Advertisements

Peter Reynolds

The life and times of Peter Reynolds

Posts Tagged ‘village

The Obnoxious People Of Bovingdon

with 3 comments

My parents live in a small Hertfordshire village not far from Watford. It’s commuter land, only 45 minutes by train to central London but on the edge of the delightful Chilterns countryside. It’s not quite as gorgeous as Dorset but the dogs and I enjoy the change of scenery when we visit about once every month.

The nearest place to find anything more than a village shop is the small town of Bovingdon. Every time I visit there I am dismayed, horrified even at the boorish, selfish and obnoxious behaviour of the local drivers.

There’s nowhere to park in Bovingdon but that doesn’t stop them. They park half on, half off the pavement in the most dangerous and inconsiderate places, often right opposite each other. The town is full of ostentatious, gaudy four-wheel drive Toyotas, Mitsubishis or, God preserve us from even more oriental invaders, Kias. Does no one buy British any more? These tasteless and clumsy status symbols are thrown about with abandon, aggression and a complete absence of any manners. My 17 year old nephew was literally forced off the road last week by yet another woman who simply cannot judge the width of her vehicle and so drives in the middle of narrow country lanes.

Of course, I am sure that there are many very nice and responsible people in Bovingdon but you can drive through the High Street at anytime of day to see recurrent displays of the most selfish, inconsiderate and dangerous behaviour.

There is one other observation though that, for me, condemns these unpleasant people out of hand. As I walk the dogs around the local countryside I am disgusted at the fly tipping and the disgraceful amount and variety of rubbish in the hedgerows. It’s difficult to understand why this wealthy and privileged part of the country is full of so many nasty, selfish and dirty people.

Advertisements

Written by Peter Reynolds

April 29, 2010 at 2:08 pm

Village Idiots Or Village Idiocy?

leave a comment »

We are very fortunate in Great Britain to have clearly defined borders.  Our status as an island has enabled us to avoid much of the evil and wickedness that has plagued continental Europe.  Throughout history neighbour has turned upon neighbour and viciousness and persecution have been rife.  Hitler did not start the persecution of the Jews.  Particularly in France and the low countries, they were persecuted across the centuries. Between Poland and Romania there is an enmity that defies belief.

Much that is great in Britain has evolved from our island culture but we have not escaped the darker side of human nature.  Much that is worst in Britain can be seen in the petty jealousies and behaviours of village life.  Just as insidious and cruel as the persecution of the Jews is the way that gossip, resistance to change and selfishness runs deep in British village life.

You Know Who You Are!

You Know Who You Are!

They nearly always start with “I’ve lived in the village for more than X years…”.  X needs to be at least 20 and for real seniority you need to be able to boast of 30 or 40 years residency.  Then, according to this idiotic doctrine, you have some sort of right to impose your view of the world on your neighbours.  Just because you were there first?

It is to the eternal shame of rural villagers in Britain that the Vestas wind turbine factory on the Isle Of Wight is to close.  There is simply no market for onshore wind turbines in Britain because the “NIMBYs” (Not In My Back Yard) object at every stage and shove the problem of energy and ecology onto someone else.

I won’t be actively campaigning for, say, 10 wind turbines along the top of White Horse Hill but what right would any of us have to object?  If you want to switch your kettle on or watch TV or enjoy a hot bath in the depths of winter, you need to be prepared to compromise, particularly if you want your grandchildren to enjoy a future on this planet.  In any case, wind turbines have a beauty and elegance of their own.  Look at the way that we now revere some of the great aqueducts built in the 19th century – before the days when the small minded, selfish, blue rinse brigade were able to resist any and all change.

It’s not just about planning and environment though.  It’s a more general problem about attitudes towards others and our own selfishness.  Gossip, whinging and a failure to welcome and include others and the change that they bring are the symptoms of this British disease.  So next time you hear them start with “I’ve lived in the village for more than 40 years”, be careful.  The chances are that what comes next is going to be selfish, small minded rubbish.