Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Seeing red in The Enchanted Village

Colour prejudice isn't something we usually tolerate in The Enchanted Village.

The occasional odd remark in Compost Corner might sometimes go unchallenged in the pub. But more often than not the speaker will get the cold shoulder or be left out of the next round of drinks.

We’re used to seeing all sorts of people in the square, after Ding Dong Daddy, a purveyor of world music, moved here. In the shop, waiting at the bus stop or going for a walk up Bluebell Hill. Men in turbans and women in saris, children with dreadlocks. It’s all part and parcel of our global village.

But The Enchanted Village is beginning to see red. And it’s all to do with the traffic calming scheme, still unfinished after two years.

The road has been narrowed and the speed bumps are in, with street lights more like the aliens in War of the Worlds than the lamp posts marking the entrance to Narnia. When the county council threw the light switch, it was as if Dr Frankenstein had breathed life into his monster. The light was blinding.

There was pub talk of having a five-a-side football match in the square as a public protest at the new 'floodlights'. But the council got away with it. They said they were sorry they inflicted the lights on us without consent and 'lessons would be learned'. Which means the lights continue to glare away like evil eyes along a flight path while the boy racers take off over the speed bumps. And the modern lamp posts still visually slice attractive listed buildings in half.

The kerbless pavements have yet to be colour-coded, as originally planned, to separate the traffic from the pedestrians, leading to an interesting mix during term time when the children skip to school.

However, about six weeks ago, a man with an aerosol can of white paint and a high-visibility jacket sprayed the word ‘Buff’ on various parts of the pavement.

Villagers imagined a creamy off-white colour to complement the mellow stone listed buildings, or even a pale yellow-brown colour, like a biscuit. The sort you might dip into your tea while you were sitting on a rickety chair next to Aga. Our county councillor thought the same.

But on quizzing several council officials, the word on the street is that the colour buff is actually red.

So not content with littering the centre of The Enchanted Village with hideous 21st century lamp posts, interrogation lamps and a plethora of signage, it seems the powers-that-be intend to turn it into Red Square.

Our only hope, Obi Wan Kenobi, is that this idea will be part of the council’s £40 million budget cuts to reduce costs because the country is in the red. Or maybe that should be 'the buff'. And while it's there, can someone please turn out the lights?

That's about it.

Love Maddie x


  1. I guess it could be a good thing that your community even has the money for improvements...where I live they are cutting costs left and right. A main expressway overpass is crumbling concrete onto the street below. I am not driving that stretch of road for sure!!

  2. All I can say is
    Rage, rage against the blazing of the light.

  3. Red you say? Well that will look fetching. Maybe it is to hide the blood of innocent school kids as they are mowed down by rampaging 'boy racers' while navigating the slim curb-less path to school.

    Well at least the poor little chaps will be safe for another 6 weeks.

  4. You have a very interesting blog.


Lanny by Max Porter, an extraordinary novel best read in splendid isolation

I’m on the Isles of Scilly with friends, the weather’s been glorious and there’s been lots of walking, paddling in the clear wat...