Witchful Thinking.

As Halloween is approaching in the coming week, I am dreading the swarm of children and greedy teenagers that will inevitably be knocking on my door. With the exception of living in my family home many years ago, I have never personally received any trick or treaters. Previously, I was very comfortable to forget Halloween even existed behind my flat door, and by another external door just to be safe.

I have a very bah humbug attitude towards Halloween, if you had not guessed. I was not allowed to trick or treat as a child because my mother said it was like begging. This was also coupled with it being dark and dangerous to knock on strangers’ doors. All this bundled together with my paranoia that someone might give me some kind poisonous concoction in a wrapper, lead to my dislike for Halloween. DH was not allowed to trick or treat either, so there are no qualms in this household about whether DS will be permitted.

Lets be honest, if it was hardly safe to knock on random doors when I was a child, it certainly isn’t now. No longer is it about supervising small children around your friendly neighbourhood, unless you live in a small middle class village where a special selection of Mr Simms is thrusted to you, along with a homemade toffee apple.

I remember one year when I was younger, we had the same group of thirteen to eighteen year olds knocking on the same doors repeatedly on my road. They would swap masks, as if we couldn’t tell the difference, and smirked as they walked away with more ‘goodies’. Assuming they were the local chavs, we were too frightened of getting a brick thrown at our window, so we would give them a little something each time. You see, we saved our out-of-date chocolates and crisps specifically for this type of rapscallion.

Hopefully this year in my little house I can avoid all of the above. I don’t think having people pointlessly knocking on my door throughout the night will bode well with a sleeping DS, and inevitably, it will be pointless because I have nothing to give them. I plan on making a sign and placing it strategically on my door to ward off the little tykes. I will let you know how it goes…


Your Revolution is a Joke.

I remember a few months ago watching Aljazeera news with a slice of toast, observing the riots spread across Syria, Egypt, Jordan and many other African countries, unaware and unfazed; it was not that I did not care, but as an outsider watching events unfold felt very surreal. I turned to DH and said, “I can’t imagine this would ever happen in this country, the British just moan and move on”.

Make sure you stock up on that basmati rice; not that you understand Mr Prole, but as you loot, the market is crashing. This will probably cost more in the future.

Of course the riots over the past few days in London are nothing by comparison, they are malicious, unmotivated and undoubtedly disgraceful. Watching the news this time was not a surreal experience, it was very real, it was 40 odd miles away. I have been obsessively checking various newspaper websites, Facebook and BBC News 24 is continuously in the background to ensure I do not miss out on anything significant. I spent the majority of yesterday in a constant state of panic as DH insisted on going to work. Luckily I was just paranoid and nothing actually happened, I would hate to be proved right.

These teens from deprived areas of London speak of ‘fighting back’ against the government and the ‘rich’, however there is no substance in their cause. They are children and do not fully understand why they are angry, blaming others for their despicable behaviour and joining in with their fellow criminal chums. Although increasing police numbers on the street last night proved a success in London, I fear as we move into next week and the streets are left unsupervised, hell will break loose again. These children have the idea planted in their heads after the Tottenham incident, but why do they think it is now acceptable to burn down buildings and terrorise local residents? Nothing has changed, this could have been done last week, last month, last year.

We all live by a mutual agreement set by society and its norms. I do not burn cars, steal or create social disorder because by being a part of this society I have agreed not to. There is nothing physically stopping me from doing these things but I understand right from wrong. The problem we have with these degenerates, is that they live in a society that does not encourage these norms. Written across the television last night the BBC advised parents to keep their children at home; what makes you think the parents are not cheering them on? These children behave in this way because of their upbringing and their surroundings. Who better to teach them the tricks of the trade than their beloved parents.

I am angered, upset and disgusted by the events in London, which have spread like a pandemic all over the country. These youths have no understanding of the consequences of their actions, nor do they care. They cannot be fully blamed because they have been conditioned to behave this way, however this is no justification. If we did not have such a corrupt government, I would probably support Marx’s idea to remove parental responsibility and allow children to be raised by the state. Maybe we should just enforce this on the proletariat, the rest of us are doing okay.

Get outta this town.

Westgate Gardens, Canterbury.

So this is it. My days of living in the beautiful town that is Canterbury has come to an end. No more living in an apartment within the city walls, strolling two minutes to, what could be, an outdoor Bluewater. No more trips to the charming Westgate Gardens with a canal running through it or the Dane John with a little maze DS loves. Pushing my devastation aside, I guess I should take consolation in being here for 37.5 hours a week. Even if I am trapped in the centre of a glass building, where ironically, there is no natural light.

Moving back to Gravesend was not the end goal, but to fill the gap in the interim period between university and finding our feet. Let’s face it, it is not the most picturesque town and the people who occupy it are not the friendliest. It is a town people live in to be closer to London and its’ surrounding towns; you choose to live there so it is easier to escape. The remaining population who are not commuters, probably live in the many lovely council estates.

High speed exit out of Gravesend - 25 minutes to St Pancras International.

Generally in Gravesend, the chavs you see roaming the streets are seeking that extra 10p for a packet of fags, to then threateningly ask you to buy it for them. There is no politeness in their requests, cutting straight to the point and inciting fear in the process. In Canterbury, there are less chavs, or at least they are hidden. We mainly house the drunks and homeless in our underpasses, where they busk for money and thank you in return for your change. A couple of years ago when I was pregnant a homeless man asked me for change, but upon noticing my protruding belly, he backtracked and apologised for asking. In Gravesend I would have most probably be singled out as an easy target and mugged.

It is when you fight your way through the cloud of smoke on the High Street in Gravesend, you get the sense that no one wants to be there. The occupants are either in a rush to be somewhere else or just loitering to pass the time. In Canterbury passerbys smile at you and you smile back, in mutual recognition of how happy we both are to be here. I am not being cheesey, just pointing out facts; Residents, tourists and students alike choose to be in this town. Gravesend does not have tourists, nor do they have willing students.

I have lived in Gravesend for the majority of my years so I feel I have a fair judgment. It is pretty dire place to grow up in as a teenager and I fear it has not changed in the slightest.

Writings on the wall.

Do not get the wrong idea, I do not condone vandalism of any sort. Although I do love how the graffiti in Canterbury are of a much higher calibre than the ones found in Gravesend. They attempt to be thought-provoking with some kind of message, as opposed to a ‘cool’ pseudonym in an effort to conceal their real name but still maintaining their street cred. The graffiti does not necessarily make sense or actually hold any weight in the intellectual realm, but that is irrelevant. At least it tries to have an agenda.