The Knights of Clerkenwell

In the olden days well before all our times knights-errant and the chivalric code played a significant role in certain aspects of society. Brave and dutiful, honourable and noble, just and true those who became knights lived to protect and serve members of society who needed their help.

 From time to time we can all use a little help. Sometimes its forthcoming, sometimes it isn’t and when it does materialise it can come from unexpected places in unusual shapes and forms. I’ve just experienced unforeseen help in the form of friends who I’ll call the Knights of Clerkenwell.  I can say hand on heart that noble goodness runs through them sure as blood runs through veins yet the Clerkenwell Knight was unexpected. I, like many other people, thought the days of chivalry had long since been consigned to the land of myths and legends.  I work in London; walking around Oxford Street or trying to catch the Central Line during rush hour quickly demonstrates what an insular, every (wo)man for themselves society we’ve become but fortunately it seems I was wrong. Knights are not extinct, they’re just rather a rare find these days.

Being found and helped by a modern-day knight came as a surprise, a pleasant one too which was most welcome given my start to 2013 changed from full of renewed hope to wondering just how much more crap I’d be able to survive.  Like people, help can also come in many guises. The knight and I expected something structured, tangible and straightforward. What we found was rather rambling and intangible, possibly not as helpful as we’d hoped.

We talked about it over a very large cup of tea as is the way of knights and ladies. For the record I’m not a proper lady and that’s probably how I ended up working in IT instead of being a beautician. Once a tomboy always a tomboy and if my joints weren’t so damned painful and swollen I’d still spend my weekends climbing trees and making dens.  After detaining the knight from a number of other important matters for far longer than expected I bid him adieu and reflected on happier occasions when our paths had crossed; times when life’s complexities were as easy as uncovering the modus operandi of credit card fraud gangs, defeating corporate blackmailers and managing firewall rules. It’s true our lives have involved high-order geekery and socio-technological mischief-makers for many years but they’ve also entailed professional respect, successful businesses and a few too many beers once in a while.  Working in IT is strange like that.

 For the past few weeks my insomnia has returned with a vengeance proving tiring and far from useful.  Having an extra 7 hours to mull over my conversation with the knight put those additional waking hours to work. Help had not been found exactly as expected but a conversation over tea suddenly held most of the answers. There is a way forward, I bow deeply to the knight and say a heartfelt thank you because things look brighter than they did before we met.

Those who know me know I’m a Muse fan. I’m taking my son to see them at the Emirates Stadium next month and we’re both looking forward to it. By then I might even have enough hair to pass myself off as an uber-trendy festival-going pseudo-punk.   I ripped off one of Muse’s song titles in this post. Sorry about that guys but somehow it seemed fitting so just in case you’re wondering, here’s the original version…

Knights of Cydonia – Muse

Come ride with me

Through the veins of history

I’ll show you how god

Falls asleep on the job



And how can we win

When fools can be kings

Don’t waste your time

Or time will waste you


No one’s gonna take me alive

The time has come to make things right

You and I must fight for our rights

You and I must fight to survive