Now I get Pushed Down Some Stone Stairs

Posted by alexkemp on 11 May 2017 in English (English)

(Wednesday May 10)
Some experiences I could do without but, at the same time, you can rarely choose those that you get. This particular one I have to be a touch careful about as (I very much hope) it may lead to criminal proceedings & I most certainly will not prejudice those.

Added Friday 12 May:
Initially, after posting this I removed it & put in place a “(removed due to possible criminal proceedings)” notice. Today, John on the Newsdesk of The Nottingham Evening Post informed me that only once criminal proceedings are issued does there need to be a news embargo, so this diary entry can go ahead, as I have yet to receive any notice of any action.

Most of my recent time has been spent mapping Gedling NG4, UK, and had reached the point that it seemed right to extend a little further away from Nottingham, so I returned to the furthest place that I've mapped in an anti-clockwise direction, but further out. This was a large, recent development in the corner of the junction of Mapperley Plains and Spring Lane.

It was a blisteringly hot day. I normally set out at 9:30am, but this morning needed to finish off entering the previous survey, which took until midday. It was damn cold in the morning so I took 2 coats (English experience) but in the event needed neither after the first hour.

The emotional ripples on the way there were not very agreeable. On the evening at home I saw the Full Moon and went “oh, of course!”. Everyone is wound up tighter at the Full Moon, and unstable folks are more tripwire dangerous (mad dogs). I'm getting tired of continually only becoming concious of this after the fact. I need to complete my transfer to Java of an astronomical ephemeris that I wrote for VB4 35 years ago, and then I should be able to display the tides of human emotion on my desktop. Every good sailor needs to keep their eyes on the tide-tables.

The first part of this estate calls itself “Chartwell Grange”. I got pleased by the fact of one of the houses having a turret (recently I keep finding houses with turrets). The lady owner was fine with a photo, so this will give you a flavour of both the day & the estate:–

it's got a turret!

Many on the estate are detached houses with the most astonishingly large garages. There are lots & lots of 1920s/1930s houses in Nottingham and some of those were built with attached garage extensions. Those garages are tiny! They were fine for most of the cars of the time, but there is barely a modern car that can fit through the width, let alone park within the length of the garage. Those garages within Chartwell Grange have gone to the utter extreme in the other direction. There are some houses in Nottingham that are smaller than those garages! (I had a long conversation last week with a couple on Wood Lane, Gedling that are in the middle of converting their garage into a cottage for themselves). However, my problems appeared not amongst these properties but within a section that had apartments.

I guess many folks reading this will know how apartments are typically mapped. Entrance doors are commonly used for a number of flats, and usually there is a board next to such doors announcing the numbers of the flats/apartments within. If the number of floors is few, and there are not too many flats, then I prefer to map each apartment individually & place a level=0 (ground floor, etc.) for each one to indicate which floor. Most of the time that isn't practical, so it needs a building outline with entrances attached to the outline & flats/apartments listed within the entrance. What is annoying about that is that I build a Relation for every street (better searching, and links all parts of distributed streets together). However, flats/apartments do not automatically register within the Relation as a ‘house’ and it needs to be added manually.

To make the survey & subsequent addition easy I take a photo of the boards. Each is public-facing & there's no-one that can argue with such an innocent activity (a stupid statement, of course). You may have guessed that today that happened. So that you can make an independent assessment, here is the photo that caused these guys to try to cause me injury:–

apartment number plate

I could not see the boards from below, so had to climb the 15-odd stairs on the outside of the building to check them out. I could not see any bells/buzzers & with only two boards in view decided to photo them. After photographing the first one a young chap within a flat began to sound off asking what I was doing. Nothing unusual about that, but he opened the window, climbed out (followed by his mate) & began shouting with ferocity; this man wasn't interested in keeping his home safe†, he just wanted a barney.

With hindsight, and after a lot of thought, I think that if I had tried to mollify him then he would have escalated the issue. Anyway, that's academic, because I reacted at least partly from my male genetic & insisted that as public info I could photo it if I wanted. The main protagonist was close to me throughout all this (too close for comfortable dealings) and as I walked towards the board he simply pushed me off the top of the stairs (a very hard push to achieve that as I'm 6' 1" (1.9m)).

