Sunday, 30 November 2008

All Mod Cons

I moved into my obsolete terrace house in Liverpool, which I rent, on Friday 28th November. You can imagine my surprise when I walked into the kitchen of my obsolete terrace house (which is unsuitable for modern living) to be confronted by a SMEG fridge freezer and a SMEG cooker. On opening what I thought were cupboard doors, I was even more amazed to discover a dishwasher. Actually, that was a bit of a shame because I don't like dishwashers - they always seemed to me to be a sign of decadence. I actually quite like washing dishes. It provides time for thinking and trying to understand things. Perhaps the architects of HMR have dishwashers.

I should make it clear, here, that when I refer to the 'architects' of HMR I do not simply mean that self-proclaimed designers and chief apologists for the policy, that originally came from within the academy. I also mean the elites that devise HMR programmes at local levels, to rid large parts of the dwellingscapes of their towns and cities of terrace dwellings so that 'exciting' dwellings can be erected in their place. That said, I will soon be writing to Pauline Davies to tell her that I have moved back to Liverpool to live in the type of terrace house that she thinks are unsuitable for the likes of nice middle class people like me.

So, there you have it. My first impression of my obsolete terrace house was quite surprising. Perhaps even more surprising was that a working class man - probably in his late 50s or early 60s - was standing in the street as I was moving my things into my obsolete terrace house. I was wary of this working class man, of course. And all of my fears were confirmed when the working class man said 'hello' and tried to engage me in a friendly conversation. Thus all of my fears about the dysfunctionality of the neighbourhood were confirmed before I had even moved in: someone had talked to me in a friendly way. This never happened to me when I lived in an middle class suburb in Oxford. The main memory I have from there is of an awful woman who barely spoke (she was far too posh to speak to me) and who stole kids' footballs that found their way into her garden.

In summary, then. My first impressions are that my obsolete terrace house is unsuitable for modern living (you only have to look at the contents of the kitchen to work that one out) and the neighbourhood is completely dysfunctional (re. the scary neighbour that says 'hello'). My initial recommendation would be: kick me out of my obsolete terrace house and knock it down.

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