within two days, hopefully it has.
Also I mentioned that I'd walked past idling taxis next to All Saints church belching out diesel fumes where a lot of shoppers are affected, so I passed this info onto the council.
Now lets put this into context, councillors in Northampton very recently declared a climate emergency with talk of making Northampton carbon neutral by 2030, very ambitious but given the councils reply to me probably not attainable.
I'm not going to cut and paste the entirety of their reply to me but basically the gist of it was -
"Whilst I agree that it serves no purpose and is unsessesy for hackney cab operators to idle their vehicles engines during the warm periods of weather, there are currently no Road Traffic Orders in place to prevent any vehicle to idle whilst parked stationary in the town centre. Such orders are put in place by and enforced by the Highways Authority which is currently a County Council function".
So we are back to the old, "this is somebody elses remit", now where have we encountered that before ?, oh yes, in the saga of who was going to be responsible for the repair of Saint Eleanors Cross,
Then we get -
"There is legislation that makes it an offence to leave a vehicle engine running unnecessarily whilst parked under the Road Vehicle Regulations (1986). A £20 fixed penalty notice can be served under the Road Traffic (Vehicle Emissions) (Fixed Penalty) (England) Regulations 2002. To the best of my knowledge, Northampton Borough Council have not adopted a policy to enforce this legislation thus enforcement officers are not authorized to enforce the legislation. Consideration has been given in the past to such actions but in order for a fine to be issued the driver of a vehicle has too refused to turn their engine off after being asked to do so by a council official".
So I think you can see that for the council to declare a climate emergency and then state the above is a bit of a joke.
They want to make the town centre a better place to be, well in my mind that doesn't include having to breathe in diesel fumes, there is absolutely no reason for an engine to be running when stationary.
I know that central govenment hasn't helped here in that the example it sets is less than perfect, and they have given councils less to spend, this was published in the Guardian newspaper back in 2016.
"Last March, the supreme court required the government to produce an action plan, but nothing much has been forthcoming apart from extending low-emission zones"
We're now more aware of the dangers of dirty air, so this should be at the top of the agenda, the council used to operate a park and ride form the council offices on the Bedford Road into town, I used it regularly.
Why not bring that back and keep the traffic in the centre to a minimum, seems like a relatively easy fix which could at least go part of the way to a solution.
The big ugly space which is where Greyfriars bus station was could be partially greened, more trees would enhance the place visually and help mitigate some of the pollution, a great opportunity to really make a positive difference.
I've often sat in a green spot in central London and had some food and a drink, it a makes a big difference to the tarmac and concrete environment, to leave this space as it is would be criminal.
Back to the consulation and I've been keeeping abreast of what others think on Facebook, there is some discussion but most of it seems to come from the same people, and most of it seems to be negative.
We all look at things through the prism of our own past experiences and yes we all know the town used to be vibrant, but the factors I've mentioned before have changed things and they are not going to change back overnight.
Some people seem to be upset at the councils proposal to put a food market on the market square making the point that we had one before in the form of the Fish Market, a good point but not necessarily a bad idea.
Shopping was the main reason people went into town, I used to regularly go in to buy albums back in the day, if the primary reason for most people has gone with the advent of shopping online, what will replace this ?.
Can the affect of online shopping be mitigated by creating a more diverse mix of shops, restaurants, pubs, and other facilities?.
From a personal perspective I love to read, and yes I do buy books online but I also like to wander round a bookshop and look at books, maybe more variety in term of shops would tempt people back in ?.
I stopped going to the cinema many years ago, mainly because of the distraction of people on mobiles etc, but a few years back the Errol Flynn cinema opened in the town, now I regularly go to see new films.
The last one I saw was "Yesterday" a brilliant film, watch it if you get the chance, I watched in a great little environment, quiet and comfortable.
So now most of my trips into town are to watch films, what would I do before of after the film, go for a drink, have a meal, and there are some decent pubs and restaurants in the centre.
I've already mentioned that for the town to become attractive again we need a visible police presence, and this was born out by events on Saturday just gone at Sol Central, the entertainment complex.
I was on my way into town on Saturday evening for a night at the Roadmender, and as the taxi approached Sol Central we saw three police cars all with their blues and two's on and the entrance was cordoned off with tape.
This was obviously not a traffic accident so me and the taxi driver assumed that some sort of fracas has happened, and we were right, a group of men had been fighting and someone had been stabbed.
This was bad enough but the following day somebody was shot and stabbed on the football fields on the eastern side of town in front of spectators.
Earlier in the week a man was robbed at knifepoint in an alleyway, the problem we have is with the rarity of seeing a policeman the n'er do wells are pretty sure they won't be caught and this makes it easy for idiots to engage in anti-social behaviour.
Old and young alike are not really going to have confidence that they will be safe if this continues, and it needs to be stamped on very quickly, because otherwise it's only a matter of time before we have have a fatality.
On a brighter note I had a great evening watching this band who I only became aware of recently.
They were supported by Jared James Nichols
Living Colour are well worth checking out, as is the splendid Mr Nichols who does a great rendition of Mississippi Queen