Monday, 6 October 2008

Eerie Alrewas

Yesterday we popped down to London to see Terri and carry out some maintenance tasks that were required by her. We visited a large Swedish furniture store that sells brilliant furniture, put it together ignoring the missing screws and extra bits of wood and binning all the extra ones, attached it all to the wall in case it all falls apart, tidied said room lifting all the clothes off the floor and put them in the wardrobe, cleaned it up and embarrassed said daughter in front of her friends (well there's little point in being a parent if you can't do that) and drove home again. All very exciting but I wouldn't want to live there.

Alrewas is a rather weird place. On the surface it is a typically quaint little English village but there is a sinister undercurrent. I am currently stuck here as the river is in flood due to the rain after arriving here at nine o'clock this morning from Fradley Junction. There is no graffiti except that which is placed there by the local council who deem it necessary to stencil, 'NO DOG FOULING. CLEAN IT UP. MAX FINE £1000' (or something like that) on all available surfaces including bins, the pavement every fifty metres, walls etc. Everyone is very polite and says, “Good morning” as if I was one of them. Well I'm not and as soon as Alrewas Lock opens I'm off again. It reminds me of The Village in the 60's series, The Prisioner. I'm not a number. I'm a free man (until Lisa comes home from work).

Everything is very ordered, conservative (and very probably Conservative) restrained, polite and regular but this is all on the surface (presumably alongside the graffiti). There is a multitude of 'Do Not...' signs with many private roads and cute buildings and in amongst all of this order is what is euphemistically called a gated community. Unfortunately anyone who wants to, or lives in, a gated community knows and cares nothing about community and very probably believes there is no such thing as society (now where have I heard that before). Why are many gated communities in areas where there is no crime.? It cannot be about security. It must be a status thing. If there is one thing that Alrewas doesn't need it's a gated community. Maybe the gates are to keep the eerie undercurrent out. 

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