Today, the Cheaper Half and I got our navigator pants on and decided to take a long stroll past the back of the new Inches Estate but to the right this time where the town seems to be growing. It was like another ruddy dimension. So much had changed. The old Mental Hospital and grounds was now a play park like no other I've seen. In comparison to the paltry provisions in the park right next to our house, it was like Neverland. And I wasn't happy. My kids may be too old for swings and things now, but I certainly ain't! The accompanying grass in this spanking new area was shorn to perfection, our park gets cut once a month if we're lucky - and the cuttings are left for the winds to deal with. They have doggy-doo bins scattered every 50 feet around the park, whereas the burn round our park tends to get doggy-doo bags scattered in it, as we have only one.
Yes, there is a new school and new flats built in that 'spanking' new area now (with balconies - the bastards!!) and plans for a 'spanking' new community centre but my gripe is with the council. Our council tax gets calculated by our income and therefore some pay a bit more than others by their means. Now, I'm no great political campaigner (boooring!) but that shouldn't mean that council better built recreations are there for the convenience of the upper class. Sure, you want your kids playing locally, but with the same consideration regardless of status. I live in a prewar ex-council house, and despite a 'newish' housing scheme next to us, the surrounding streets are inhabited by every day folk. The kind who rally round. Who help each other out in crisis. Who take each other's washing in in rainy weather. Who run into off-licences and see how much they can drink before the police arrive. Who don't give a shit about the Joneses.
It kind of bugs me that people who share the same libraries, transport, supermarkets, pavements and breathing air don't get the same regard. Twenty years ago our area councillor (God rest your soul, old Jim) fought to upgrade the park for our kiddies to no avail and lo and behold, the second the last brick of the newer houses went up so did the upgrade to the park.
On my next walk, it wouldn't surprise me if there was golden plated trimmings round the dog shit bins, and a spray of air freshener released with every bag popped in. Meanwhile, we locals round here will still take turns to pick up the chip papers and odd bottles kindly donated by the Inches Estate piss-heads on their weekend walks back to their 'stately' homes.