[ by Charles Cameron — an expat’s nostalgia ]
While the eye reads the letters of a text the mind’s eye is forming images, and some of them can be startling. From today’s (UK) Metro:
Residents yesterday lost their High Court battle to prevent surface-to-air missiles being deployed on the roof of their apartment block.
Taking a look at the BBC’s brief video of the apartments (screen-shot: upper image above) I’m reminded of the British poet John Betjeman‘s famous 1937 lines about a dreadful (from his pastoral point of view) English town whose name, “Slough”, rhymes with “plow” rather than “rough”:
Come friendly bombs and fall on Slough!
It isn’t fit for humans now,
There isn’t grass to graze a cow.
I’m sure, though, that the residents of Slough didn’t appreciate that particular poem, and the people who live in those apartments may curse them at times, but they almost certainly love them too — those apartments are their homes.
Tenant: But, but — an Englishman’s home is his castle!
High Court: Precisely — and we’re requisitioning the battlements for our archers.
Sigh. Ah well, we survived the Blitz.