Com­plaints about coun­cil on the trail of a crum­pet

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Cash-strapped Commuters -

Ihave long con­sid­ered my­self to be some­thing of a crum­pet con­nois­seur. I find that Ash­ford, alas, has lit­tle to of­fer a chap as dis­crim­i­nat­ing as I. Some are too doughy, some too sweet, some even leath­ery. But when the in­ner man be­comes des­per­ate, a tour of the lo­cal su­per­mar­kets has to be un­der­taken and, re­gret­tably, sec­ond best ac­cepted.

It was on such a foray re­cently that I found my­self pad­ding along the aisles be­hind a chunky fe­male of ma­ture years. She was wear­ing a top with a low-slung back. The gar­ment re­vealed what ap­peared to be a tat­tooed fac­sim­ile of her fam­ily tree. Un­able to squeeze past, I eaves­dropped on the con­ver­sa­tion she was having with a friend whose build would, I ven­ture, be un­likely to pro­mote her a ca­reer as a lap-dancer. Had the two ladies been slighter in build and lower in testos­terone, I might have re­mon­strated with them. As it was, dis­cre­tion swamped any faint idea I might have had of val­our.

Atyp­i­cally for Ash­ford res­i­dents, they were com­plain­ing about our car­ing coun­cil. They held forth about the per­ceived in­ad­e­quacy of the town cen­tre. ‘But there have,’ I mut­tered to my­self, ‘been im­prove­ments, even though the met­al­work is painted black’.

“And as for them weeds ... walk­ing down our road, you might as well be go­ing through the

‘As a staunch de­fender of the coun­cil and all its works, my hack­les rose’

jun­gle,” said one.

As a staunch de­fender of the coun­cil and all its works, my hack­les rose at this. ‘How else are the coun­cil­lors to spec­u­late on the cre­ation of denser pop­u­la­tion and ex­pand their small em­pires if they can’t raise the money now by get­ting rid of a few hedge and verge trim­mers? Surely this is what is now­days known as a no-brainer.’

Per­son­ally, I’m all in favour of a touch of ver­dancy; thriv­ing hedgerows and bur­geon­ing verges are Mother Na­ture’s way of as­sert­ing that, in spite of all the ur­ban­i­sa­tion im­posed upon her, Ash­ford is still cen­tre of the Gar­den of Eng­land; fer­til­ity and fe­cun­dity abound here. Apart from which, con­ser­va­tion­ists have long de­cried the de­struc­tion of wildlife habi­tats. Well, here is proof that Ash­ford is in the van­guard when it comes to pro­vid­ing com­fort­ing en­vi­ron­ments for ro­den­tia and lepidoptera.

But, to re­turn to the far more im­por­tant mat­ter of crumpets; I even­tu­ally found a few pack­ets tucked away on a bot­tom shelf and bore one to the check­out. Its con­tents proved to be both over­sweet and leath­ery.

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