Thursday, 18 September 2014

Look at it this way…

A man walks into an empty bar. Gathers up all the darts he can find; can hold. Just. Turns his back to the board, and walks to the oche. Stops. Throws all the darts in his hands, in one go, over his shoulders. Luckily – but then the bar was empty, remember – no-one is hurt. Unluckily, most of the darts either clatter to the floor: directly; or after bouncing off the brick wall. One even pierces a wooden ceiling beam; and hangs there, quivering for a while. Amazingly, two hit the sisal. One, outside the metal ring. The other, double top. The perfect finishing score.

No different to putting a needle in a map, blindfold, really.

So why Tysoe? Apart from an available and willing landowner eager to make a few quid (aren’t they all); and a field large enough to hold enough identical boxes (boxed in); what makes our village such an attractive target? Why not Hook Norton, for instance? Oh, sorry.

I spent most of my working life in some form of marketing; and we would not even think about thinking about bringing a product to market without a great deal of research – about its viability; about its likely customers; about the relevant competitors. But, above all, we would be creative: rather than simply producing the Mk1 Grommet in eternity; and hoping that enough people would carry on liking it, or learning to like it, as it always was, that we would make money from it. You have to innovate to accumulate. As they say.

Perhaps, though, in the property world, it’s not like that. Find enough fields; apply the same layout, the same whatever-the-word-is-for-the-opposite-of-design; prepare to repulse nimbys; throw a lot of money at the planning process; and, hey presto, you’ll have launched so many darts that it doesn’t matter if so many of them miss their target. One success will easily pay for a handful of failures. Rinse and repeat.

It doesn’t matter if there’s no gas to heat your brick estates efficiently in a world of oil and stone; nor that you will eradicate centuries of vital heritage (you can always offset the ridge-and-furrow somewhere, can’t you); or create flooding; jam the roads; remove productive land from the foodchain; not fit the local vernacular. Soon enough, so many examples of your commoditized crap will stick out of rural communities like sore thumbs, that no-one will notice that the original, manicured fingers are withering to bloody gangrenous stumps; now that this subtopia has become the norm. No more opposing digits: just interlocking hurt.

Now it’s the norm, all the rage, there’s no need to fight anymore. Acceptance. And from carpet bombing. Woot.

And all in the middle of nowhere. Now. here.

So why Tysoe? Because it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter where. It doesn’t matter why, how or who. We are the faceless giants who will come in the night and eat up your tiny little dreams. We are omnivores. Grizzling and horrigust. We have no taste (except for money). We have no senses, no sense at all. Feed me, Seymour.

Might as well come quietly, then.

A man walks into an empty bar. It used to be called the Peacock, you know. They’re turning it into apartments, next spring.

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