Today has been a write-off, mostly because I'm too uncomfortable to concentrate - and I'm now covered in prescription creams so that I can get some sleep later - they have made my eyes swell so I'm squinting. I don't like the smell either. Hopefully, I'll feel better tomorrow.
I just watched the 2nd half of a program called 'Secret History of our Street' - focusing on Portland Road in Notting Hill. It was depressing, but a revelation. I do wonder about people, I honestly don't really think they have any sense of self - I'm sure that many of the people interviewed on the show thought they came across really well - but actually... they came across as monsters.
I never really liked Notting Hill and hardly ever went there. I had friends who were obsessive about it and insisted on living there and paid what I always thought of as far too much money for tiny flats. One friend spent £70 on an 'apartment' in a large house that was essentially a medium sized room with a wooden platform over the door that concealed a mattress. This is about 1997. I knew someone else who owned a small house with a very nice garden - she's 'earned' it in a divorce. Like many people then, she would go on holiday during the Carnival and didn't really want to know her neighbours. she was keen on the place 'coming up'.
The basic premise of the program was that Portland Road was a metaphor for how London has become a playground for the rich and the arrogant. Conveniently there is a section of Portland Road that still has social housing, some of the poorest 5% of Londoners rubbing shoulders with the richest. Quite a lot of screen time was given over to a youngish couple of substantial means and limitless arrogance who lived is such a bubble of self love and delusion that there were times when I wanted to turn off, but morbid fascination kept me watching The husband seemed manageable - the wife was a monster. I've never understood why people feel the need to be 'better' than everyone else. I can understand achievement and aspiration - and building your own life, improving on your lot and doing better than your parents - perhaps it's a British thing. There was a curious section where they spoke to a middle-aged (actually - they were probably in their 40's ) Russian couple who spoke no English, clearly obscenely wealthy and looking to purchase a multi-million pound house. The wife was what my mother would have called 'gauche'. She was wearing clothes that were too dressy, to pink, too young and flirty for her age and figure and was made up to look almost like a doll - with Childish ringlets. She seemed like a perfectly nice woman, he seemed like a perfectly nice bloke in an expensive but fashionable suit. I can 100% guarantee the that their new neighbours would look down on them. In particular the 'monster' wife who probably thought of herself as young, hip, sophisticated, beautiful and 'better' She kept referring to herself as 'bohemian' - but seeing the inside of her very expensive but very dull house - she clearly didn't have an artistic bone in her body. Sadly for her - I expect the Russians could probably buy her with small change.
Quite a few articles in the press today abut people paving over their gardens for parking. One of my biggest irritations - eventually, there will be no green left on our street.