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Back at 2 AM from spending time at Islington Police Station

Tom Winnifrith
Wednesday 19 June 2013

Nope, the BB morons have no reason to celebrate. I was not assisting the Old Bill with their enquiries. Nor was I being questioned for revealing who was shagging who in the Downing Street Affair. Instead…. Well it is a long story but it started mid-afternoon. I am starting to worry that I am not a complete bastard after all and can actually be a good guy on occasion. I may have to seek counselling from someone really bad and immoral. Where’s Colourful James when you need him most?

Mid-afternoon two ladies from Informa popped in to Real Man Pizza Company seeking prizes from local businesses for a charity raffle. Since I only support one charity (Woodlarks) my standard answer to such requests is No! But I found myself offering a prize of a meal for four. I clearly was on a slippery slope towards virtue.

And so after an evening of being exceptionally nice to everyone, sending staff home early so I could tend to the last few customers (two of whom hung around forever) I sat down fully intending to spend the whole night writing. But at midnight I heard the sound of banging on the shutters. I peered out and there was an Indian bird in obvious distress.  So I opened the door and through the shutter she said she needed to find a church to pray at, a priest to speak to and that the Catholic Church would put her up for the night as she was homeless but needed directions. Hmmm “We are a catholic restaurant hang on while I get an A-Z”

Before I knew it she was sitting inside Real Man and had made me turn off my music (AC DC by Joan Jett was playing at the time) and from my laptop she was playing her favourite hymn. She then explained how she had been contacting a senior figure in the insurance world urging him to change his ways to help the world. Had he contacted the Police I asked? She indicated that he had. We discussed the idea of free will and pretty soon she was on the trombone to the Old Bill in Islington reporting herself and getting her own crime number.

Apparently her best friend had put the phone down on her at 11.30 PM last night and so what could this woman do? She seemed determined to wander off (the wrong way) to find Islington Police Station.  Naturally I locked up RMPC and persuaded her to go the right way which happened to be via the Catholic Church at Exmouth Market.  It was by this time 12.45 and I cannot blame the priest for not answering the door bell, despite the bird saying a prayer. Then she said another one asking God to bless me. I declined an invitation to join her in prayer but agreed to stand still while having a fag while she prayed.

At that stage I was starting to feel like the Good Samaritan but having been up since 4 AM my enthusiasm for finding a Catholic priest who was awake was diminishing somewhat. And besides which she had again reported herself to Islington Old Bill and apologised for being late in handing herself in. So we got a cab up to N1 (she paid) and went to see the Old Bill giving her time to google me and to start reading my blog.

While the boys in blue dealt with a couple of other cases we kept ourselves amused discussing obscure German saints, doubting Thomas (the original as well as myself) and various other matters. Eventually an officer was freed up and I begged a private consultation, explained all and tried to persuade the Old Bill that this poor woman could do with a night in the cells and that perhaps they might contact her father tomorrow? And with that I was told that I could go.

Having left RMPC in a hurry I was sans cash and so I then enjoyed an unexpected 2 AM stroll back to RMPC to get back to my spreadsheets. I hope that the Old Bill looked after this perfectly harmless woman. Perhaps she just needs a good night’s sleep. After such an eventful couple of hours I bloody well do. Tomorrow (today) sees a breakfast meeting with an AIM CEO, Brokerman Dan threatening to pop in and scrounge some free food and then drinks with an old Warwick school friend, “the heathen” followed by supper with the Goddess. I somehow doubt I will be at my sharpest by the close of play.

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About Tom Winnifrith
Tom Winnifrith is the editor of When he is not harvesting olives in Greece, he is (planning to) raise goats in Wales.
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