What do you worry about? It might be work, or fire, or getting to interviews on time. Or it could be food going off or handbrakes being left off, or trains leaving before you get there, or not having the right change to park (yes, there are still cash-only meters).
I wrote a few lines about the things that might keep you awake in the wee hours. Natural Born Worrier.
Natural Born Worrier. I wake up sweating it’s half past four/There’s a creak upon the landing floor/I start another day of worry/There’s things to do I have to hurry/I’ll be stuck in endless traffic jams/I’ll lose my savings in online scams/What if I’m a victim of road rage/Or I’m called to sing upon a stage/ The hob’s on fire, the door’s unlocked/I’ll drop my wallet and the sink is blocked/Doctor, what’s that constant throbbing pain/What platform please for the London train?/My wheelie bin’s not out on time/Statistics say I’ll suffer crime/I’m worrying someone’s come to harm/And I’ll forget the morning clock alarm/I’ll get boxed in and I hate reversing/I’ll be picked for the play and I hate rehearsing/And buying stuff for birthdays, weddings/The wrong toaster, the wrong bedding/I’ll trip headlong in my new sandals/I’ll catch Covid from shop door handles/I’ll fail to parallel park the car/I’ll go and choose that cross-threaded jam jar/I’ll choose the jigsaw with a missing piece/I’ll be late for coffee with Denise/I want black dye, I’ll end up with blue rinse/ I’ll get emails from a Nigerian prince/I’ll transfer dollars and they’ll let him go/He’ll disappear with his Picasso/I’ll forget my name in interview/I’ll catch a train for Brum and I’ll end up in Crewe/The ham is off, but the handbrake’s on/I’ll lose my place, my money’s gone/They tell me I’ve got to sort it out/But if I did what would I worry about?
I’ve written before that about the huge amount of housebuilding going on. We clearly have shortages, but in Stafford the majority of the building takes place on greenfield sites. Hedgerows and trees have been cleared, despite there being an abundance of brownfield, former industrial sites, available across the county.
I wouldn’t want to begrudge anyone a home and I hope the building does something to arrest the ridiculous and escalating cost of housing. However, there are former steelworks and warehouses and factories lying empty right across this county. Perhaps they are just too expensive or toxic to clean up. Perhaps people want to live where Shire horses once trod and farmers ploughed, rather than where factory workers took fag breaks.
It has been observed that these greenfield estates are often named after the things that are uprooted and destroyed to make way for them. A sad triumph of marketing over reality.
The need and desire is often understandable – although the four cars per house and ripping up of turf isn’t – but there is a sadness. And so, Dormouse Street.
First of all, apologies for the video quality but when the sun went in it kept me in silhouette and I prefer to see less of me.
This is a poem called Turf Wars. It’s about the modern tendency to rip up grass, either to park cars or avoid mowing. Sometimes it’s necessary or understandable but it’s happening too often. Or at least you’d feel that way if you were a bee or butterfly.
Anyway, a few thoughts…
A Turf War’s going on out there/The bees are lost the worms are scared/The blackbirds starve because some berk/Ripped up his turf to park his Merc/He put in plastic gravel slate/Some cameras on his garden gate/He’s never seen a thrush or crow/He never misses Ocado/We want to build more potting sheds/We want to dig more flower beds/We want to replace slabs with turf/ Dig up the gravel and dump some earth/Grow sunflowers that reach the skies/To fill our streets with butterflies/Grass soaks up rain so we don’t flood/It feeds our insects and binds the mud/It’s between our toes when we play/And above us when we end our days/The secret it’s really not hard/It’s time to care for our own backyard
Just over the back from us there was a guy who lost his job and spent all his money on a Cadillac. He’d ride along getting envious glances masquerading as concern at his profligacy. I don’t think he cared. He had a mock US number plate and a horn that played Dixie.
Even as a child I could see the pleasure that car gave him and the escape from reality and troubles as the air rushed through that Elvis quiff.
He was on the A34 not Route 66 and the only diner was a Little Chef near Barlaston. But he was happy.