Every city, every town, has them. And if the planners and developers get their way, every village will too one day. Once you venture outside the ‘historic’ centre, meaning the bit that’s more than, say, a hundred and fifty years old, there are streets and stretches of Victorian terraces or Thirties semis or modern housing estates.
Some graffiti appeared near my home recently and it struck me that they were of a kind I hadn’t seen for a while. Almost the next thought that came to me, an act of off-the-cuff classification, was that there are three types of graffiti.
The English countryside was once a refuge for writers and artists of slender means. The life was peaceful, the air was fresh, and the rents were cheap. But like exotic plants transplanted to alien soil, they brought their own peculiarities to their new habitat. And they could arouse suspicion and sometimes loathing in the natives.
Abandoned shopping trolleys are everywhere once you start looking out for them, littering the streets like grimy analogues of the sun-bleached skeletons of imaginary deserts. What do they signify, these forsaken machines of the retail hunter-gatherers?
Kent In the midst of life we are in death. (Book of Common Prayer)
The herring gulls came to the towns and cities because it was easier to find food there. The seas were emptying but the land was ever more bountiful.