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David Coats Blog - October Archive

October 3rd - Fatality at Southwick

There have been many occasions where a fatality on the railway has affected my life, but none more so than last night. At around 8.40pm, the train I was travelling on from Portsmouth Harbour to Brighton struck a person on its approach to Southwick station, just outside Shoreham-by-sea. I was travelling in the front coach, right behind the driver. There was a dull thud, followed by a crunching under the wheels, a terrifying cracking, like the sound of a tree branch being splintered by a bolt of lightening and various clattering noises travelling down the under carriage on the north side of the train. The driver heavily broke and we ground to a halt. For some reason I knew immediately we had hit a person. The crunch, although sounding like wood splintering, and the cracking, although sounding like metal on metal, were too soft to have been us hitting a shopping trolley. Maybe it was just my experiences with fatalities, after almost weekly incidences during my 5 years selling tickets at a railway station, which immediately made me fear the worst.

There weren't many people in my carriage. The population had doubled at Shoreham to maybe 20, with people going into Brighton for a Sunday evening drink and trips to the Cinema. We all looked at each other, the guy in front of me shaking his head and muttering, the kids behind me nervously exchanging 'we hit something' comments. The Driver shakily announced for the conductor to report to the driver, and the power was duly cut. Everyone was hurded into our carriage from the other 3, where we sat for 2 ½ hours, in the dark by torchlight, while the emergency services did the gruesome job of recovering the body and checking the train. It is amazing really how many people attend and who it affects. The British Transport Police arrived first, followed by the Civil Police, Paramedics, Network Rail line-side engineers, Forensic Scenes of Crime officers, Replacement train crew and fitters from Bombardier who made the train. I find it actually quite surprising they were able to get us moving in 2 ½ hours.

The most difficult thing about the whole situation was that it was hard not to feel frustrated and pretty pissed off - even though such tragedy had just occurred. We were stuck on a train, with no toilets, no lights, no air conditioning and some fairly annoying people, bickering and moaning for so long on a Sunday night. Obviously we had no idea whether the life which had just been taken in such a horrendous way was an accident or a suicide. With 600 suicides on Britain's railways, nearly 2 a day, it is hard to imagine this being an accident, but all the same it is possible some child or daring fool had taken a shortcut which led to their death. The anger brewing in some people became apparent. The snide comments started flowing about 'people in foreign countries not putting up with this' and 'these new trains are so badly designed' bla bla bla. The fact of the matter was - someone had died, people were doing a shit job as quick as possible and this part of death is a part of life. The power was restored at around 10.45 and we trundled on to Hove, where we met a packed, annoyed platform of people who had been waiting, just as we had, for the best part of 3 hours on a chilly Sunday night.

It really did give me nightmares. I got home at about 11.30, the sound of crunching body still reverberating around my head. I laid in bed with the thought re-appearing with every rumble of every passing train. Needless to say, it was very late when I finally slept, and a very interrupted sleep at that. I shall keep my eye on the local press for any news. At least then I can justify my annoyance at such a selfish but desperate act, or feel sick at the thought of bearing witness to such a terrible accident.

This actually spoiled what was a pretty good weekend. It was great seeing the lads in Bath again. We went to Moles Nightclub on Saturday to see MR C. It was a well good night, plenty of Breaks, plenty of beautiful ladies and plenty of Cider! Just such a pity I got on the train I did!

October 4th - Parks letting agency Brighton will steal your deposit

I am still feeling pretty weird after Sunday's experience. I keep thinking about the noises and whether the person would have felt/seen/heard/realised anything that had happened. Its really horrible contemplating shit like that, but I can't help it. Still haven't seen anything in the news or the papers about it.

As well as my 'torture builders' campaign, I'm gonna start a hate campaign against letting agents. I got my deposit back today and have had 109 deducted for cleaning! I cleaned for 6 hours the day before handing the keys back (Refer to my 3rd September post). They have listed the following charges:

Basically, as you will see by reading my 3rd September post, I spent 6 hours cleaning the house. I hoovered EVERY room, I defrosted and bleached the fridge, I scrubbed the bathroom floor on my hands and knees and, for the first time in a year, would have eaten off the kitchen floor. Sure, there were bags of rubbish outside. I do believe bin men will take 8 bags of rubbish, and I don't believe it was 24 to have it removed! I hired a sodding van to remove all the remaining rubbish - so I know this was all there was! Ok, the place was a still a hole - but it was a horrible house. It was dirty when we moved in. I can't believe they cleaned it any better than I did. Skanks. Parks Letting agents will steal your deposit - FACT!!

On a lighter note, word is spreading that David Coats is a tiger! Why someone has named a photo of a tiger after me I have no idea! Also, check out the latest BBC test - this time a Physics test. I got a stupid plug wiring question wrong - probably the easiest question of the lot, so got 9 out of 10. Disappointing for a Physics graduate ey!

October 10th - Glowing Sperm, glowing piers and a glowing party!

