The Anonymous Widower

Twenty Years On!

On the eleventh of September in 2001, I had three jobs to do in London.

  • I had to visit my press cuttings client near Borough tube station to talk about something, which I have long forgotten.
  • I had to deliver a thousand Al Stewart CDs to his manager, as the singer was going on tour. The handover was to be performed in Waterloo station.
  • I was then going on to Soho to see a Chinese bookmaker, for whom I offered computer advice.

I parked my car on a meter and went to visit the first client at about two.

When I returned to the car, I needed to phone my wife; C about something. My phone was installed in my Discovery and it didn’t have any calling list, as I remembered numbers and just typed them in.

But for some reason I couldn’t remember her mobile phone number or the Office number at home, so I didn’t make the call.

This was very unlike me, as I’ve always had an excellent memory. Especially for numbers.

I did remember to deliver the parcel to Al Stewart’s manager and made my way to Soho, where I parked in an underground car park.

It was only when I got to the bookmakers did I realise what was going on in New York, as they had the televisions on and were watching the drama continuously.

I have a feeling, that I made my excuses and returned quickly to Suffolk.

By this time, my memory had returned and I was able to phone C.

But the worst terrorist attacks of recent memory were probably over.

Did my brain pick up the bad news or was it due to being close to the City of London, where there would have been a large amount of electronic communication to New York?

I have no idea.

But there is another incident, where I may have picked up tragic news through the ether.

On Sunday, the 31st August 1997, I woke up about five as I generally do and remarkably said to C. “Something tragic has happend! I think Tony Blair has been assassinated!”

She told me to stop being silly and I went downstairs to make a cup of tea and do some programming. It was then that I turned on the radio and heard that Princess Diana had died in the traffic accident in Paris.

September 11, 2021 Posted by | Business, Computing, News, World | , , , , | 3 Comments

A Fairytale Of New York

I  am 74 and got my interest in sport from my father. He used to take me to football at Spurs and Enfield Town and regularly would get me out of bed to watch quality sport like athletics, when it was shown live on television. I can remember watching Derek Ibbotson breaking the World mile record in black-and-white in 1957.

Over the years, I’ve watched many great sporting achievements. If Emma Raducanu wins in New York tomorrow, it’s up there with England’s two World Cups in football and rugby, Botham’s exploits at Headingley, Moss’s victory at Monaco in 1961 and Wiggins and friends’ victories in the Tour de France.

And if it happens on the twentieth anniversary of one of the worst atrocities in human history, it will be a true fairytale of New York.

September 10, 2021 Posted by | Sport | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Isis Issues Coronavirus Travel Advice: Terrorists Should Avoid Europe

The title of this cost is the same as this article on the Sunday Times.

This is the introductory paragraph.

The Isis terrorist group is steering clear of Europe because of the coronavirus. Having previously urged its supporters to attack European cities, the group is now advising members to “stay away from the land of the epidemic” in case they become infected.

I think on balance, this could be a good thing, given that Iran doesn’t seem to be very successful in controlling the coronavirus.

March 15, 2020 Posted by | Health, World | , , , | 1 Comment

The Chilling Power Of Drones And Software

This article on the BBC is entitled Saudi Oil Attacks: Images Show Detail Of Damage.

Read this article and then say, that drones can’t be used to create death ad destruction or merely havoc, like flight disruption at a major airport.

Consider.

  • Automation is such, that drones can now be launched on a fire-and-forget basis.
  • You can’t jam an autonomous drone!
  • There is nothing to stop a top quality programmer creating evil software.
  • Much of the software, used for evil purposes, is probably also used to write business, research, engineering, scientific, educational and other types of software.
  • The genie is well and truly out of the bottle!

14/09/2019 will become a notorious date in history.

September 16, 2019 Posted by | Computing, World | , , , | Leave a comment

How Flower Power Is Being Used To Fight Terrorists

The title of this post, is the same as that of an article on pages 38-39 of yesterday’s copy of The Times.

It describes how Marshalls and the wonderfully-names subsidiary; The Great British Bollard Company are using giant planters to stop terrorist attacks using trucks.

The pictures with the article show some gigantic planters stopping a large vehicle.

April 29, 2019 Posted by | World | , | Leave a comment

It’s Not Just Drones We Should Worry About!

In The Private Thoughts of Engineers and Scientists, I talked about a discussion, I had with a chemist about the production of sarin gas.

His view was that if amateurs tried to make the deadly gas, there was a high chance, they’d kill themselves, but he had a better idea to cause havoc in a city, which I will not disclose.

I too, have a couple of non-lethal methods, that would bring an airport or a city to a standstill.

One idea is so simple, that I suspect many terrorists could think it up.

Again, I will not disclose my ideas, but they are probably just two of many.

In some ways, the success of the drones in closing Gatwick Airport will only encourage others to think of new ways to disrupt our lives.

We still don’t now, who were behind the Gatwick Airport drones, but there must be a long list of suspects.

  • Extinction Rebellion
  • Anti-Airport Protesters
  • Russia – It worked better than Novichok!
  • North Korea – Unlikely, as they don’t seem to have any spats with the UK.

One thing that may rule out a lot of groups, is that sophisticated high-performance drones are not cheap.

Other groups will be ruled out, because they want to kill hundreds of innocent people and a couple of drones are unlikely to do this.

December 21, 2018 Posted by | Transport, Uncategorized | , , , | 2 Comments

Islamic State ‘Beatles’ Duo ‘should be tried at The Hague’

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on the BBC.

This is the first two paragraphs.

Two captured British fighters should be tried in an international criminal court, rather than sent to Guantanamo Bay, a defence minister has said.

Tobias Ellwood told two newspapers it was important that “terrorists from any origin are transparently and fairly held account for their actions”.

I feel that Tobias Ellwood has got this absolutely right.

I suspect that Donald Trump, will not go along with the plan!

February 10, 2018 Posted by | World | , , | Leave a comment

Terror In Tehran

This is the title of a leading article in The imes today.

It is subtitled.

The Isis attack on Iran is part of a desperate endgame that threatens us all

Islamic State are being pushed back and the newspaper thinks that attacks like London, Manchester, Paris and Teheran will increase.

Let’s hope they are wrong. But I suspect they aren’t!

 

June 8, 2017 Posted by | World | , | Leave a comment

F*** You, I’m Millwall

This is an extract from a piece on the responses to the London Bridge Attack in The Times.

Roy Larner, the football fan, who took on the attackers at Black and Blue, has told how he shouted, “F*** you, I’m Millwall” in response to their shouts of “Islam, Islam, Islam”. H received knife wounds to the head, chest and hands, but continued to fight, while other customers sought shelter.

“He kept slashing and hacking away at me,” he told The Sun. “They were stabbing and slashing at me as I waved my arms for 20 or 30 seconds.” More than 4,000 supporters have now signed a petition for Mr. Larner, 47, to be awarded the George Cross.

I do think, that there should be a few awards handing out after the two attacks in London and the one in Manchester.

June 8, 2017 Posted by | World | , , | Leave a comment

The IRA Bombing Campaign In England Of 1939-1940

When most people think of bombings by the Irish Republican Army, they think of the bombings like 1993 Bishopsgate, 1984 Brighton, 1992 Manchester and 1996 Manchester by the Provisional Irish Republican Army of recent memory.

But there was another campaign in 1939-1940 called S-Plan.

There were three hundred mainly small bombs, seven fatalities and ninety-six injured.

June 6, 2017 Posted by | World | , , | 2 Comments