For a year and a half just after I graduated, I lived in Didcot. Some of you might not be familiar with the place. It is a dormitory town between Oxford and Reading, and it is an absolute shithole. Now, I know what you’re thinking.
“Oh,” you’re thinking. “You can’t be trusted to judge a place of residence. You live in Oxford, where the streets are paved with books and money. I’ve been to your flat, Lucy. Everything’s made of gold, and when I went to the toilet, I had a choice between the really expensive loo roll or the snowy tail of a swan. You don’t know what you’re talking about.”
Well, yeah, now I live in Oxford. But I grew up near Hull, and I spent years living in Coventry. This Oxford nonsense is a recent development. I know shit when I see it. And Didcot is SHIT.
Not even shit, actually. Just boring. There is a cinema, a cafe and a gigantic Sainsbury’s, and that’s it. They opened an arts centre when we lived there. Nobody went. Apart from me, I went there once for a latte and a sulk, and there was no one there at all. Realistically I know there must have been someone serving in the cafe, at least, but in my memory it was like the opening to a computer game, where you just wander around wondering what the fuck’s going on, until they start shooting.
The only interesting fact I can think of about Didcot is that one of its housing estates boasts the highest life expectancy in the UK. I believe this is because people are so overwhelmed by the apathy of Didcot, they cannot even be bothered to die.
Anyway. Didcot. Obviously I had no social life, so what I did for fun was, I cooked pasta with my boyfriend, and we drank wine and ate the pasta while watching Battlestar Galactica. And that was, hands down, the best thing about the place.
TURNS OUT you can still cook spaghetti if you lie in a city. You can’t watch Battlestar though. That’s over. Everything withers in the end. So we’re substituting with Black Mirror.