Fireman Dave

This blog wears my running hobby/obsession as an excuse to exist like a pair of see-thru panties.

Pause for a minute and think about that one. Don’t think about me wearing the panties as that would be (a)  sick and (b) not great for running in.

Anyway, for the purposes of this blog post the panties are off (stop visualising).

I have many real friends – some of whom actually read this blog and then cross the street when they see me – and many running/blogging/twitterati friends. Whether it be the middle aged Japan based fast Australian whose mental age is putting him behind his youngest son from a developmental perspective or those that make me realise that running until you are in a trance is not an abnormal thing to do.  The venn diagram of real and virtual friends does overlap sometimes and I’ve actually run and been beaten in many races by Grellan, Thomas, Brendan and many many (trust me, I’m not very fast) more.

There is, however, only one other blog relationship that comes the closest to the core of my psyche. It is a blog that inspired me to start the long slow descent into documenting my unravelling from common or garden variety husband and father to that of a man who clearly gives about 15% of his attention to his job and the rest to practically everything else.

Now, I know, for most of you, if you’ve wasted hours at work reading loads of these sorts of blogs you’d have worked out the name of said ‘inspiration’. For the rest of you just hold on like someone bursting for a wee while I paint in some more of the scenery.

Of the many people who read this blog, some of them have no interest in running and know me from a past life when we were all young white catholics in suburban Ireland (sounds like the name of a couple of trendy pop-rock combos).  I’m guessing they read the blog in case they discover something – don’t ask me what –

Index on Censorship

Image via Wikipedia

I’m too busy trying to touch type! Anyhow, one of these past-life people works for (or, in the world of freelance journalism – contributes to)  a group/organisation/collective called Index on Censorship.

Amazing, as the Gruffalo would  say (you need kids of a cetain age to get that one). The Index on Censorship is a snazzy looking outfit which does good things about free speech and ensuring it around the world. Kind of like the intellectual version of the WHO water programme – someting we take for granted (free speech/clean water) has to be fought for in other far flung places like Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Belarus, Russia or  South London.

South London? Has my touch typing gone spazzy? (non-PC term there for the lentil eaters to worry about).

Now, at this point in this blog post, the venn diagram of rambling blogs, free speech and the abuse of rights we take for granted should hopefully come into sharp focus (otherwise you’ll have to go back up to the top and read it again or skip onto someone else’s blog about sore nipples and Vaselining their privates – your choice (subtle free choice reference there for the very smart readers) )

My inspiration blogger is a man called David although I’d say the only one to ever call him that is his mum.  If you have a very big brain you would say that Dave’s blog is a very valuable social document that does much to detail the ordinary life of a London Fireman, single father, community volunteer, long distance lover and, and, and, oh yea, ultra runner.  For me, I  find the blog both an inspiration and a piss myself laughing (PMSL if you have teenager texters in your house and want to look cool) funny.

London Fire Brigade Museum

Image by SouthEastern Star via Flickr

A great blog. Lets have a read off of it. Put up a hyperlink or some other snazzy click-‘n-see thing.

I can’t.

Y’see, Dave is currently suspended from his job in the London Fire Brigade because somebody at the prawn sandwiches end of the fire fighting game doesn’t agree with Dave’s views on how a valuable public service should be preserved and improved. The prawn sandwich chap is the  sort of chap who refers to the firemen and firewomen as future pension liabilities rather than ordinary decent government employees who happen to put their lives in harm’s way so we may go about our irresponsible lives.

For fear of being dismissed from his job he has had to agree to shut down his blog and remove all references to the London Fire Brigade.

How do I know this? Because Dave told me.  In an e-mail. Last night.

Me: Hiya Dave,

God save the Queen etc.

I seem to be blocked from your blog – says I don’t have an invite to read it or something.

Was it the postcard?

Or have you pulled the curtains for some private blogging or summink?


Dave: Hi Rich,

Sorry about the blog mate. Everyone bar me is blocked for the next few days while I clear out any refs to the LFB. A Station Commander and I were both suspended from service last week for offending Brian Coleman, the Chair of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority, on Facebook.