Fortunately for me I'm nimble & quick (not bad for almost 70 - my attacker is in his mid-20s) and I was able to turn & save myself as I fell, so it was only a few steps & just a torn trouser & not a torn head. I jumped back up the steps, but my intelligence stopped me, and I phoned the police. No injuries on my side so no emergency & no swift attendance. My protagonist was stupid enough to come very close & sound off right next to my headphones for extended periods as I was talking to the police - the operator could not hear me clearly. I was getting riled & the operator suggested that I walk away (sensible). Much later these two idiots followed me with their mobile camera recording & trying to cause me to react (lots & lots of vile comments) and telling me that it was going up on Facebook.

It is a “I said... he said...” situation. I'm hoping that there is some CCTV or whatever, but these guys need locking up. My instinct says that they have a history of this kind of thing; it is a classic bully-boy scenario. I think that the two coppers that eventually turned up were satisfied with me & my story. We shall see. It's not going to stop me mapping.

† In a later phone call with one of the Police officers that attended I discovered that the specific person that attacked me did not even live there.

12 May 10:30pm update:
Phoned by police constable to give me an update; CCTV is available from upstairs resident; points down at parking area but also shows entrance doors; looking good. I emphasised 999 (she agreed to review recorded call) + torn trouser (I was ignorant of that when initially talking to constables & only aware later that afternoon when I bent down to pat a dog).

26 May update:
Zero response from Police to date. I contacted them via 101 2 days back, left a message asking for an update, yet nothing.

I'm still working through my May 10 survey in the order in which I did it, putting the houses up on the map. It doesn't normally take me this long, but it took me some time to recover from the experience & get going again + I'm having to handle map updates in little bits. I'm close to the end and have just reached a Close near to where I finished, where I got yet another off-the-wall response from a householder...

One of the houses had a house-name, so (as is my habit) I knocked on the front door to ask for permission to photograph it. The woman of the house answered & said “no” so I responded “OK” & walked off. As I walked away I began to speak into my mobile:–

2017-05-10 19:12:19.3
Me: “The house is called ‘Windy Ridge’”
Householder: “Excuse me! What are you doing?”
Me: “Well, you said ‘no’ so I'm going away”
Householder: “Yes, but what are you saying that ‘the house is called Windy Ridge’?”
Me: “Because it's called ‘Windy Ridge’”. “Isn't it?”
Householder: “(indecipherable name of son), can you help me?”
Me: “Is it called ‘Windy Ridge’”?
(end of 20-second recorded section)

(unrecorded conversation with woman follows, listened to by husband & son, with her saying that she doesn't want house-name recorded on an internet map & myself ending by saying that I will not record it on the map)
(next voice recording is as I leave this conversation)

2017-05-10 19:15:16.3
Me: “It's clearly one of those days...”

(next recording made whilst I track a nearby public footpath)

2017-05-10 19:17:26.3
“...the people at ‘Windy Ridge’ do NOT want the name of the house on the map, ahhh, which of course is why it is on the outside facing the street”

7 June Update
2 appointments have been made between PC Denoon & myself to record a statement at the Wells Road Station, the latest of which was at 1pm today. On each occasion she has broken the appointment 30 minutes before it was due. I'm not blaming the constable; in both cases the pressure of other calls took precedence. However, I'm still left 4 weeks later wondering when this will ever be resolved?

13 June Update
I now have my answer from PC 3865 Denoon in a 4+ minute phone call at 21:35pm 12 June. Her Sergeant has informed her that this matter will not proceed any further; she is not to be given the time to take a statement from me, in spite of her desire to be able to do so.

Astonishing. Two men try to cause me harm, possibly kill me, and nothing is to be done about it.

Location: Gedling Wharf, Gedling, Nottinghamshire, East Midlands, England, NG4 4EQ, United Kingdom

Comment from robbieonsea on 16 May 2017 at 20:08

Regarding phases of the moon, I recommend SunCult, which runs as a plugin in Firefox.
It can show when the next full moon is.
Install it via Mozilla's Add Ons extensions.
The source code (in Javascript) is available:
Disclaimer I'm the current maintainer for the project.

Alternatively there is Moonphase which runs in System Tray. It's a C++ program.
NB Can be hard to track down pre-built binaries though.
The current version doesn't support showing when the next new moon is although it's on the wish list.

There are other programs out there too, but these are the ones I use.

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