Wednesday, January 13, 2010

On accidentally destroying Poundbury TO DEATH

On accidentally destroying Poundbury TO DEATH

I've written a number of times on the unusually warm climate we have in Weymouth.

People who have studied actual SCIENCE (and face it, what do they know?) put this down to the town's geography, making it sheltered from the worst of the weather, and separated from the outside world by the chalky downs of the Ridgeway Hill. While the rest of the world gets rain and misery, we get nothing but sun-sun-sun.

However, and as any reader of Neil Gaiman will tell you, the true reason for Weymouth's spectacularly warm climate is the simple fact that you never, ever see last year's Carnival Queen, while council officials keep the town's ceremonial sword suspiciously clean in the wake of the annual borough all-meat, no-questions-asked barbecue.

This was especially apparent this morning as I drove out of the People's Republic of Weymouth and Portland for the grim wastes of the North (for eg: Anything past Dorchester).

As I drove through the town, the sun had its hat on, waves lapped playfully on the shore, and I dare say posh kids were already rustling up a ginger beer picnic (not rhyming sling in any way, at all) for a jolly fine day out. I dare say, had I the car window open, I would have heard the birds singing in the trees, boughs forever weighed down by the freshest of fruit that one can merely pluck as you saunter past.

Yet as I reached the peak of Ridgeway Hill, the sky turned as black as night, cloud filled the horizon and all manner of rain, sleet and snow hammered against the windscreen as I struggled to maintain control in the buffeting wind.

As the clear skies of home disappeared in my rear-view mirror, I battled downwards toward Prince Charles's model town of Poundbury, its domes and spires lit by forks of lightning, before they are lost again in the deluge.

Then, rocking me to the very core, a voice:

"Choose! Gozer the Gozerian demands that you choose the manner of your destruction! CHOOSE!"

And – believe me – I tried. I tried to clear my head and think only of a giant marshmallow man. But I failed. Failed dismally.

So, if you live in Poundbury, I'm sorry.

I'm sorry about the 300-foot Kirstie Allsopp.

I'm sorry that she ripped the roof off the fire station and used the burning shell as a makeshift paddling pool full of baby oil.

I'm sorry about all the death, destruction, mud wrestling and that.

I'm sorry about the unfortunate demise of HRH Prince Charles and his horse.

I'm sorry about all that stuff.

We'll all sit down and laugh about it one day.


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