Right now we need to fight our corner while a political machine kicks into gear against us. I’m afraid to say that the outcome for us might be very unpalatable. It’s taken me a week to get my head round that and resulted in three days of not eating at all. Funnily enough I’ve found training to be a way to clear my mind and have never trained as much!

The postcard was very gratefully received but at present it resides in my locker at work where I’m barred from entry.

Please feel free to mention my plight on your own blog if you can wind it in somehow.

Glad to hear the River Ayr Way is on the cards mate.

The last piece about the River Ayr Way race is very hush hush with my better half so if you see her don’t mention it – I’m looking at Brendan’s wife Pamela in case you’re wondering.

Two things worry me about this. The first to hit me was that if he removes all references to the LFB the blog will be shit. All about running and boring shit like how many gels you can eat in 26 miles. Kind of like the first thought when my father died suddenly: fuck, I’ll never get a new bike now. just my luck. But then as I lay in bed at about 3 am this morning the other bigger ‘fuck, my dad is dead‘ thought hit me – that’s a denial of free speech. That’s like going out and shutting off the water to a family with young kids.

So, I hope I have managed to work in Dave’s plight to this blog post.

I hope some of the very smart people who work at the Index on Censorship will shine a light on this sort of thing so rights we take for granted aren’t removed through force, bullying and coercion and I hope Dave and the Station Commander are seen for what they are: hard working public servants who are entitled to express their views in a society that values the right to free speech. 

Mainly, I hope that Dave realises that he is neither alone nor  isolated. Once his blog is back up and running I’d encourage you to read it  – as either a valuable social document or because he is very funny – you’ll be able to decide. 
Now I’m going to add in the tags for this blog. They’ll include see thru panties so the hit count will go through the roof! The world is full of sick perverts!


10 responses to “Fireman Dave

  1. Yes Richard I hate that this medium has started to become like everything else. Something you have to think about before you comment on! Fucked if I will stop bieng myself or talking about my life cause someone might be offended!
    Sure if you are going to hate on people you need to be shut up but we just want to be bloody normal and if other don’t get the joke maybe they should not be on social media in the first place . The internet and social media should be, to mine, be an extention of viillage life. As Dr. Seuss said, sort of, “Say what you want cause those that matter won’t mind and those that mind shouldn’t matter!”
    And thanks for considering me a friend! I can assure you virtual or not I’m are every bit as good as the guys that cross the street to avoid you!

  2. Sorry for the grammar/spelling mistakes above it’s just that I’m half cut with wine. I writting this just in case my work place is reading. I want to assure them that what I do here and at work is by nature going to be very different! and what I say here has no bearing on my ability to do my job!
    I’ll drink to that!

  3. sounds like an extreme consequence for extressing an opinion. Hopefully my boss doesn’t read my blog … probably too late .. isn’t that true, Grellan!!

    River Ayr Way…. Pamela doesn’t know what this race is … she’d need lots more detail to give a full report!! 🙂

  4. Thanks for the post, Rich. Like the postcard, it was very gratefully received. The River Ayr Way….I have maps for you and everything.

  5. Hey, I am not from the Index on Censorship but a former (not lentil eating) Guardian hack running a independent blog keeping tabs on brian coleman and the collapsing private fire company,AssetCo, that owns London’s fire engines. I am a bit amazed that Coleman of all people should be pursuing a fireman for his opinions given what he has got hide himself.

    • The Young Irish Catholic I was referring to was Padraig Reidy although if those were his Boyzone days he’s probably into Metallica by now if that metaphor isn’t too obscure.

  6. The post title kinda gave it away but the mention of see through panties removed any doubt. Certainly a unique and entertaining writing styyle – pity not everyone sees it that way.

    River Ayr Way – now i’m jealous.

    @Brendan, My sidebar tells me you haven’t posted in 4 months – not good!

  7. The River Ayr Way is starting to become one of those ‘why am I doing this again?’ sort of things where I line up at the start with the internal goal of not making a total fool of myself!

    And Brendan, a few more blog posts? Not that hard. – Man-up, as the lesbians would say.

  8. aw shucks guys… I didn’t think anyone noticed!!

  9. Some bosses, um, I mean people, need to get a life.

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