I found this great article today - apparently, British scientists have found a way to make Mosquito's Ball sacks glow, this one reported by the Guardian. I later found the BBC equivalent stating its actually Mozzy Sperm that Glows! I wonder if they could do that to human sperm? God Imagine the bedrooms of all the single men out there! Imagine all the women walking the streets who have just had it - literally 'glowing' merrily along. All the park cottages toilets. They might need UV lights for a different reason! Getting carried away here!

The weekend was pretty cool. For the second weekend in a row I went clubbing!! Last week it was in Bath for MR C, this week it was in Brighton for Jane's Birthday at the Ocean Rooms. We all went to the girls house (yes Pablo, you are included in that feminine category) and mingled with Beer and Vodka til 10ish, then we all made our way (about 30 of us!) to the Ocean Rooms to see Jon Carter. It was a great re-union of all the old Sussex peeps, some of which I haven't seen since Miss Brinkley's birthday last year!

Sunday I went on my first train back from Shoreham since last week, past the incident spot. I sat in the end carriage this time! I also finished off rendering my garden wall - Photos to be updated shortly! One more left to do! I can then paint them, put a trellis on the top and start growing vine tomatoes and beans - Yum!

I see there have been various fires this weekend. Wallace and Grommit gone and Southend Pier burnt. Us Brightonians can certainly relate to the later!

October 17th - How to build a fitted wardrobe

This weekend I learnt how to build a fitted wardrobe. It was difficult let me tell you now! If you fancy the idea of building a fitted wardrobe from scratch - not flat pack - be very prepared. Double your time estimate and, unless you are an experienced chippy, don't expect the fitted wardrobe to 'fit' perfectly! I'm not saying it's a bad job or anything, just that its not as sturdy as I expected!

I also got alarmingly drunk on a very small quantity of alcohol! I remember being nasty about Jonny's funky trousers, and dancing like a fool man! 'I ain't no fool!'

If you wanna know how to build a fitted wardrobe or how to render a garden wall, why not take a look at my new property blog pages

October 19th - War in the office

War has broken out in the office. Jonathan Stewart has decided to publish this photo of me, so I have decided to publish this photo of Jonny's Magic Pants. Dan 'the loser' Goodwin has also produced this hilarious image. I'll get you back tomorrow loser Goodwin. I'm sure there'll be more to come!

October 21st - Will I rest this weekend?

I am probably going to have to work tomorrow. Boo! I don't help myself sometimes. I'm so easily distracted at work. The smallest disturbance can rupture my concentration from any task which prolongs every project I work on by about 20%. Today there have been various such ruptures - music, silly word games, other peoples deliveries, champagne etc - this is on top of my usual distractions - BBC News, this blog, other peoples blogs, other peoples conversations, silly web games and so on.

So tomorrow I will come in to work and try to clear my backlog. After my full on wardrobe building last week and wall rendering the weekend before, it looks like this'll be the 3rd weekend of all work and no play - which makes Dave a dull boy!

Saying that, the evenings should be fun. Tis The Judge's birthday night out tomorrow night, so I'll probably binge drink myself into a delirious stupor ready for some wonky wardrobe finishing on Sunday!!

October 25th - King of SEO

Check out the king of SEO - I have managed to rank 3rd for jonathan stewart. I don't think jonathan stewert is very happy, but thats what happens in a war! Check out morphy the lego man too!!

The weekend was pretty cool - even though I came into work on saturday. I managed to get plenty done on my wardrobe, plus I reinforced the bed to stop it creaking(!) We went for a well nice Italian at Leonardos on Church Road, then the Basketmakers as the Eagle was full (apparently!)

After a few swift whisky and cokes we tried to go to Arc Bar on the Seafront but the queue was rediculous, so we ended up in the Casino. Now check this for technology induced confusement; I had my digital camera and was told strictly NO CAMERAS. I then commented that my phone has almost as powerful a camera - and was told I could keep that - just don't take photos. Oh - OK! How about I just don't take photos with my other camera! I think its personally much easier to take photos with a phone. You can lift it up to make it look like you're texting, or bring it close to your face to see it - when really you're taking photos of the black jack tables and sending them to Enrico your scottish mafia don. If you're going to have a no camera policy - at least confiscate all cameras ey!

Anyway! This was swiflty followed by a pretty cool house party. It was at a squat on st Georges place (nr the Gloucester). It was actually quite difficult not to feel like a little right wing tory homeowner. The place was one of those beautiful georgian curved fronted building which was a developers dream come true. The ceiling had caved in or been removed from most rooms, there were arm-sized cracks down most of the walls, accompanied by holes the size of footballs and the floor shook violently with the bass of the tunes. A few years ago i may have thought fair play to the squatters - got themselves a cool pad. Now i just can't help thinking - bastards! this could be redeveloped into some lovely flats - and make someone some nice money! Am I really becoming a tory? My father always called me a fascist?? Maybe thats just coming true!

All this aside - it was a really good party! It was a P party, so everyone had to come dressed as a P. I had my big coat on (being David Coats naturally just one big Coat!) so I kept telling people I was a pervert or peadophile. For some reason people stopped talking to me after that?! We spent most of the night doing stupid poses or expressions to be other p's - perplexed, pondering, pragmatic, pouty, prejudiced, a prude etc etc etc! I staggered home, pretty drunk after a nights pubbing and lots of Vodka at the party, and spent most of sunday with my brain like mush.

