My East Borneo Diary – Updates from the Plastic Palace


I went to London last week, for the first time since I moved to Eastbourne three months ago. I met friends and took in a concert (Bill Bailey, whom I look a bit like) and a movie (Gravity, starring George Clooney, whom I am privately tutoring in smugness.) Surely, when I saw the sophistication and opportunities London has to offer, I would regret the move to East Borneo?

Didn’t. London’s a horrid place. It is populated by the hunchbacked, since almost everyone is bent over a mobile phone doing something utterly pointless because it’s fashionable.

I had forgotten how desperately dark, dirty, dismal and depressing London is. In the week I was there, only one person wasn’t wearing a coat that wasn’t black, dark blue or dark brown. That person was me. I am sympathetic to those who have to live there because it’s where the work is, but really London is a miasma of misery. The word omni-shambles came to mind.

On the plus side, you have eight million people living on top of each other, which makes it a miracle that anything works at all. Also a plus: only a few of them are murdered, which is odd because in a few short days, I ran into several candidates who richly deserved a spot of murdering. The Me Generation has its world headquarters in London. Their philosophy is: anyone who’s not Me is in the way of Me and must be removed from My presence.

That’s all you really need to know about London. Other than a few insanely wealthy people, who live there because it’s become chic among the insanely wealthy, everyone else in London is there because they’d starve anywhere else. That is not a good basis on which to build a city. Old people are considered especially offensive in London; be warned.

* * *

Updates on previous diary entries: The Eastbourne Bandstand is now draped in a giant condom, put up to keep the elements at a distance from the fellows fixing the pillars. I finally understand the meaning of the word ‘condominium’. Come next year, we won’t have a bunch of little bandstands running around.

Regular readers will know that I live in a Plastic Palace on the Grand Parade in East Borneo. Nothing bad had happened to me since I moved there, until recently. The block is managed by agents, whom I pay. But they are useless and one must instead deal with a committee of busybody residents, whom I also pay. They too are useless. Whatever needs doing, I have to pay a third party to do. Sadly, I have no money left after paying everyone not to fix things, so nothing gets fixed. I didn’t grow up in a broken home, but I now live in one.

You know how, in London and other places, you can’t have breakfast after 11am? In East Borneo, you can have breakfast in any one of a dozen good restaurants all day long, at any time that suits you. This is one of the many reasons Eastbourne consistently rates as the best town in England, at least in my book.

Do come and visit, but then leave, won’t you? Otherwise, you’d just get in the way of Me.

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