I will upset some people with what I am about to write. It is not cricket to criticise the town in which you live or the one in which you grew up. In my case I grew older and wider but never up in the sense of maturity or an adult perspective. So if you are easily offended then go read someone else’s blog or just sit back and watch The Voice.
I live in a very average town. Its not quirky, bohemian, gritty or exclusive. It’s decidedly average. If it were a paint, it would be magnolia. I chose to live here because of the proximity to my former place of work and our childminder. I opted for the dull and safe. My town has disruptive teenagers, some crime and an awful lot of hairdressers and nail bars. It might be average but always well coiffured. I think the disruptive behaviour is partly due to parents being comfortably well off and having easily bored children with good haircuts. I used to have a patron russell terrier who disliked disruptive teenagers. He could sound rather fierce when confronted with a gobby 17 yr old.
The shops are predictable. Everyone seems to drive everywhere however short the distance. We even have a drive in pharmacist (sadly the window is a little high up for mobility scooters and boy do we have a lot of them.
I am surrounded by beautiful countryside and interesting towns and cities. I looked at a show room of Maseratis and opted for the Austin Allegro.
I can’t blame anyone else for my choice of residence.
I do wonder however if it was ingrained in me from childhood. I grew up you see in its southern twin. My childhood was based in a crushingly average commuter town in the South East of England. It was beige to the core. We never had any excitement unless you count the SPG visiting to quell disruptive skinheads. And they weren’t even our skinheads! It is also surrounded by impossibly pretty countryside with picture postcard villages nestled in rolling farmland.
I go back south regularly and rarely venture forth to the town of my upbringing. It has not faired well against the glamour and sophistication of its neighbouring royal spa town. My home town is filling up with charity shops. If they’re not careful, the proportion of hairdressers and nail bars will increase and then its trouble.
My hometown has produced some marvellous and interesting friends (a desperate attempt to right the wrongs already metered out).
This rambling is going somewhere trust me. It is not just a blog post slagging off average towns. There are loads of them. They fill up with enough Costa Coffee shops to drown the population in Skinny Lattes. The high streets suffer as retail parks spring up and all contain the same homogenous range of shops. The population are encouraged to drive to them, get out and grab a coffee before wandering around Halfords, TK Maxx and Next until early onset dementia kicks in.
My present town is supporting a growth in the twilight years industry. We have residential homes, nursing homes and older folks flats springing up. We even have a shop that sells mobility scooters as a lifestyle choice for the immobile. The sound of ambulances cuts through the night air in my town. My town has fine people too. interesting, creative and kind folk. They thrive despite of it not because of it though I am convinced.
I want to run away to the excitement of Hebden Bridge, The glamour and edgy thrills of Manchester, the rollercoaster ride that is Saltaire.
I’ve had too much coffee today and not enough sleep. My house is full of teenagers being teenagers. I want to run away to seek creativity, quirkiness and character. Too much of our residential centres have lost their souls. Too many towns could be transported elsewhere and deposited without any trouble (unless your house is underneath the aforementioned deposited town).
I think I have got this off my chest now. You can all throw bricks at me and call me a hypocrite or any other term of abuse. I don’t write to make you like me. I write the truth as I see it or how it looks through too many espressos and not enough kip.