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The following was written on the train out of Hull, before a bunch of chavs showed up and made like they were going to steal my fucking phone.

And so ends a painless trip home.

Like always, I need a cigarette. I don't think I'll ever stop needing a cigarette when I leave, even a quarter-century from now. It's just one of those things, smoking was the built-in stress reliever, and the first stop was a chance to have a fag after being dry at home. Besides, my grandmother still gets cravings, and she quit when I was born. I'll never be free of them.

Things have changed. They've been reworking the junction outside my old high school for the past couple of years, and a week ago everything was fixed up well enough that they tore out the traffic lights. It's long past fucking time---those lights were a deathtrap. From my high school, in the seven years I was there: At least three dead, twelve hospitalised. And that's just kids there, people who lived around the junction died as well. Things change, eventually, and those changes save lives.

The train's passing Gilberdyke, and I see that the parasites are here as well. Brough, where I caught the train, is now twice as large thanks to new housing 'developments' (pron. 'estates'). Gilberdyke's the same. Both are on the train line for Hull Trains (Hull - London and Hull - Manchester), and have very easy access to the A63 and thus the M62. People living in these parasite towns aren't local to the area. They commute to Leeds or Manchester or London. There's no sense of community in these new-build scars, nothing that brings people together. Threy're bolted on to the side of the existing town like a cancer, relying on shops and pubs that were fine for the town as it was, but are now stupidly overcrowded. Nobody building one of these cancers thinks to put in a corner shop or a pub, so there's a cold, clinical atmosphere. "We're Londoners/Mancunians still, we just like the cheap houses". Soulless bastards. One for some Werewolf writing right there, these cancertwons. Instant scabs.

I think it helped that I didn't spend too long in He^Hull. No need to go down Hessle Road or Anlaby Road, the cesspools of urban decay. Nothing calling me to the town centre. I think that helps, as every time I go there I'm reminded of wasting my weekends, praying for some kind of change. None of that, not even a trip to a pub.

This is the first time my grandparents have actually seemed old. I have a whole set still, and it's amazing that they're all still around. Of course, the question that remains is how much longer I'll be able to say that. Nobody's getting any younger. It's becoming more and more likely that I'll next go home because of one of them.

Thinking about that makes me want a cigarette, a large coffee, and a very large whisky. All at once.

The train's now mob-handed with kids and their minders. The kids are generally fine, as lkong as you can't hear what they're saying -- nobody who is six years old should be calling anyone a cunt. Maybe that's just me being old fashioned, but it surprises me even now, even when the parents are as chavtastic as they get---and when they're not, when the parents come across as good people like mine and yet the kids are complete terrors. Times change, and these are the people who will inherit the earth, them and their inability to spell 'bothered' without at least two 'v's.

Speaking of which: Catherine Tate on Doctor Who. Fucking Hell she needs a good kicking and a lesson in manners. If people like her are the new media icons of the yoof, these proudly-ignorant loudmouths who aspire to mediocrity and so often miss, then no wonder the world's falling apart. Anyone up for bombing all these people? A thermite surprise anyone? Russel T. Davis is first, mark my words.

Another thing I got from my grandparents was a lesson in user-interface design. I'm still thinking it through, but it's to do with how the metaphor on screen maps to expectations and experiences. Conceptual maps and all that. The question is whether such thinking will pay off before the last generation to grow up without personal computers karks it. Knowing the way that HCI is ignored in favour of random code tricks, probably not.

I’m not listing loot. I don’t see the need, I got some nice things (shirts for work, f’rex), but I’ve also got cool things for myself, and cool things on our NotChristmas — chief among those some Dalek cufflinks. I have enough shirts that these are going to see a lot of use... but yeah. Apart from that, I got a lot of red wine. I’m my father’s son, it seems.

Speaking of NotChristmas, I roasted my first chicken today. Fuck, but it was perfect. I was sucking the meat off the bones. Served with roast potatoes and delicious gravy. I need to roast more meat. And do things with Yorkshire puddings.

In other news: Anyone want me to update the Transformers RPG hack for use with the World of Darkness system? I think I could do a better job of it, all told.



( 4 informants — We want information! )
Dec. 29th, 2006 02:55 am (UTC)
This might be a stoopid question but, was that fiction or my-life-as-novel? Either way, I liked it, particularly the observation of parasitic neighbourhoods. It's one of those things that seems blindingly obvious and true now that someone pointed it out, but I'd never have thought of in my life - mostly because I live in one. Sorry :D
Dec. 29th, 2006 02:23 pm (UTC)
It's life-as-novel, observed out of the window of a 10:25 to Doncaster.
Dec. 29th, 2006 07:23 pm (UTC)
Cool beans, as the kids say.
Dec. 29th, 2006 02:31 pm (UTC)
Catherine Tate seemed completely out of her depth in Dr Who; not sure whether to act it straight or go for one of her jokey (and slightly offensive) characters. Unfortunately, her forté is for one-dimensional, one-joke characters in short sketches, which absolutely falls flat when she has to keep up a character for an entire episode.

From the christmas special and the episode-which-must-not-be-named, I have to conclude that while RTD likes comedians, he has absolutely no idea how to use them in episodes of Dr Who. I'm not sure he should even try.

More generally: it's worth considering that while Ms Tate may be popular with the yoof, she is far from yoofful herself. And since her most famous character takes the piss royally, we can conclude that the aforementioned yoof at least know how to laugh at themselves, which is a good start.
( 4 informants — We want information! )



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