It’s a metaphor because in many ways our council estate of 146 dwellings (in three tower blocks) can be seen in much the same way as a large hamlet of old somewhere in rural Yorkshire or any other place in the world. 99% of the people in our village are decent, hard working, diligent parents and a pleasure to call ‘neighbour’. However, some are not what you would call normal! Don’t get the wrong idea, but yes we do have a thief. Then there are two schizophrenics who manifest their problems in different ways. The greedy, the sad inadequate few who feel neglected who chant “This estate does nothing for me”!
The “Bag Lady” we had – has fortunately moved a while ago, but she would visit charity shops to bring back all sorts of rubbish that she would hoard in any corner of her cluttered flat. None of us knew of her obsession until we had to clear the flat after she moved out. A lady in her mid-seventies she would often be seen returning onto the estate clutching a box or bag close to her ragged old coat. Why she had not one but two Pogo sticks is a complete mystery to us.
Mr and Mrs Snooty (not their real name) permanently wore their face like they were sucking a lemon slice. They of course looked down their noses at all or any of the peasants that surrounded their flat. She once landed quite a good job in a nearby village but was sacked for incompetence within a matter of months, and then thought it was our fault.
The selfish, avaricious, mean minded, grasping all live on the estate in their different numbers, some ready to give tacit support for their pet ideas to be developed whilst they themselves need not get involved with others who are content to remain behind their front doors to grumble how unfair their own fate has treated them.
Over the last decade the elders of the village have tried to help the community as well as individuals get a better life. Providing, a diverse programme of learning opportunities for our young people – be that in arts and crafts, traditional tribal rituals or even growing food in the village garden.
Most residents let us elders get on with it…. Make decisions that have an effect on their daily comfort but are not interested enough to come to our monthly village meetings where they could have a forceful and dynamic influence of how our village resources can be used for the betterment of all.
After 20, 30 and sometimes more years the number of elders has naturally diminished. Some stalwarts (too many) we have buried and wished them well free of the burdens they carried so long, for us. Bones weaken while intelligent minds no longer grasp with any firmness the dynamics of the village or our planned destination.
Oh well, let me sleep for a bit, whilst the Sun shines and the birds still sing – until tomorrow.