Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Trials, Toasted arms, Trumpton, and Tattoos...

Well, Jury Service was... Long. Not that much I can add to it, really, mostly due to the restriction on what Jurors can say in public both before, during, and after, a trial. We spent the first week sitting around waiting to be called to form a Jury (being "Jurified" would seem to be a good word for that, wouldn't it?), and eventually got sent home early on the Friday - like most days that week, in fact.

The reason? Seems H.M. Court Service summonsed a few too many of us for that week - go figure. Well, I suppose that's better than not enough Jurors, on balance, but believe me, sitting on your backside doing stuff all is a right royal pain in the (appropriately) rear!

So, into week two, and it begins to look as if we're never going to see the inside of a Jury Box, when lo and behold, we're called to form a Jury Panel. A Jury Panel is fifteen people, of which twelve are selected at random by the Clerk of the Court, to serve as a Jury. I was number twelve - whoopee! I actually got to do something!

Regrettably, I can't do much more than that, due to the rules governing Jurors and what goes on in the Jury Room. Which is a hell of a shame, as it'd make for very interesting reading - the whole Judicial process appears to be covered in a fog-like substance, and while we may know, from the television (from things like "Cops With Cameras" and suchlike), how crooks are caught, it's the process of bringing them to court, and the trial process itself, that exists in a murky world of rumour, confusion, and not a little fear and ignorance, to the general public.

Maybe it's time the lid was lifted, at least a little, to provide a little more reassurance to Joe Public on the whole and complete Criminal Justice System?

Toasted Arms...

Well, following on from my fortnight in and around court, I managed to attend one of my Living History Groups' main events :-)

The "Military Mayhem" event is held in Faversham, Kent, around the middle of August. Now in its' second year, we've attended it for both years now, walking away with Best Static Display 2008, and now Best Living History Display 2009 - you may indeed colour us well and truly chuffed to the max :-)

However, to temper my chuffedness, I picked up the worst case of sunburn to my neck and arms that it's been my misfortune to suffer in many a year.

In the next week, I fully expect to look like the incredible snake man, shedding his skin, as my sunburn peels off

Trumpton playing with hoses again...!

There I was, thinking "Ah, a nice quiet Tuesday"...


From the moment I got to work, I realised that "quiet" wasn't going to describe this night...!

On getting to work, I found that the Fire Brigade (known reasonably affectionately to many as 'Trumpton' (see "Camberwick Green")), were in attendance over the road from our bus depot, at a landfill fire... Um... Uh-oh... Anyhow, to help them make a new urban swimming pool - I mean put the fire out - they'd draped their big bore fire hoses from the hydrant, across the road, to the landfill...

Which made getting on and out of the depot an exercise in care and attention, let me tell you - those hoses are BIG bumps in the road, and when you run over them with a twelve ton bus (even with the greatest of care), it makes for interesting facial expressions from the assembled players from Trumpton!

Chest Tattoos...

And then, to cap the start of a truly long shift, we had someone running around in the road, literally playing with the traffic. Now, I'm NOT one to make fun of the afflicted, but this poor sod definitely should not be out in the community: He was obviously not all there upstairs, and that he was running from vehicle to vehicle, in the middle of the road, trying to say God knows what to the various drivers, was not only sad, it was bloody dangerous.

Add to this that he was visibly physically disabled (serious limping due to a gammy right leg, and a visibly disabled right wrist), means that Social Services somewhere were (again) falling down on the job again - that lad needed constant supervisory care, not freedom to potentially commit suicide by car, for Gods' sake.

I'm just glad that I did not hear that Brixton got gridlocked by a pedestrian incident. His being found with "Pirelli" impact tattooed to his chest would have been a truly criminally preventable incident, to say the least.

Thank the stars the rest of the shift was quiet (if bloody long).

Oh, and Trumpton? Yup. They were still there when I logged off duty at 08:22 - they had a long night of it too, by the look of things!

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