I am on the train *shock* and was going to carry on reading ‘The Power of Now’, but a conversation on the platform this morning prompted me to write this, after colouring my face in.
Portsmouth are playing in the FA Cup Final on Saturday. One of the guys this morning said there was going to be a screen up on the common for all the plebs that can’t get to London to watch it. I was going to go shopping as Dan is playing cricket on the Isle of Wight, but now I think I’ll hibernate in the flat instead. Being surrounded by pubs all of them will be showing it, all of them will have 100s of drunk me yelling ‘Pompey, play up. Play up Pompey’ and other such hard thought out chants.
Having had to chase Southern Trains yesterday as I hadn’t received a response to the letter highlighting the verbal abuse I had hurled at me on one of their trains about a month ago, Steve was not wrong when he pointed out that there ‘Wasn’t a lot of local spirit in me’
Let me tell you why, aside from that I only moved to Portsmouth to live with Dan, it’s further away from work, the trains aren’t great to get me to London in the first place, but that is a whole other blog. I like living by the sea again, but that’s where this ends. The town centre is rife with pound and discount shops, dodgy market sellers who won’t let you select your own produce, or sell things that are either sh!te or look like they’re stolen. The faint whiff of cheap, dirty cooking oil covers the city. Tesco is full of people rustling through in either shell suits causing a fire hazard if they all moved at once, or belly’s hanging over jeans, football shirts straining at the seams or their arses hanging out the back of their jeans with the boxer shorts placed ‘just so’artfully on display. Women walk past with straightened and peroxided into fluff hair, with perma orange tans yelling at their children to ‘shut the f*** up’, wearing too little clothes, so fat bulges out all over the place.
We now shop at Waitrose, we tried Sainsbury’s but there was nothing in their when we visited them in the evening, so gave up. They also had neanderthals on the deli counter (where we buy our cold meat from), that couldn’t add up to 10 even with all their fingers out. But even then, if you happen to wander into Waitrose on a Saturday morning, you get shoved out the way by old women who clutter up the aisles with tartan shopping trolleys and just stop right in front of you. I have nothing against elderly people, but I cannot wait until I am retired so I DON’T have to shop on a sodding Saturday.
Going shopping in the city centre is also pure hell, customer service is nil as you have interrupted their conversations by taking your shopping to the counter – I mean, how dare I? in a shop?! Town or Gunwharf is also full of teenagers behaving like idiots, ‘Innit!’ ‘Charmaine did this the little slapper, I’m gonna have her, I am’ or shrieking like banshees. I am also fed up of not being able to find anything to wear to work, as I am not in the Chav demographic the shops are aiming for.
You can’t drive on or off the island without getting stuck in traffic, because there are only 3 roads available, if one has a prang on it the whole place gets gridlocked. You need to leave for a day out really early, even if you don’t want to, just to get out the city.
We have a gaggle of teenage boys racing around on scooters, with as much oomph in them as a two stroke lawnmower, haring around between cars flicking v-signs at you if you come too near, although they forget we are surrounded by metal and infinitely better protected, and now summer is here in wearing just shorts, t-shirts and flip flops. Having seen a teenager coming off a bike onto gravel when in operating theatres at college, and what was left of his skin – I should feel more sympathetic to one of them should they come off, but I don’t. They’re arrogant enough to think they are invincible, let them be a kidney donor to someone who would appreciate their organs.
I’m fed up of living near the ‘fairground’, about 8 rides total, again cheap old fat wafts into our flat and we can hear the faxu shrieks and shitty carnie music. When we walk through there we raise the general IQ by about 50 points, but this time we are greeted by men covered in tattoos, thinking their huge pot-bellies are sex objects, with women with as many tattoos in bikini tops, adidas shorts, cigarettes hanging from their mouths. Again talking like half the alphabet is missing from their vocabulary.
I hate that there are only a few independent restaurants in the whole town, we are surrounded by all the burger and chips chains like TGI Friday’s cluttering up the city. Krispy Kreme has branches all over the place too, surely Portsmouth people are fat enough?
I hate that pretty much any spare wall has a graffiti slogan sprayed onto it, a decoration of the nation. Or just general ignorance to other people’s property, but if you ask someone to turn their iPod down you get a volley of abuse ‘Coz it’s mine innit?’
I hate that although Dan has worked harder than most people at the cricket club, he is still seen as an outsider, by trying to change the club for the better while they are not recognizing they are losing money hand over fist, and asking people to pay their memberships and match fees isn’t that obscure, out of the ordinary or bad practice. United Services, and don’t we all know that the majority of people there are either in the Navy, or were in the Navy, ‘I’m a military man!’ this by someone who now works as an estate agent or similar vapid vocation, can’t be bothered to turn up for practice or matches, couldn’t organise a party in a brewery – but still expects preferential treatment when he graces us with his presence, and spends most of the time when he is supposed to be playing, watching horse racing and betting on anything that moves.
I love Dan, I like our flat, I like where it is located (most of the time), we can smell the sea from the windows, except when the ferries and fast cats to the Isle of Wight go past belching black smoke that is.
So no there isn’t much local spirit. I’ve been nomadic for 8 years and cannot wait to settle in a city and put down roots where the whole ethos of the country is if you work hard, you will be rewarded. Not like in the UK where people expect things to be given to them as of right. I know this isn’t just typical of Portsmouth, it’s all over the bluddy country, I just have the bad misfortune of living here. It’s also not very enlightened, or very ‘Eckhart Tolle’ – but I feel better for getting it off my chest.