I've had the most frustrating of days in Slough.
We wanted some plastic pots for our herbs but they cost a fortune, so I looked up a new store on the internet - it's only a couple of years old but its all over the country and offers really cheap household stuff. They had what we wanted and off we headed in the rain.
I had lots of pain and the painkillers weren't working. We got there and the store was the size of a superstore. I struggled all the way around - not a single pot. And they were there on the internet today!
I grew up going into Slough as my 'big city'. It never stays the same - buildings get built and then, a few years later they get torn down.
With the exception of the Town Hall, which is protected, everything else is up for grabs.
I've not been getting out much these days, so I may not have driven through the town for about 9 months.
First of all, there's a new building where the old bus station was and that wasn't even started when I was last there. It's really ugly but that isn't unusual for the town. It has loads of nice cladding too!
They knocked down the purpose built bus station a few years ago, so that they could sell off the land. That meant that when they built its new space age replacement, it was a lot further away from the shops and that meant everybody had to walk further. They also filled in the tunnel that protected people from the traffic and kept them out of the rain and dropped them straight into the shopping centre.
Slough used to have a dual carriageway running through the town, split up by roundabouts. The biggest was in the centre of town and it was designed so that pedestrians could walk through underground subways, far from the dangerous cars.
Slough used to be designed so that people walking from the station, the bus station, car park, college and library were all linked by underground walkways like the spokes of a wheel. It kept people safe.
Not any more.
They filled in the big roundabout and now people take their chances with the cars on the dual carriageway. They built a cross roads in its place but, hey......they sold off the extra land.
Today was another real surprise for me - the Library had gone. In the autumn they opened up 'The Curve', another space age design; a library and wedding venue and performance venue in one.
Except we had all of those before; separately and bigger.
The old library was a joy - I spent a lot of time there as did loads of local kids who did their homework there in the warm and quiet. Not any more.....its gone. And there isn't enough room for all those kids in the new one.
Then we drove round to the store in the industrial estate.
Last year we spent a lot of time at 'The Centre', which was a function venue as well as the registry office. It was big but now its gone too.
None of these buildings were really any kind of loss - there's no architecture in Slough worth saving. The new buildings could be knocked down tomorrow and no one would mind either.
In fact, some of the offices have been built, stayed empty for about 10 years and then were demolished and rebuilt without ever having been used. Somebody is making money but I'm not entirely sure how.
Meanwhile the roads get worse, pedestrians suffer, pollution gets worse and worse and the quality of life goes down and down.
And we didn't get any pots and I was in agony.
(don't stop till you drop production)
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