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Blog : Posts tagged with 'Grimsby' : Page 2

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Road safety

In which the area is notorious for something


You often see stuff about road safety on the telly. Less often, things about specific roads. And it’s very rare for this area – the Forest, if you like to think of the Symbolic Forest as a physical place – to get on the telly at all. So when I heard that there was an hour of Channel Four last night solely devoted to road safety in this area, I had to watch it. Even more specific than that: it was purely about one road, the one from here down to Somerset.

We didn’t manage to watch the whole thing; the catalogue of deaths was just too depressing. It wasn’t helped by my habit of saying “That’s the bend coming out of Fir Park” or “That’s just by Cottagers’ Plot” when random stretches of road were shown on-screen; I spend so much time trying to get out of this area, I know all the main roads out of here in great detail. As we didn’t see it through to the end, I don’t know if the documentary tried to offer up any reason why that particular road is so dangerous. All we got was: people round here are crap at driving.

This may be true. Certainly, in my experience, it is true. People in London, say, may have a reputation for bad, aggressive driving, but people in this area are good at sloppy, careless driving; or drunk, too-fast driving; and that’s what leads to so many people dying on a fairly short, fairly ordinary road. It’s because, paradoxically, this area is quiet and isolated, compared to the rest of the country. The question is: is there anything we can do about that?

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Good way to start

In which FP is glad he didn’t get stabbed


At the office, the main conversation-starter today was: “so, what did you do on New Year’s Eve?” I felt slightly sheepish having to say: “um, I was ill.” It might only have been a cold, but even so the headache and constant sneezing were enough to send me to bed well before midnight.

At least, staying in, I avoided being beaten up, glassed, stabbed, shot, etc. New Year’s Eve in our local town was so … well, active, that it made the national press. As I get scared at the slightest sign of any sort of violence, I’m rather glad that I was nowhere near any of it.

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Out

In which we’re reminded why we don’t go out much


It’s not often that I go for nights out around here. Sometimes, though, you have to, just to remind yourself why.

There was a good reason for it: a work leaving do. So, we all went off for a meal, before going to one of those horrible crowded town-centre bars that wants to be a nightclub. It doesn’t want to be a nightclub all the time, though, so it ends up being the worst of both worlds: a big, shedlike bar with plenty of tables and chairs,* a tiny little dancefloor, and loud loud cheesy dance music.

As it was far too loud to talk apart from by shouting right in someone’s ear, I spent some time just standing and watching the crowd. Being Friday, the place was packed, with a strange mixture of college students and 30-somethings. All the men had velvet-short shaved heads;** and all the girls had shoulder-length layers and tiny denim skirts. Everybody in the place had been stamped off the same production-line; everybody in the place had bought their clothes from the same handful of shops in the shopping centre.

A random stranger came up to Big Dave, and spent a good ten minutes chatting to him – well, I mean, they spent ten minutes shouting in each others’ ears. I assumed he was an old friend, or something like that.

“God, some people,” said Big Dave when the man finally left. “The last time I saw that bloke, I beat the shit out of him.” I’m glad Big Dave and I get along, because I’d be quite scared if we didn’t.

* so they can serve food in the daytime, of course

** the older men – the fortyish ones – all seemed to have porn moustaches too

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