Saturday, 5 July 2008

Honiton. 4th July 2008.

A good indicator of how boring it is to live in a particular town is the level of local interest in body modification. It's a bit like at my primary school where some kids used to alleviate the tedium by poking the points of compasses through the skin of their hands. As I walked from the station, everybody I saw under the age of thirty had half a scrap-yard hanging from their faces. If the local police ever encounter crowd-control problems with disorderly youth they won’t need to invest in Tasers; a strong magnet should do the trick.
Honiton is one of those towns that make you wonder how and why towns form. I’ve got vague memories of what we were taught at school about rivers and trade routes etc, but that doesn’t explain how towns survive after they’ve outlived any apparent function. It’s as if populations agglomerate around certain locations, like fluff round a forgotten boiled sweet in a jacket pocket.
People get romantic about small independent businesses but the ones in Honiton seemed to have either given up or they were too smug to be bothered. A lot of them were closed by five in the evening. A few actually had dead flies in the window. To hear some people you’d imagine there was something heroic about a business staying small, but I suspected some of these places would have loved to rise to world domination but just couldn’t get the hang of it.