Egged While Walking

eggfaceLast Monday I was assaulted, in a way that both literally and figuratively left me with egg on my face.

After successfully shedding over four stones last year, I have decided to carry over into 2014 in the same vein. So, Monday night I decided to try a new route.

My usual winter evening route has reached its expansion limits, at best I can make 6 miles on a night without straying too far into urbanity but to do more than 6 miles would mean looping over territory already covered and that would become a little too repetitive for me.

The new route takes me down into my local village and then the opposite way to my usual route. A good 7 miles minimum at first estimate.

My plan is a simple one, start 2014 at 5 – 7 miles of mixed walking and sprinting every other night and build up a mile a month until I can comfortably cover 12 miles without too much of a struggle.

Fitness wasn’t the only drive to change routes, I’ve recently started playing the augmented reality game Ingress and the only vulnerable enemy portals near me are on the new route.

So Monday night I started Endomondo and set out, down into Lindley, farming enemy portals in Ingress.

It was a nice start, despite having been relatively idle over the festive break, my fitness levels hadn’t dropped and I made a good pace through the village and up towards the M62.

3.5 miles in I cross the M62 and head on to my planned turning point, a church on route – co-incidentally the last of the enemy portals in Ingress.

The road up from the bridge over the M62 is poorly lit, poorly paved and poorly travelled. The occasional car speeds past on its way towards Rochdale but it’s my preferred walking environment – lonely and isolated.

I’d estimated that a turn around there would result in my returning home at the 7 mile mark – a circuit that could be expanded upon by moving the turning point forward by half a mile in future,

I hacked the Ingress portal and made the turn to start home, checking my progress in Endomondo to make sure I wasn’t short changing myself on distance.

I was suddenly struck in the face, throat and chest by what I took to be a hard snowball – an ice ball even.

Cold, hard and wet, I was knocked back by the blow.

Uttering an expletive, the realisation dawned that we have not had any snow yet this winter; I looked around to check as I wiped, what I thought was snow, away.

My hand came away with a mix of albumen, yolk, blood and shell.

I had been egged.

I think the embarrassment negated the rage and shock somewhat, although the anger seeped back in as my hand came away a second time doused in blood.

I could tell there was a wound, of sorts, bleeding profusely from my chin – and my throat and chest felt bruised.

The egg had hit at a fair speed. My memory, catching up with me, associated the impact with the passing by of a speeding car.

I had been egged from a passing car.

A third wipe and I determined that I was still bleeding.

One hand pressed against my chin and throat to stop the bleeding, whilst the other struggled with my, now egg-bound, phone.

The camera wouldn’t activate and so I decided to make my way back towards home (2 miles away) or hospital – (4 miles away – if needed).

The blood kept streaming, so I stopped at a local takeaway that had just closed for the night. The gentlemen inside let me in but didn’t have a mirror or first aid kit.

They let me stay there until the bleeding stopped and gave me paper towels to stop the flow.

As helpful as they were, the chaps in the takeaway couldn’t really help me identify the severity of the source of the bleeding, so I decided to set out again whilst phoning my other half for help.

When I finally got the phone free of blood and yolk, I managed to take the photograph above and realised that actually I wasn’t badly cut at all.

A swollen chin, minor cuts on the chin and in the mouth; and a chest full of egg.

In the aftermath I called 111 to go through a medical check-list and then 101 to inform the local police – although there is nothing they can do with no description of the assailant or the assailant’s vehicle.

Four days on and I have already made sure that I get out again, albeit on a third route. I did find myself flinching as cars passed but that didn’t last long.

It does seem that I am not alone, this kind of assault appears to be surprisingly common.

I’ve heard of walkers, runners, cyclists and equestrians being pelted with eggs, stones, bottles and cans; even being shot with pellet guns in more extreme cases.

I just count myself lucky that I was not hit in the eye and that I haven’t come across this activity before – hopefully it is quite rare.


Digging – Lindley Moor Update

Digging on Lindley Moor

Over a year ago, I wrote about plans to build a data centre on local land, here at Lindley Moor.

The plans were eventually overturned by the local council, however the council appears to have overturned the plans as they were not in line with their own plans for development in the area.

This was an ominous footnote, at the time, that occurred to me once more when I discovered that the plans had been raised again.

I wrote about the renewed plans almost a year later, it is now five months on and the fight is still on.

