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Green Light in the City

May Contain Notts: Oct-Nov 2009

1 November 09 words: Al Needham

Overview of the last two months with: Libertys, Sol Campbell, LeftLion Circus Extravaganza, Carl Froch's weigh-in, stero-nicking and bonfire night

21 September
Libertys, the very cradle of binge-drink Britain you’ll recall, – turns itself into a massive Flaming Lamborghini. Some say it was burned down: I prefer to the use the term ‘purified’.

23 September
Sol Campbell plays one game for Notts County before bailing. From now on, the measurement of an hour and a half in Nottingham shall now always be referred to as ‘Sol’s Career at County’. “The train to Loughborough is now delayed by Sol’s Career at County”. “See you in the pub in Sol’s Career at County”. “I’m not coming in today, boss - I’ve been on the bog for Sol’s Career at County.”

24 September
And every 90 minutes, the clock in Viccy Centre will spark into life, and the figure of an ex-England player will come out, dragging a suitcase of money behind him.

30 September
Goose Fair. Fashionable bit of mank of the year: Kanye West glasses with flashing lights, which makes the wearer experience the sensation of being an epileptic Dalek the morning after a crack binge - yours for £3. Price of peas: up to £1.50.

3 October
The inaugural LeftLion Circus Extravaganza festival; bands, writers, artists and zombies danced in the street to Thriller. Yeah, I know you can see the last element in Re-Flex every Saturday night, but with less violence.

15 October
The English Defence League: sounds like a load of role-players who lob handfuls of 48-sided dice and say things like “Plus four, with my Cloak of Friendlessness”, don’t they? Actually, they’re the danglings of clag from the very arsehole of humanity who announce plans to defend England in the Old Market Square on 5 December. At the same time as a gathering of people who will be making wanker signs at them, the Forest-Leicester match, a march by some soldiers back from Afghanistan, a German Market, and a bleddy massive outdoor ice rink. All we need now is a herd of rampaging circus animals, and a great day out is assured.

16 October
The weigh-in for the Carl Froch vs Andre Dirrell fight occurs in the Market Square, witnessed by sportsmanlike locals who take the opportunity to boo and chelp at Americans. Then a boxer on the undercard from Derby rolls up and is subjected to the kind of abuse Roland Browning took from Gripper Stebson during the imperial phase of Grange Hill. Fact: if the only person who could save us from the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse came from Derby, people in Notts would stand on their rooftops and bellow;
“KILL ‘IM! RUN ‘IM OVVER WI’ YER OSSES!”

20 October
A 17 year-old mongling from Beeston and his Dad get done for nicking the stereo from the house of the former’s girlfriend, after they had a row. Dad was also caught brandishing an iron bar and a drill bit. What kind of wussery is this? “Dad! Dad! Sharon’s split up wi’ meh! Beat ‘er Dad up and nick us summat, Dad! Pleeeeeeeease!”

21 October
Jongleurs, the place where assorted stand-up comedians who want to be doing beer adverts instead say the same thing to different groups of students and people trapped in the nightmare of team-building work dos who couldn’t get booked into the bowling alley for a Hawaiian Night, shuts down.

28 October
Game City – the annual event where the Square turns itself into a massive spod’s living room, minus the Star Wars figures (and plus girls) – culminates with the announcement that renowned games designer Keita Takahashi is going to create a huge and possibly
quite mental playground in Woodthorpe Park. This will be the first videogames/public architecture project in Nottingham since the mid-70s, when the redevelopment of the Meadows was based exactly on the layout of Pac-Man.

5 November
It’s Bonfire Night on the Forest. Negligent mothers with prams. Assorted screw-faced young offenders. Dickheads who think that being wedged in a massive crowd is the perfect spot to wave sparklers about. All watching our Council Tax money going; “WHEEEEEEEEEEEE!” and “KRRRRRSSSSHHHH!” But bleddy hell fire, Council – did we really need to have another fair on the Forest about five minutes after Goosey? Is there a department in the Council House that looks for opportunities to lob pirate ships onto the Forest? “Caribbean Carnival…put the fair on…Under 12s football match…put the fair on…there’s a bloke walking his dog on Tuesday morning! Quick! PUT THE FAIR ON!”

12 November
Viccy Centre has its own Gold-for-Cash stall. It’s mint. You get to see people who spent £750 on rope chains with crucifixes that would make Run-DMC say “Ooh, no actually – bit too gaudy for me” find out that it’s only worth fifty quid. It’s like every classic incident in The Antiques Roadshow, right in front of your face.

20 November
Gordon Brown and his cabinet come to Notts – ostensibly for a massive cabinet meeting in Albert Hall, but let’s not be fooled: they were obviously on a big stag do. I have it on good authority that Gordon Brown was seen putting himself about in a French Maid outfit in Yates, Harriet Harman vomited into her pink cowboy hat when she was refused entry to Flares and Jack Straw was spotted staggering up Mansfield Road at 3am asking if anyone had any ciggies ‘for a draw’

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