October 27th - Traffic boom

I have had a sustained increase in traffic over the last week. Things are looking really good! The Google update named Jagger has certainly helped. I had 29 unique visitors on Monday and Tuesday and 37 yesterday - my highest ever! I know these are still puny when compared to Laurence with nearly 1000 uniques a day, but he's been blogging for a lot longer and has something rediculous like ¾ of a million words across his site. I'll get there one day. Below is a list of some funky referals I have had this week:

Ms Brown has gone on a fitness frenzy. One of her friends told her she was looking chubby - a bit harsh, but it could have done her the world of good. As a loving (and horny) boyfriend i'm always telling her she is fit - which don't get me wrong - she is! Its harsh because she is. But she has gone on a crazy health drive, doing circuit training last night and water Aerobics tonight! Its well good for her - I think she will be much less lathargic, much more lively and hopefully more frisky {;-)} So in a sarcastic and genuine way all at once - nice one Stuart!!

I don't really have much more to say at the moment. The war in the office continues with various pictures of people being defaced and referal bombing being the new thing. Loser Goodwin noticed I rank top for a derogatory phrase (I won't mention what it is), after which everyone started hitting my site for this derogatory phrase, which shows in my stats. Bastards. I'll get you Daniel!

Its Lewes fireworks soon, hence the top banner. Well good!! I can't believe its nearly November - its still surprisingly good weather too! Everyone come down, its always great fun! Its on a saturday this year so should be a big crowd.

October 28th - Brighton Hove Falmer Stadium YES!

Today is a momentous day for Brighton and Hove. Today, John Prescott the deputy prime minister, ruled, not only that Brighton and Hove Albion Football Club could build a stadium at Falmer, but that it was the best place for a stadium, with all things considered - including the environment, traffic levels, employment plus the visible and aural impact of Falmer stadium.

As a Graduate of the University of Sussex, I am somewhat bemused and puzzled by the 'apparent' uproar this whole development and indeed decision on a home for bhafc. I lived in Norwich House halls of residence on the University campus during my time at Sussex, and it was one of the most beautiful settings I have ever lived. My window faced out onto Stanmer park, the open fields of Sussex University Campus and, in the distance, you could just make out the University of Brighton Falmer campus nestelled in the Beautiful Sussex downs.

Although one may imagine this to be the most tranquil setting Brighton has to offer - think again. One of the most prominent noises available to all who live in Falmer is the A27, which cuts a distinctly noisy, grey, smelly and un-savoury line between Brighton and Sussex Universities. Before I continue any further, let me paint a picture of where the proposed site will be. The site will be to the South of the A27 (In front of Brighton uni) and to the East of Falmer village. Basically - If you are stood outside the Bus stop next to Falmer Station, facing the university of Sussex, or indeed, if you are in the station; turn to face the bridge over the A27 toward Lewes, and the stadium will be between you and the bridge where the number 25 crosses on its way to the Falmer campus of Brighton uni. If you are on the bus, you pass straight by the site, which is bound by the A27 (the road you travel past the roundabout toward the Brighton Uni campus - toward the racecourse and Rottingdean - Falmer Way I think ts called), and the Brighton Uni approach road (the one with the speed bumps on) toward the Brighton Uni Falmer campus.

Basically, the issue I have with anyone wishing to knock this project is this - not only what is your grievance but where?? The piece of land is ideal. It does nothing at the moment, Fuck - it is sandwiched between two fuck off universities and one of the busiest roads (should be a motorway as Sussex has none!) in the South East. The site will be used every other Saturday 22 times a year - hardly all the time - unlike the 100,000 cars a year shooting along the DC. An all encompassing transport scheme has been included in the application, which incorporates free bus and train travel to and from the stadium on match days, and very little parking to reduce congestion and pollution. Half the stadium will be underground, minimising the noise and visible impact of the stadium and over 500 jobs will be created - plus something for the many tear-way kids from the nearby council estates to do! To be honest, as an ex-resident of Falmer village - if you can put up with the Aural and Visual impact of a 70mph dual carriageway, you can put up with 180 minutes of crowd roaring whoops for Brighton goals every month (and long may they continue!) Plus as a resident of a railway-side property - you WILL get used to it!

I hate to get on my soap box at times like this - but I am slightly merry - both at the thought of watching football at a decent ground in Brighton and at the amount of Beer/Vodka/Whisky running through my blood stream!

Don't miss out on these fainting goats, fookin hilarious!!!

October 31st - Lewes bonfire night preparations

I can't wait for the weekend - the annual craziness of Lewes fireworks once again hits the streets of this usually quiet Sussex town. Check out my Lewes bonfire night 2005 page, with photos from Lewes 2004 and interesting information I have gathered together. I don't think Scouse will be down this year - no falling down embankments, trips in Ambulances or Police cars or walks back to Brighton ey!!

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