In the long tradition of posts on Jakartass themed along the lines of 'been there, done that' coupled with 'I'm here, doing this', I was interested to learn that the latest Climate Camp, the UK's "the biggest annual environmental protest" is being set up on my teenage stomping ground, Blackheath in South London.
An aerial view of Blackheath
Julia Pendry, the Metropolitan police's chief superintendent in charge of tactics for the operation, walked on to the site to talk to organisers and struck a conciliatory note.
"The meeting was extremely useful. I have been extremely impressed by the number of people who are calm, welcoming. I got offered a cup of tea and that is how it should be," she said.
It seems that she is mindful of the Met's recent thuggery against those who feel the need to protest the international talking shops which do little to rein in greedy ^ankers and other capitalist pigs in favour of globalisation or those who emit too much hot air to mitigate the harmful effects of climate change.
Perhaps too, she is aware of the long history of Blackheath as a rallying ground for the disadvantaged. Way back in 1381, Wat Tyler organised a Peasants' Revolt, and in 1450 Jack Cade led a rebellion of Kentish men, Kent being the neighbouring county to the east. The women's movement for universal suffrage (the Suffragettes) nigh on a century ago also has strong associations with Blackheath.
Apart from the latter movement, none of the rebellions can be considered as being immediately successful. Perhaps the Met realises this and is therefore content to allow the Climate Campers to make their limited voices heard believing that they won't make much of a difference in the short-term.
But hey, every little counts, and if the social network engendered can grow and encourage others to vent their concern for meaningful societal change, then I almost wish I was there.
However, I am here but didn't go to a recent Flora and Fauna exhibition held on a small park ("aren't they all?") here in Jakarta. However, fellow English blogger and noted newspaper columnist, Simon Pitchforth did.
The show featured stall after stall of plants, gardening equipment and pets and made for a charming change from the consumer durables on sale at Jakarta Fair's capitalist gang bang.
As the 'pets' included a pair of comatose tigers, it would be nice to report that the local police were taking a less than conciliatory view.
Unfortunately, we have to leave that to Simon's imaginative rant.
As family groups crowded dangerously into the packed animal tents, I had a vision of some minor accident setting off a chain of events that would result in the poor creatures escaping out of the park and into the city.
All it would take would be for corpulent ibu to slip on a discarded ice cream and crash into the snake cages, bringing them down onto the floor. One of the reptiles would inevitably escape and make its way up an unfortunate bapak's trouser leg, causing him to panic and trip. He would then fall face first into the tiger cage, awaking them from their slumbers and causing them to claw furiously at his nostrils and bum fluff moustache. He would then inadvertently pull the cage door open in his desire to escape and the beasts would flee their prison and head out into the park, hunting down every defenseless bunny rabbit and child under the age of two that lay in their path. Meanwhile the marmosets would become overexcited and start lobbing fecal grenades at the hysterical throng.
I beat a hasty retreat and headed back into the less hectic flora section of the show. ............................ Personal history note: A number of notables have lived in Blackheath. Strangely, I'm not listed. Fanny Craddock, who lived down the road from my family, was one of the first TV cooks long before Jamie Oliver was born. I delivered her newspapers. (Sir) Richard Branson, my sister and I were all born in Blackheath and shared the same midwife, but not at the same time.