Archive for the ‘council housing’ Category

Little Chav Brats

January 4, 2009

 Little Chav Brats

I bought my mother an electronic photo frame for Christmas. She unearthed an avalanche of old photographs. The photo above depicts my brother and I, aged nine and three, in the garden of our grandparents’ council house.  The neighbourhood consisted of  ‘streets of ugly 1930s red-brick semis‘.  And no, it’s not in Dewsbury.  They were however similar to the house that my parents spent most of their working lives struggling to buy.  Oh, Mrs Thatcher, you never told us that in your utopia, in your ‘home owning democracy’, you would still be despised if you didn’t own the ‘right’ kind of house. Respectable working class people.  Respectable but most certainly never respected.  Thou shalt not suffer little chav brats to live.

Just an afterthought: the Catholic working classes deter their brats from promiscuity by telling them that God is watching and, if he sees them behaving inappropriately, they’ll roast in the fires of hell for eternity.  Of course, in the long term, this tactic results in some seriously fucked up people but, in the short term, it is highly effective.

Say it loud and say it proud: ich bin ein untermensch.

Finally, oops there goes the neighbourhood.

P.S.  The times they are a changing: illustrated here and here.

Oh Dear

July 26, 2007

Page 171:

‘I always know I’m in a council property because:

a) They have a kind of fuggy, overpowering warmth that you only get if you’re not paying the heating bill; and
b) there’s always a massive plasma TV in the corner of the room with SKY+ always on’

Of course, it’s a well known fact that all council tenants are clones of one another and so are their houses, unlike the sophisticated middle Englanders PC Copperfield seems to identify with and respect. A full review of PC Copperfield’s (PC? Haven’t you made it to sergeant yet?) little effort will grace these pages soon.

Verdict so far: Theodore Dalrymple without the extensive vocabulary.

Software of the Week: Artrage.

Online To Do list of the Week: Remember the Milk

Also check out 37 Signals Tada

Breaking News: BellaCat is unwell. The vet will make a home visiit tomorrow. I dread losing her – she is 17. Old for a cat but too young for me. And still no news about my father only that he is in a hospital bed hooked up to tubes having lost a quarter of his body weight. He is 62. Still young in the eyes of many. Something or someone has unleashed the fury of a tropical storm.

I feel compelled to add that this cast is not listed in order of importance but rather in order of appearance.

Mad Neighbours – Part II

March 29, 2005

Haven’t updated in a couple of days and for once I have a wonderful excuse.

As I was writing Saturday night’s post the woman upstairs (who from now on will be known as Little Miss Pyromaniac) was unleashing chaos. There I was, typing away, listening to REM through ear-phones, in my own little world, industrial head-phones clamped over my ears (to block out my wonderful neighbour’s music) when I smelt something burning. I leapt off the bed and ran to the door. On the landing I was confronted by what I thought was an apparition – a fireman standing before me. Then I looked up and saw flames billowing out of the bedroom window of my upstairs neighbour.

My first reaction was fury. ‘She’s done it again. I told them this would happen*’

‘Yes, well we can deal with this later. Now, is there anyone in there with you?’

‘My cat,’ I said. And then, ‘Oh my God, I think she’s got children up there. And her brother…’

‘Yes, we know. We’re dealing with it.’

I went back into my flat, scooped Bella up and stuffed her into her basket, gathered a few essential belongings (diary, kittyputer, folder of poems.). ‘Aren’t you going to put some shoes on?’ asked the fireman. I shook my head. Little did he know he was talking to a woman who, as a child, had deliberately walked barefoot in the snow, to test her own endurance. No, my feet are tough. I am not afraid of cold ground but what I am is a pyrophobe (one of the few perfectly reasonable phobias, in my oh so humble opinion.)

As we reached the bottom of the staircase the bedroom window exploded outwards and shards of glass and sparks tumbled to the ground. I let out an involuntary scream and the fireman told me not to worry. I felt like saying, ‘It’s all right for you with your fire-proof clothing. I am not similarly protected.’ And I dread to think how poor Bella must have been feeling, trapped in her basket with no idea of what was happening.

And the thought running through my head was, No one could possibly have lived through that.

The neighbours were all out, staring upwards. I think they’d been evacuated. The fireman told me to go and sit on the bench opposite but I didn’t. I sought sanctuary where I always seek it. At Doug’s.

I hovered around his door for a while to make sure he was still up. I think he was in bed reading. I called out and knocked the door lightly. As soon as he appeared I said, ‘She’s done it again.’

Doug was bewildered, ‘Who? Who’s done what again?’

He invited me in. I led him to the window and showed him the three fire engines with their flashing blue lights. He invited me to sit down and did what people always seem to do in these situations – he made me a cup of tea. I sank down into one of his armchairs, my head in my hands. ‘She’s destroyed it all, Doug. Herself, everything. Why? Why would she do such a thing?’

Then there was a knock at the door. It was Jill, a representative of the residents’ committee, a bubbly, bouncy (in more ways than one) young woman who arrived in these flats in very much the same circumstances as me – i.e: as a result of mental health problems. She lightened the atmosphere. Doug popped out every now and then to check upon progress. The woman was rescued by firefighters. Her children, apparently, are elsewhere.

After Jill had gone Doug and I went into my flat to assess the damage. Most of it was water damage – confined to the bedroom. That will be covered by insurance.

I spent the night on Doug’s sofa. Bella tried to take over the place. Freddi, curious at the presence of another animal in the house, approached Bella who shrieked at her and scratched the poor dog’s nose. Naturally, I scolded Bella for abusing Freddi’s hospitality.

I was tense and anxious and could not sleep.

I left at 7 am, Sunday morning.

(To be Continued…)


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