Because it isn’t there

Hole in the groundYou’ve probably already heard of our escalating prisons crisis here in the omnibenevolent UK. What you won’t have heard is the reason, which I discovered today: prison is vastly preferable to a large amount of housing in our major cities. Far from being incorrigible scallies, most of the inhabitants of our penal system are in fact middle managers unable to get urban accomodation without perpetrating some minor felony.

I viewed a flat today near Holloway prison, and it made me want to cry. Walking from Holloway tube to the property along what must surely be the UK’s first residential motorway, I passed at least seven KFCs, four Quality Chickens* and an inexplicable Waitrose, the latter presumably there to cater for newly elevated tastes among local shoplifters.

Turning on to Parkhurst Road, things started to look up. Well, I started to look up, which I swiftly regretted. Initially the boarded up houses seemed an improvement on the unremitting phalanxes of discount stores, and indeed they would have been, had I not spotted a guy peering over the plywood of a former first floor window, watching my every step as I passed his house. Ah, neighbours.

Still flushed with the initial excitement of flat-hunting for the first time in four years, I thought to myself that this would be fine, assuming the flat itself wasn’t a hole in the ground.

It was, of course, a hole in the ground. In fact to call it a hole in the ground does grave injustice to the many fine holes in the ground that have been inhabited at various times by soldiers, dowsers, and the just plain shy. My mind is slowly embellishing the memory with three foot ceilings, rat carcasses and vampire bat colonies as the episode recedes further into my personal mythology, but while I’m still capable of accurate recall I offer the following for the reference of any estate agents reading this:

  1. A bare patch of ground inhabited by comatose crack addicts and a bush that would not look out of place in the arctic tundra is not a “garden”.
  2. Similarly, if the occupier has to isolate his property from said “garden” with a reinforced, motorised metal security shutter at night, it is not “his” garden.
  3. A “luxury tiled bathroom” must contain at least one luxury. The tiles do not count, nor indeed do Aspergillus penicillium infestations. No, not even if it cures bronchitis while you shower.
  4. A “double room” is not one in to which you can fit one double mattress, touching three walls with only a bit of a bend at each side. That is a cupboard with a mattress in it.

Given the topic of my my first post on this blog, it seems that it’s now come full circle. Presumably it will disappear up its own arse any day now.

* Fried chicken stores, you understand – I’m not expressing admiration for the livestock I saw en route, although it was a lovely llama.

0 Responses to “Because it isn’t there”

Comments are currently closed.