Saturday 18 July 2020

The Dangers of Small Town Life

It’s been two months. Remiss of me not to check in. Hello! Or Helo, as it is in Welsh. Croeso (You’re welcome). I’ve been working hard at learning Welsh, whilst relearning Spanish, which I learnt as a small kid when we lived in Spain. As a child I was tri-lingual, given my father was Portuguese, which for youngsters is as easy as getting on a tricycle, so given my former glory, I’ve taken Duolingo at it’s word (duo=2), sorry to patronise. I think it also stands for too much. It’s been a humbling experience – not as easy as riding a bike. I recognise that if you move to another country, and contrary to common belief, Wales really is another country, then learning the lingo is the way to go; though most English-speaking folk don’t learn it, which really is a bit colonial, and only feeds the annoyance of many Welsh speakers whose ancestors have endured English colonisation since Ed the conqueror, who built the castle, here in Conwy.

Here in Conwy, the locals are having a spat about the high street potentially being pedestrianised over the summer due to Covid19. Feeings have been running higher than Lance Armstrong in/on? The Tour de France. Attitudes have been harder than his butt. I’m for, and on local forums, I’ve politely stated my case, only to have it used as a handbag (handhag?) to hit me on the head. I’ve encountered derision, scorn, red-faced or hand-shrugging emojis, playground nastiness, sarcasm and sexism. Hate not debate seems to be the ethos, this is how strong the against forum is. The pros are nicer and more pro, obvs! (wink emoji). 

Back to LA (not the place, the bloke and on to cycling dopes). In another message stream, on a local forum, people have been going wild at the notion that cyclists are allowed to use Marine Walk, where folk like to meander with their pets – fair enough right? But ‘right’ on these forums, means fascistic. There were angry emojis apace, when bike racks were spotted on Marine Walk. Following a comment that cyclists should ‘just be polite,’ I was blocked on the site for asking what being polite as a cyclist looked like. My question was: “Should we ring our bells, get off our bikes or shout out ‘excuse me?” I genuinely wanted to know so that community feeling between cyclists and leggers could be improved. In response the person who ran the site demanded where I lived with two question marks and blocked me from the convo, if you could call it that. Sometimes I miss London still (crying emoji). Small town life is wonderful, thanks to the setting, but as to characterisation and plot…

The streets, and the paths that people in Conwy must share – on foot – on bikes – but mostly in cars, are narrow, sadly, like the minds of some of the people (insert crying with laughter/shocked emoji here), and I believe, cannot sustain the continued battering and disdain of people determined to continue to pollute the streets (over 400 vehicles a day endlessly stopping and starting - farting great blasts of sea, land and lung pollutants that erodes historic buildings. We need to think outside of ourselves for solutions, to the pollution of mind, heart, land and community. We are all parts of a communal whole.