When you see bits of litter in the street being blown around by the wind, there is nothing of consequence to ponder. But when someone places their fast-food rubbish on the floor in the middle of a busy railway station concourse, it really stands out. And although the place might be teeming with people, everyone just carefully walks around it, making otherwise inconsequential rubbish become stronger and more invincible by the minute. When you’re waiting 20 minutes for a train, you can’t help but be captivated by the magnificence of it.
Rubbish standing out, and being walked around.
(Taken with my cameraphone in London’s Paddington Station)
It’s been over five years working in Slough for me. And like many, I try my hardest to be a transient in this town; rarely venturing out for a walk at lunch times. However, on the occasions that I do, I really quite like it. Slough is blonde. And Slough is beautiful. And when blonde and beautiful are multiple, they become so dull and dutiful.
Click on the green button below, wait patiently, turn up the volume and take a walk through the Queensmere shopping mall in Slough one weekday lunchtime.
Mingling with the citizens of Slough.
(Taken with my cameraphone in Queensmere Shopping Centre, Slough)
Examine closely every single person you see in the video loop. Imagine. Be them. There are an infinite number of stories in there.
Music is Rotterdam by The Beautiful South, released 1996.
More of my Slough in Pictures here: Part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
Way back in January, the UK government produced an interim report titled “Digital Britain” which sets out some “actions” that the UK authorities should take in order to deliver state-of-the-art communications facilities to the citizens of the nation. What astonished me was that inside, this report (action number 17 on page 12 to be precise) talks about ensuring that everyone in the UK has access to at least 2Mbps Internet by the year 2012. Astonishing because almost the very next day, the Korean government announced that their citizens will have access to 1 Gigabit per second Internet by 2012.
It’s often all too easy for some people over here to dismiss the significance of this by arguing along the lines of Korea (like Japan) being some far off place where things are somehow different and don’t really apply to the rest of the world. Easy until you see that one of our closest neighbours, France, already leaves us way behind in today’s connected world.
However, walking down my local High Street the other day I saw something that made me realise that it’s not just massive government commitment and spending that’s gonna speed up our Internet connections in the future. It’s going to be about finding solutions to practical all-too-common problems like this:
A kerbside cabinet used to deliver communications to people’s home. Vandalised.
(Taken with my cameraphone on Kingsbury Road, London NW9)