3 February 2014

Suburbia

It's easy to take things for granted. One of the reasons we bought our little house in the Sheffield suburbs was its location, Our children were never driven to school because both their primary and secondary schools are in easy walking distance. Also, a  four minute walk brings you to the useful local shops and services at Banner Cross.

What do we have? There's an Indian curry house, a Chinese takeaway, a traditional fish and chip shop, a jeweller's , the post office, a fruit and vegetable shop, two butchers, a pet shop, a dry cleaner, the newspaper and confectionery shop, a brand new Sainsburys "Local" store,  a florist, a shoe repairer, our local pub - "The Banner Cross Hotel", an Italian restaurant, two banks, three estate agents, a pharmacy and below you can see a shoe shop and "The Banner Crust" which offers excellent pies and sandwiches.
Outside the old bank on the corner - now another estate agency - we have what you might call "street furniture". They are ugly metal cabinets associated with telecommunications - especially mobile phone services. The pole you can see on the left  rises to about thirty feet - yet another ugly mobile phone transmitter. These things seem to be everywhere nowadays. As someone who doesn't possess a mobile phone, I feel particularly aggrieved by these unpleasant, functional additions to my environment. I had the idea of making stickers to put on each of them saying simply "Eyesore". Why can't they bury them or hide them in buildings and who is officially okaying their placement?
These pictures were taken on sunny Saturday morning. I walked home via Glenalmond Road which you can see below and there's another of those damned telecommunication cabinets to the right.
As I have plodded the land, I have seen many scenic villages and hamlets and beautiful houses in splendid rural isolation. My late brother Paul lived with his family three miles from anywhere - up a quiet country track in the west of Ireland and Robin lives in a similarly isolated location in southern France. But when I imagine living in such places, I also think about the services and convenience I'd be losing. There's a lot to be said for living in the suburbs of a city and maybe it's only when you break away that you fully appreciate what you have lost.

27 comments:

  1. To me, having bought this flat where I have been for 10 years now was the best decision I ever made (apart from marrying a Yorkshire Lad). Where I live, I have the best of both worlds: less than 10 minutes to the train stations, less than 10 minutes to Aldi, about 10-15 minutes (in different directions) to the centre of town, to my parents and to my sister's, and the same distance to the fields, where I love to go for a walk or a run. I don't drive, so this is the perfect place for me.
    Over here, you don't see telephone masts just like this on the road. They are usually on top of the highest buildings, which (sadly) we have quite a lot of around. Eyesores, nearly all of them.

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  2. You used the word "sadly" in brackets Arian. I must also apply it to this statement: We have to drive to "Aldi" (sadly). And yes, marrying a Yorkshire lad was a very wise move as Yorkshire lads are very sexy with their flatcaps and their whippets. We are also brimful of common sense.

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  3. You also have a hot pork sandwich shop or has it shut.
    Satellite dishes and wheelie bins are my pet hate. To be fair I am not a big fan of caravan sites either.

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    1. Adrian - "Banner Crust" is the re-modelled roast pork sandwich shop that you remember - once called "Stringers" and later "Sean's". If we are exchanging pet hates, I am not a big fan of status symbol fast cars with personalised number plates nor am I keen on Syrian dictators or governments that send young men to pointless deaths in Afghanistan.

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    2. I was trying to keep it on the light side.
      I love fast cars and bikes but would never use one or buy one for the public highways of our fair land.
      I agree the only reason we went to Afghanistan was to provide photo opportunities for royals and politicians. It is an immoral vanity project.

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  4. No one does suburbia as thoroughly as the US. On a trip to Belgium two years ago, our guide was astounded to learn that our town has only one bus per day, so basically there's no way to go anywhere without a car. As for walking, we are of the fortunate few who live close enough to walk to the center of town (if we don't mind hiking back up the lower portion of the small mountain we live on) but will be rewarded for our efforts by only a dry cleaner, a coffee shop, and a drug store (or chemist). Your town sounds lovely.

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    1. Americans who walk?No way! The idea is unthinkable. Your neighbours must think you are very weird when they see you walking into town. Beware the Klu Klux Clan!

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  5. Your area sounds as if it has everything that's necessary. I think places like that are often underrated - they're really good to live in.

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    1. I forgot to mention the excellent bus service into the city centre and the local methodist church - if you are into God and that kind of thing.

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  6. Very interesting... I feel a post about my suburb coming on. I hope others join in, it's always interesting to find out about the places where our blogging buddies live.

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    1. One of the butchers sells kangaroo burgers so you'd feel very much at home here Helen and for Tony there's a dance school just round the corner where he could practise his pirouettes to his heart's content.

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  7. You gave us a nice tour of your town. It's comfortable.

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    1. Well Red, I wouldn't want to mislead you. We live on the nice side of the city. The north and east of Sheffield are not so inviting - more earthy, perhaps (cough-cough) more "real". Earl Gray knows what I mean.

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    2. Ah the beauty of being able to afford to be left wing and egalitarian. So many are forced there by circumstance.

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    3. GB - for more than thirty years I taught in schools that serve disadvantaged areas - with all of the attendant challenges. Similarly my wife's health centre mostly serves a deprived community. There is no discrepancy.

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    4. GB, that is such a deep observation.

      Not that King YP needs any supporting, but I would rather teach in a disadvantaged school than a private school. I have had Brody in both systems, and I know where he got the better education. Despite their economic disadvantage these kids still come from mostly loving families who want the best for them. The kids are happy and respectful in spite of their disadvantage. This is just my experience and it probably deserves a blog post of its own :)

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    5. Carol - I look forward to reading that post but how do I get to your blog now that your "About Me" profile page doesn't show your current blog? The listing has vanished and I didn't save the link.

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    6. Just having a little holiday from blogging at the moment King Henry Number 1. You know I always turn up again ~ like a bad penny.

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    7. YP, you don't have monopoly on dealing with the disadvantaged. I have been in properties lived in by people I doubt the majority of those from the lower middle classes can even envisage and I have de-loused people as they came onto the hospital ward. Nor do you have the monopoly on having left-wing politics. However both you and I have the advantage of being able to see it and, in your case do something about it, from the comfort of not being deprived.

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  8. Got to agree with you. I live in rural West Cork. Went to Cork city yesterday and sighed at everything. Public transport, theatres, pavements, street lights, Kebab houses, second hand book shops..? The countryside is peaceful and beautiful but there's no social life. Don't think I could live in a city though.

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    1. Dave - I guess we get used to our environments and there comes a point when it is very difficult to change.

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  9. Yorky, pardon my ignorance, but who are you today? Which monarch are you?

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    1. Tonight Carol...I'm going to be King Henry I (1068-1135).

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    2. Thank you for that ~ I will research him to find out what he was famous for. Is he a favourite monarch of yours for some reason?

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    3. Yes but I don't want to say any more right now as I shall blog about him soon.

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  10. I think your bit of town looks great. I live in a very poor area with a bad reputation. I went to renew the gas and electricity card/key last week in our local shops (a parade of 4) to discover the newsagent next door had been mugged that morning, as I came out two people were having a row over someone elses drug debt (not that I stood still you understand, but it was loud), a dog shat on the pavement and it started to pour with rain. You take the rough with the smooth :)

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  11. I agree with you, location is very important for life - imagine those who choose (or end up) to commute 3 hours every day, or who need the car for every single little task. A completely different quality of life (in my opinion).

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Mr Pudding welcomes all genuine comments - even those with which he disagrees. However, puerile or abusive comments from anonymous contributors will continue to be given the short shrift they deserve. Any spam comments that get through Google/Blogger defences will also be quickly deleted.