Beware: the Tories are breeding
Originally uploaded by joellaflickr.
We went for a walk in the Chilterns today. It might be an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, but it is also Stuffed Full Of People With Too Much Money. The men wear stripy upmarket polo shirts and always go to the bar. The women are mostly pregnant, in that smug, soft-focus name-down-for-Eton-already (and they *know* it's a boy, because they ordered one) sort of way.
I don't mind the countryside, I said to M, but I have this feeling it's supposed to be bleak. This is not bleak. This is complacent.
The Thames at Henley redefines complacent. You can't say it's not beautiful, but it's also slightly repugnant. We walked down it for a few miles, then veered off to Aston and had beer and sandwiches in the Flower Pot. Both beer and sandwiches were good but on the expensive side, and better that than shit but on the cheap side, I always say. I was bemused, nay, alarmed by the number of stuffed animals mounted round the place, but pleased by the exemplary old-school pub toilets. They don't do pipework like that no more. (Interestingly, one of the recent reviews on beerintheevening, via the link above, is *complaining* about the old-school toilets. Shame on you, that's craftsmanship that is, it will last for decades yet).
I had some more thoughts about gender and toilets as the queue outside the Ladies grew, along the "men in stripy upmarket polo shirts never take their children for a wee, therefore posh country pubs should convert their Gents into more Ladies, and stick a trough in the garden for the men. It will help them reaffirm their masculinity, Iron John style, and the rest of us can piss in good time" lines.