Saturday, 22 February 2014


pulsating with vigor and energy: the vibrant life of a large city.

vigorous; energetic; vital: a vibrant personality.
I am prepared to apply this word 'vibrant' to a few places where one can feel the economic energy bubbling up but not to the following:

- a bus garage outside a station

- a gum-speckled area of block paving between shops which are half-closed because nobody wants to walk half a mile from the car park or pay £3 for the privilege of looking at a pile of plastic baskets. 

- a big supermarket, not even one the size of a dozen football pitches.

If you are trying to catch a train or pick up your dry cleaning or find packet of biscuits, what you want is to move smoothly from where you are to a position where you have what you are seeking.  Being waylaid by a samba band plays no desirable part in that.

Nor do I think that hanging baskets and incongruous mounds of 'planters' make Babylon in to hanging gardens.  Out of all the delusions modern planners are prone to, it is that sticking a basket of begonias in a tub will improve matters. They are the scatter cushions of the urban environment; leave that to the interior designers who understand how to dress a space for effect.

I don't want vibrant. I will settle for clean, adequately signposted, and without ankle-breaking smashed  paving stones. Thank you.


MTG said...

Gosh, I thought it was a male 'thing'. Then give the municipal Hell that is Dewsbury a wide berth, Ms Raft. A soul destroying location known for irreparable ocular hurt.

James Higham said...

Being waylaid by a samba band plays no desirable part in that.

There are fates worse than death.

call me ishmael said...

The older one grows, mrs woar, the more the city is perceived as ruinous; take to the mountains or go to the country and bake your own biscuits; it is never too late, there is nothing which one does or needs that can justify or ameliorate city living; the city is for the young and increasingly it is for the criminal - the MediaMnster hustler, the corporate, the oligarcical or the petty; cutpurse, frotteur or nonce the city is his workplace; in the wilderness we can view the great galleries and museums online, hear the seals on the shore and gaze at the ancient sparkle of the Milky Way. There's vibrancy for you.

Woman on a Raft said...

Good advice as ever, Mr Ishmael. Oddly enough, I have spent the last three days discussing whether I feel up to taking on just such a dwelling but it is only part-complete. It is a serious decision as it will mean tangling with conservation standards, managing flows of money and wrangling builders, and it will take several years.

call me ishmael said...

That's good news but if it is too complicated, Scotland, the best part of England, is awash with nice, country properties and the further North you come, the cheaper they are, the closer you come to World's End, the closer you are to a voyage, if not to Arcturus then to the Norse from which so much, including the Normans, sprung. And actually it is quite spacey, just look at that global electric light distribution map with which they introduce the Newsshows, there isn't any here, we see by the light of the stars and the whirling space station.

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