Day 44: Soulless

I have a bit of a rant today as my hometown gets features on the news…

Feb 13 a

“What! Hang on? Where?” I spluttered into my Shredded Wheat as I watched BBC Breakfast this morning, and immediately changed plans for today’s blog. Y’see, I was all set to headline this one, “City On The Edger Forever” – because the shoes are Vans Edgers and I like a good pun (in case you still don’t get it, click here).

Feb 13 bBut instead, today’s Blog is like a real blog. I’m going to have a rant! Because after my beloved West Country has had to cope with floods for over a month, and the Government and Environment Agency between them have been notoriously slow and inept in acting, now the South East has been hit badly and it’s all, “Call International Rescue! Spectrum Is Go!” And out come the SHADO all-terrain vehicles to prevent some city traders getting their Guccis muddy.

Okay, that’s unfair. The floods are horrible for everyone, and I am extremely grateful and lucky that I’ve avoided the worst of it and my heart goes out to anybody who has had their home wrecked. But the real reason I’m rattled by the South-East this morning is something else I spotted on the news. Y’see Charlie Stayt was reporting from my home town. Kind of. Because I (I am ashamed to admit) come from Staines, whereas Charlie was reporting from…

Staines…Where? Staines-upon-frigging-what? Come on, BBC. Please don’t pander that shit hole’s delusions of grandeur just because a bunch of second rate stockbrokers who can’t afford to live on a properly posh place, have moved there and decided they hate living somewhere that sounds like a skid mark.

I had heard rumours that the local council were considering polishing the turd and pushing through this name change, but I never thought it would actually happen.

Sorry to anybody I knew at school who still lives there and loves the place but I hated it and couldn’t wait to get away. I’m insanely jealous of anyone who is proud of their home town, because I would happily never return to mine ever again, and feel a bit rootless because of it. I left at 18 to go to uni and have been back only once since, and yeah, it’s changed. City boys and have moved in because they can pretend it’s like living in Richmond, and they’ve built some trendy riverside apartments to accommodate them, and the town centre now looks like something out of A Clockwork Orange. But it’s as soulless as ever.

Ironic, though, that shortly after they change the name to Staines-Upon-Thames, the place turns into Staines-Under-Thames. I wouldn’t wish that on anybody, but maybe the local council won’t be quite so keen on the town being associated with the river any more.

Usual sign-off:

Current total: £455  (Hurrah! I guilt tripped people into donating yesterday!)

• Remember this is all for charity, so any pennies or pounds you can spare PLEASE DONATE BY CLICKING HERE.

• Follow me on Twitter to make sure you see what trainers I’m wearing each day.

• If you have any trainers you could donate (either on loan or old pairs you’re getting rid of) which are size 9 (ish – I can do anything from 8 to 10) contact me at so we can arrange collection.

• Please, please, please leave comments below! I’m after ideas for mini-challenges, future photoshoots and how I can find enough pairs of trainers!

Dave G



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