Stamford Hill has changed now.
I've been back a few times; geocaching along the river Lea, and I even went back to where I used to live.
It's full of Chasidim.
Chasidim are those very religious jews who wear fancy dress; a long black coat, a funny hat, and you don't want to know what else.
Well, I don't mind - live and let live. I don't live in that area now, and nor would I want to, I'm no longer a town mouse, I'm a country mouse.
Some of the rabbis there had just banned women from driving. If I read this anywhere but the Jewish Chronicle, I'd find it hard to believe. They plan to enforce their edict (I almost said "fatwa") by saying that children will be barred from schools if their mothers drove them there.
As a repercussion for a woman who drives in a car, she cannot send her children to be educated at institutions of the Belz Chasidim.
We therefore announce that as of Rosh Chodesh Elul (Aug 14th), a student whose mother drives will not be allowed to study in our institutions.
If a mother has no other choice and has to drive for extenuating reasons (for example medical), she should submit a request to the special committee to this effect and the committee shall consider her request.
It's hard for me to emphasize just how bad I think this is. I would like to think that it's actually illegal. I'm not a lawyer, but don't we have laws against gender discrimination? And threatening the children to enforce their diktat (I almost said "fatwa") on the mothers, is a very low blow.
God, were he to exist, would be weeping.