I love setting
fire to things.
Everyone has a pyromaniac stalker of a boyfriend lurking amongst the
clutter of ex-careers; friends, pets and all that life related stuff.
We all recognise that moment of clarity within a relationship when you
realise that he/she is not on your level, does not understand you, share
common interests, can not fulfil your emotional and/or sexual needs
or perhaps simply engages in one to many acts of arson*. Ex relationships
are obvious targets for vitriol but I prefer obscurity anyday
which is why Im trying to earn a living as a writer. Dredging
up my past is definitely unhealthy (although a little rewriting and
prevarication allows me to emerge with added qualities of greatness)
and if history has taught us anything it is that no one learns from
history. And since Im infinitely more emotionally scarred by the
heartless actions of my parents in throwing away my collection of toy
horses, if Im going to get vicious I think I should take a wider
angle. *Delete where applicable.
This is a
public service announcement. Listen carefully for the prevention of
irrecoverable psychological harm. Are you currently thinking of
moving to the Southeast area? Think again.
What is the precedent for a town and all its inhabitants prosecuting
for libel? Well never mind; let them prove in court that their dreary
little dwelling is anything but utterly soul destroying. Ok,
ok this is clearly shaping out to be a malicious attack for purely personal
motives. So now that Ive got your attention
bombs, fall on Bracknell. For anyone who actually reads poetry then
I will admit Betjeman is calling for the destruction of Slough, but
Bracknell would have been included (alongside Maidenhead) in his verses
if it had been built in 1937. Hey why not have a three for one and bomb
them all. Of course it is its new townness which is basically
its problem, that and its tendency to be full of Londoners. Its layout
has been planned with an over zealous militaristic efficiency and no
idea of what constitutes a good place to reside. The monotony of the
homogeneity is both sinister and deeply dull separate living
areas comprised of a mass of conveniently sized (small but with the
expected quota of rooms) 50s built houses and flats all situated within
alphabetically named streets. It is disarming to visit someones
house down the road and spend all your time looking around you in bewilderment
thinking but this is my house.
Im informed by defensive, and frankly shifty, looking residents
that Bracknell is a great place to live. Its conveniently
located for commuting to London, brimming with industrial sites providing
employment, and has all the amenities for leisure and shopping that
a city like, say Truro in Cornwall for example, can only dream of. But
who am I kidding with this propaganda. When the best word to sum up
location is convenient and the name itself conjures up an
impression of mundane reality, you know that the tourist board arent
going to bother with a brochure.
So if this is hell on Earth, why has there not been a mass exodus to
well anywhere else really? The true evil of the town relies on
its Twilight Zonelike capacity for muddling the brains of otherwise
intelligent individuals, thereby imprisoning them within its boundaries
for all eternity. My family and I moved to Bracknell due to its proximity
to Southampton. My father was to finish his sailing tuition and we were
going to sell up, buy a yacht and travel the world. Another fantastic
plan foiled by my parents General Untogetherness Syndrome (G.U.S)
an unfortunate disorder which appears to be hereditary. Instead
we were trapped in Bracknell for six years! An existence of constant
déjà vu, turning down the wrong street every time, and
wondering about all the possibilities for fun and leisure that in reality
where only economically viable if a second mortgage was taken on. The
ice rink, the state of the art sports centre, the cinema with its multi
screens and multitude of opportunities for filling your stomach with
a sickening array of junk food, the Coral Reef swimming pool (known
as Good Grief by those shell-shocked by its prices) with its many slides,
flumes and, yes you guessed it, many provisions for increasing your
cholesterol to dangerous levels. Choice, choice, choice. Funny then,
that the youth of Bracknell seem to prefer to frequent the outside rather
than the inside of these establishments swigging cheap cider. The town
planning officials must have got to then too as they all wear identical
Adidas trainers and baseball caps.
For those who do not escape the only why is down. The disintegrating
effects on intelligence and perception of reality were clearly illustrated
by Bracknell Forest Borough Councils attempts to enliven the town
centre. They spent an outrageous amount of money importing sand to create
a beach. In the middle of Southeast England. And for two weeks only.
Predictably it was a washout although the meteorological centre
(located in Bracknell) didnt manage to foresee the constant downpour.
A news item last night told of a Bracknell couple who had spent £10,000
fitting a turntable so that they no longer needed to back into their
drive. Obviously living too long in Bracknell has warped their brains
and sense of priorities. Surely a few quid on extra driving lessons
might have been a brighter alternative.
None of this will make much sense to overseas readers. Nevertheless,
beware study the map and do not go within a twenty-mile radius
of this Stepford City. Unless you own a tank. I suppose
certain inhabitants will be enraged (narrow-minded and humourless as
usual) but they should be warned; I know a certain someone who would
kill for the chance to run riot with a few cans of petrol and a lighter.