Visits to family brought home our town’s failings
It’s a sense of style that’s lacking. Where’s the polish? Where’s the pzazz? Last week, Mrs B and I visited Norwich and Bristol to see a couple of our children (well adults, actually) and some grandchildren.
We also looked around the two cities and a couple of other places besides.
The most notable feature of the places we visited was evidence of their sense of individuality and creative style which showed through corporate and individual enterprise. (As I was writing these words, the Ashford-born spy and author Frederick Forsythe was appearing on the Breakfast programme on BBC television. ‘I grew up in a one horse town in Kent where nothing ever happens...’ he said).
That’s a pretty sad indictment of the town we live in and love. Sadly, it’s pretty largely true (the Create Festival and the North Park Festival being the two notable exceptions).
We, if for once things go according to council predictions, are due to have a whole lot of new buildings on what was once the site of a large and popular market across the road from Debenhams (least said about that the better, I suppose).
As one of the households close by, Mrs B and I received something called a Notification of Application for Full Planning Permission for the former site of Ashford Market.
Sadly, the proposal was marred by an elementary grammatical error of the kind that is only made by individuals wishing (mistakenly) to appear more erudite than they are.
It begins; ‘Mixed use development comprising OF restaurants...’
The first time I made such a howler, my English teacher called me ‘a pretentious twerp’ and ordered me write out many times a lengthy sentence (which I cannot now call to mind) defining the difference between ‘composed of’ and ‘comprising’ – pointing out the proper and improper placement of the adverb.
Let us hope that the standard of building will outshine the standard of literacy.
I was extremely disappointed to learn that our MP, Damian Green, had voted against what is popularly called the ‘Euthanasia Bill’.
While I cannot fully endorse the widely expressed wish that all who voted against should die a slow and agonising death, it does give some food for thought.
‘Let us hope that the standard of building will outshine the standard of literacy’