8. Oct, 2017


Ever wondered what it must be like to wander the streets and walk through shops totally unseen by the madding crowd?

I know, as I have been recently finding out or at least as near as.

Remember that we live in a small Norfolk market town with a population of c.2,500 and that I taught in its only High School for 20 years.

This morning I walked to, shopped in and returned from a busy Tesco without seeing a single person I knew or who knew me. The only exchange of conversation was with the lady on the checkout who wished me a good day.

I did not hear a single Norfolk accent, instead I was submerged in that strange Essex manner of talking whereby the emphasis is raised on the last syllable of the last word in a sentence. This is most common in young women, mainly I suspect, school “B” streamers who write the letter “I” with a circle on top rather than just a dot, and who have watched too many third rate Australian soaps. This affectation seems to have spread to the point of my recently hearing a Yorkshire lass applying it to deepest Bradfordese.

Children and grandchildren of ex-students? No way, as so few can afford houses in the area. So many have had to move out to be replaced by north London/south Essex retirees, who having sold their metropolitan properties at a price that enables them to look upon a McCarthy and Stone one bed roomed flat as a snip.

I have thus become an aging ghost but as compensation in walking and observing  unseen can clearly see that “vanitas vanitatum omnia vanitas” is true...Vanity of vanities, all is vanity.