"Well, there is only one piece of advice I can give you," said the wisest of wise men. "The secret of happiness is to see all the marvels of the world and never to forget the drops of oil on the spoon."



('The Alchemist' Paulo Coelho)




Thursday, July 13, 2006

Being neighbourly

BBC Breakfast this morning, interviewing a designer (didn't catch the name or what he is a designer of, but he hails from Lancashire) about proposed new strategies for planning housing estates in a bid to make people who live in them more neighbourly. This was the gist of his argument:
Well, of course, up to now, new building has given too much consideration to the car. What we need to do is put the cars away from the houses, round the corner somewhere so that people have to walk to them and, on the way, they'll meet their neighbours. No problem about cars being broken into because new cars are practically burglar-proof. (So what about those people who don't have new cars / can't walk round the corner because of disability / need to carry heavy shopping back to the house?)
And as well as freeing up all the space to meet your neighbours in, we can free up even more by having a recycling point down the road somewhere rather than having individual wheelie bins. So you could meet Mrs Bloggs going down to the recycling bins with last night's take-away rubbish in her negligee and, who knows, she could eventually become your wife.
(So it doesn't matter that she is apparently already married then? And are the females among us, by the same token, going to get the chance of meeting Mr Universe by the same recycling bins? And is the wearing of negligees manditory? Even in winter?)

All joking aside, the whole interview was a joke, made worse by the interviewers sitting there with serious expressions on their faces, nodding solemnly to every ridiculous sentence that came out of 'Mr Designer's' mouth!

But my question is this:
What provision is there for your average British misanthropist who just doesn't WANT to meet the neighbours and exchange a friendly but meaningless quip on the way down the road to his car or to throw out last night's rubbish?
You see, no consideration for minority interests!

4 comments:

Dale said...

Misanthropy and rubbish? Don't most of those types live in London, Jenny? On Downing St? LOL!!

Ellee Seymour said...

I agree with Dale, unless the neighbour is gross. Having friendly contact with our neighbours greatly enhances the quality of our life.

Arthur said...

the thing is, it's no bloody business of architects to enforce exercise, chat, marriage amongst the residents, just to provide somewhere nice to live in. That kind of soviet style social engineering gave us disfunctional estates of highrise blocks. what's wrong with just building a row of houses and leaving it up to people how they want to live? It's archictects who are misanthropes who don't like people as they are and always have been, not the poor folks forced to live in their experiments grrrrr

Jennyta said...

I agree totally. Arthur, but then when did architects ever have a modicum of common sense? :/

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