Being thoroughly unsatisfied with this week/year/last 5 years I was thinking I'd rather write the way I'd like it to be for a change. You know what my life is like by now and the same themes return regularly with no resolution. Of course having permission from a girlfriend/wife 'We don't have to go out if you don't want to' is the best, and quite realistic if you find the right person. I couldn't when I was fit and avoided places through choice, now I couldn't if I wanted to unless something gets fixed somehow. Not that I miss it. That point 'we are where we are meant to be' applies there. I can't do many things which had actually been a waste of time. Looking at department stores for things I don't need and can't afford for 10 years is something I can easily see the end of, and putting on weight in Starbucks three times a week either. I do far more stuck in the house than I ever did before and when I go out I take pictures, so continue producing.
Other changes, none would ever happen. Politicians are voted in to make our lives better but they usually make them worse as they are not there to help us. So they make each aspect of our lives harder until we become mentally and physically ill. People can't afford to travel or park, buying a house now uses most of an income (lucky I did that long ago, I couldn't now), and every effort has been made to restrict every activity except gambling which is evil. That is biblical, the bible says judge a tree by its fruit. Tony Blair has allowed public and private transport costs to rocket, meaning you have to be rich to travel, and freed gambling to be allowed round the clock with far fewer restrictions. The fact gambling is illegal in 48 American states tells us a lot about the differences. They live their philosophy, we are run by business. Everyone else just serves to make them as rich as possible which in turn pays even more tax. I'd change all that.
I would only ever leave London if I was married and probably rich. It's a different country almost once you add 'shire' to your address, and having tried a year alone in the desert areas, would never do that again. If you spend long enough to become part of a community (impossible in London) you have a far better quality of life, though I haven't seen a single area outside London better than what we have here except not overcrowded. I could try the middle of Kent possibly and that's so remote I'd probably never travel past Orpington. But it's certainly the nicest place I've seen over a wide area in the provinces and on a good day the new A2 (actually reaches inner London, just, now) can get you at least to the suburbs in an hour. Then another hour and congestion charge to go any further north, so I wouldn't bother at all. But I can't see it happening. I'd need to live on an island to avoid the real stresses around here where there simply weren't the crowds we have now which probably do reach as far as Dartmoor, which I haven't seen since 1989. They've probably built a huge mall in Princetown and queue for 3 miles to get into Plymouth. Everywhere else I've seen this century has gone that way, Brighton probably always was but all the towns in Surrey are now clones of London and they are the richest shitholes in the country. Lewes, Burgess Hill, Horsham, sound like places (and are) from between the wars British childrens' books. Billy Bunter, PG Wodehouse, Enid Blyton. They probably were nice middle class areas then, now it's chav central and council blocks surrounding the indoor Milton Keynes style shopping areas with Primark as the cathedral at the centre, which all appear to be modelled on Wembley Central. Hence the difficulty in escape. Go to Kingswood, you think you're in paradise for a mile or two and then you hit some crap shopping centre a short distance away which is the only place among 10000 identical places you can buy anything for sensible prices. If you stick with the few remaining local shops that aren't estate agents or posh interiors you can pay almost £1 for a tin of Whiskas. So even in the semi rural areas you end up having to go native if you want to buy anything you can afford.
I'd change all that, turn the clock back to about 1955 and that would include the population. These places have mushroomed as the people did, and can turn over millions from having the equivalent density of London in places which used to have roads where you could park free and never had a traffic jam. Woking is now like Barking and Watford is like Wood Green. Totally down the toilet and spreading the chav town centre in every direction. I can imagine going to Totnes and finding the High Street's been pedestrianised, there's no parking and everyone goes to the mall on the A38 anyway. It seems slowly but surely each individual town is being turned into Stevenage or Romford, and each suburb resembles a council estate more and more despite the fact council estates are almost obsolete. I expect the millionaires (probably becoming billionaires now) who run Hampstead will manage to keep it immune to such changes as they always have to now, but will probably extend residents parking to residents visiting. Don't laugh, there's at least one place in Britain where the public aren't allowed and it's as big as Hampstead, which is St George's Hill in Weybridge. It won't be long before others catch on.