Summer of ‘Meh’ ?

In the end I didn’t make it to parliament square to protest along with Old Holborn, Tom Paine, Dick Puddlecote and few hundred or so other folk on Saturday.

On Friday I had cause to briefly visit Royal Holloway, arriving relatively late in the day I had arranged to stay over on the campus, in the heart of the glorious Surrey countryside, rather than head back into London.

And so when Saturday came around, and I was due to travel back across, passing through Waterloo a mere five minutes walk away, I found myself propped up under a large oak tree with an excellent book and a bottle of very acceptable Italian white.

I was warm, safe, happy, and my hangover was abating. The world of MPs and protests and London seemed very distant. And at that moment, the thought of swapping that world for the one I was inhabiting seemed utterly and completely ludicrous.

I can’t say I’m surprised at this, even if I’m a little bit disappointed in myself, nut cosseted as I was in the leafy arms of Surrey’s rural idyll I wasn’t moving for not no one, not time, no chance.

Partly, I suspect, this is because it felt like something of a homecoming. I grew up in Cheshire which bears a passing resemblance to Surrey in terms of leafiness. In fact from my brief experience of Surrey I would say Cheshire is just like Surrey only with more money and even less taste. The place I live now is mostly not leafy, and even where it is, should one take the opportunity to sprawl in the leafiness with anything remotely alcoholic one’s day would very shortly be spoiled by the local chavs or by PCSO Fuckbubble confiscating said boozy beverage because of local by laws which have declared that drinking outside of licensed premises is “anti social”. It is not. Shouting, screaming , littering and fucking and/or fighting your friends/siblings/partner(s)/children in the park is anti social, but I digress.

The point is I couldn’t be arsed to protest because it was sunny. Had it been raining, I would have been there instead of lounging under a tree half pissed. This is certainly disgusting, but is it typical ?

I suspect it is typical of the leafier parts of England at least. They won’t rise up in the summer. They’ll be busy sunbathing and going to beer festivals, vintage car rallies and and fêtes in places like Surrey and Cheshire where the fortunes are safe, the mansions will appreciate again, and the chattering- and under- classes are held in thrall by rigid caste systems that we keep being told no longer exist, but which make places like Cheshire and Surrey such teeming nests of vipers under the pleasant exterior, and so difficult to live in if you don’t fancy at least pretending to know your place.

Cities and other urbanised places, on the other hand, are rather more fractious in the heat.


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