On one of my regular evening strolls across Lindley Moor, I noticed that large swathes of the moor has been dug out; strips of bare earth have been scoured from the most of the fields that have been earmarked for the “Data Campus”.

At first I took this to be some kind of testing by the developers; however a quick search of local news reveals that it is actually an archaeological survey, seeking signs of a Roman road that is alleged to be in the area.

If the site were proved to have archaeological significance then it may help the campaign against the development.

Interestingly enough, there was a chap out with his metal detector whilst I was roaming around yesterday evening.  I’m glad that I resisted the discordian temptation to plant some pennies for him.

The land further east, across Crosland Road, hasn’t been touched.  As I understand it, this land is planned to be infested with a large housing estate and business park.  Whether this is to be affordable housing or not, I don’t know.

There is an action group, (I’ve joined the facebook group and everything) and a meeting was held recently to discuss what can be done to stop the build.  I missed it but the main point of action is clear: local residents should write to the council (letter or email) to express concerns at the proposals and to reject the plans.

Save Lindley MoorThe deadline for registering objections is July 21st 2011 and objections are counted by adult registering, not just households.

A great guide to objecting has been put up to the facebook group; it covers most of the objections that local residents have raised.

The two plans are:

Letters should be sent to:

Planning, Strategic Investment Service, PO Box B93, Civic Centre 3, Huddersfield. HD1 2JR.

Emails should be sent to:

The campaign also has support from local MP, Jason McCartney and local Lib. Dem. councillors, which helped get the plans overturned the last time.

Key objections to the data campus (expanded from the points detailed in the facebook group):

  • Exaggerated employment claims.
  • Security floodlights, security cameras and a prison like 13 feet high steel perimeter fence.
  • Electricity generators to regularly test run.
  • Massive carbon footprint caused by wasted heat from the electricity driven cooling systems for the computer servers.
  • Totally against EU, UK Government and Kirklees MC green aspirations and design.
  • Loss of an irreplaceable greenfield community amenity by destroying the “green lung” feature of Lindley.
  • Alternative brownfield industrial sites are available.
  • Extra strain on local telecommunications infrastructure (Lindley Moor is a fair distance from the local exchange and Data Campus traffic would add to contention on local usage).
  • Potential archaeological significance.
  • Developers could easily change usage of the land after planning is granted.
Key objections to the housing plans (also from the facebook group):
  • The Lindley infrastructure cannot support more development.
  • The schools are oversubscribed.
  • Traffic at peak times is already congested.
  • This inappropriate site requires 12,000 cubic metres of earth removing to profile the site before any house building.
  • This will require 1250 round trips in and out of the site by heavy construction vehicles routed along Weatherhill Road.
  • This is the direct route for all the school children walking to the 3 Lindley schools from the adjoining housing estates.
  • It could put them at additional risk.
  • Loss of another valued greenfield amenity when there are 12,350 house building plots available (twelve year’s supply) for houses on alternative Kirklees MC brownfield sites as detailed in Kirkees MCs’proposed Local Development Plan.
  • Kirklees MC desperately need approval for the Lindley Moor greenfield housing site application to secure the release of the industrial site.
  • Local roads and amenities are already oversubscribed, without increasing the immediate population.

Aside from the injustice at plans like this being resurrected after they have already been overturned, I am becoming more and more frustrated at unpopular development plans going through despite local communities rallying against them… and this is supposed to be a democracy!

The Lindley Moor Project (via Armaitus on…)

It would appear that plans are afoot to attempt again to gain permission to build a data centre on a green field site up the road from my house.

Furthermore, this article in my local paper expands across more of the local green belt to provide more business development space and even housing.

There are more than sufficient brown field sites in the local area.  Disused mills, demolished and run down housing and industrial areas that would be brought a new lease of life by this kind of housing or business development.

Instead, we are left fighting to protect our ever decreasing rural greenery.

The coalition government started the year with plans to sell off our nation’s forests; I worry now that this thinking will allow the developers to win their applications to build on our local green spaces.

This so called “age of austerity” could have a far more damaging impact than we might think.

I posted the entry below, the last time the Data Centre application was made.

The Lindley Moor Project It was Autumn last year when I first came across the Lindley Moor Project; an ostentatious plan to build a “data centre” on a local green field site. When I say “local”, I mean “right up the road from my house”. Now before I continue, I feel I should point out that I’m not the kind of person to shout “not on my doorstep”; I genuinely object to any green field development. In this case however, the planned development is genuinely “on my doorstep” … Read More

via Armaitus on…