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Sodden in Gomorrah

  Wed 16th March 2022

Saturday afternoon. Down the pub, I am facing away from the telly recounting the first real nightmare of my life. I have nights when I can hardly sleep for it. Still, I've ordered a Ukrainian flag off ebay so that'll help the people stuck in Mariupol.

I take a pause from my book, Deborah Orr's Motherwell: A Girlhood, and feel jealous of the afternoon's sociability. Two middleaged women touching each other often as they swayed, their conversation in their bodies and their faces as much as their words. The next day, still not quite having stifled my mood, I say to Mel, "down here it's just you and work."


So it was good to get out today with the Civic Society, for a talk and a trip to a postwar suburb in north Bristol. It was raining steadily, so I wore appropriate (but inadequate) armour. A few weeks ago I found an Everton bobble hat on the street and took it for my use. It's a good conversation starter, even though I care little for football and less for Everton. If I couple it with my manly fluorescent jacket -- which bears a logo which suggests I work on the permanent way -- I find I am paid a lot more respect on my scooter than when I go out in my normal clothes, which make me look like a homosexual Geography lecturer in a minor Welsh university.

About thirty of us met up in "The Hub", and had an interesting talk from a couple of the people involved with it. One problem they talked about was about how, because the City Council allocates council housing on a city-wide basis, this can end up with local people, with housing needs just short of the immensity of suffering required to get a council house in Bristol, watch, as a person (often of a different colour to them) is parachuted in, and given a plum flat which they think should have gone to the single mother down the road who's been trying to get a flat on the estate for decades. Then the locals get bollocked (I can't remember the actual term she used) for being a bit cold towards their new neighbour whose command of English is as weak as his or her links to the suburb.

There was a determination of everyone to enjoy the guided walk despite the rain. Walks like this attract the militantly healthy. But it was marred for me by the ever increasing leakage of my clothes. Even my pants didn't survive its ingress. Suzanne showed us many things of interest: the modular development lined up behind a street of sixties houses, which means scores of people can't sit out in their back gardens without being overlooked; the scraggy site of the school which only lasted fifty years before being demolished. "I was caned over there!" someone said. The snowdrops round the site's edge.

Back home, after a shivering ride home, I peeled off my sodden clothes into the sink, and had a luxurious shower. It was worth it though.

3 comments

Comment from: kono [Visitor]

Hello good sir!! i’ve been a bit run ragged to go along with a bit of dark clouds hanging about so it’s always good to stop by looby’s place to see a sentence like “homosexual Geography professor at a minor Welsh university", made me giggle ;)

i spent the weekend getting soaked myself by torrential downpours and gale force winds as i watchd the oldest at a footie tournament… more on that on the lounge (maybe) cuz i’m a lazy git!

and it was an interesting bit about the housing shortage here in Merica last night on the telly, about how we’re about 4 million dwellings short and you’d never guess why and who is behind it? the why is the sub-prime loan disaster and the who is… wait for it… fucking Wall St. Yes the bastards of finance seem to find never ending ways to fuck people over so after creating a giant shit show they are now in the process of cashing in on it… disgusting really… cheer my friend.

Mon 21st March 2022 @ 12:52 Reply to this comment
Comment from: looby [Visitor]

They do indeed kono, they can turn anything to their advantage. I’m over to the lounge to have a look at your clouds :)

Mon 21st March 2022 @ 23:12 Reply to this comment
Comment from: Scarlet [Visitor]

I liked the Geography lecturer line too.
Housing for locals is very poor in Cornwall and Devon because of the second homers - you’re right the rich get away with everything and shit over ordinary people. Or use them as canon fodder when they feel the need.
Sx

Fri 15th April 2022 @ 23:21 Reply to this comment


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M / 57 / Bristol, "the most beautiful, interesting and distinguished city in England" -- John Betjeman [1961, source eludes me].

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