(For part 1, see here.)
When I read the word ‘fort’ on a map, despite knowing that this is never going to be the case, a little part of me always hopes for (and maybe still actually expects) an enormous, forbidding stone tower with turrets and ramparts- perhaps with Game of Thrones characters wearing furs, striding around, shading their eyes from the sun and looking majestic.
Of course, this is never the case, and it wasn’t at Dolebury Warren. The fort was constructed in the Iron Age. This is quite a long time ago; so, even though it’s what the archaeologists call ‘very well preserved’, to an untrained casual observer like me, all there is to actually see at Dolebury Warren is a large grass-covered lump- or rather, two large grass-covered lumps (with some piled stones in the surrounds-I assume the stone piles are a more recent addition, though I’m not sure why they’re there).
Note: NSFW, or people who are bothered by discussion of kinky sex practices. (Other people’s, not mine!)
Those of you who read my blog will know that I occasionally enjoy browsing through online reviews for supermarkets left by Bristolians with not a lot better to do (see here and here).
I’ve recently taken a slightly new direction in time-wasting. It started when I realised that one of Bristol’s notorious local sex clubs, The Office, has plenty of reviews left for it on dedicated swingers’ message boards. This then led me down an internet rabbit hole.
Since, as I discovered, sex clubs are expensive, people don’t want to pay to get into a dud one. (A dud sex club is apparently one where loads of old fat guys stand around, drinking Stella and crowding round a plastic-sheeted bed watching one presumably discombobulated-but-enthusiastic couple politely ignore them from the missionary position). So online reviews of sex clubs are both comprehensive and detailed across the country, as people try and work out what they should do with their weekends.
The Office sex club, Bristol. Turns out not to be well reviewed, despite the ambitiously in-your-face decor
This all makes me very happy. It turns out that with a bottle of red wine on hand, I can get lost in reading sex club reviews for, well, a bit too long. There’s just something about the banal precision of the way people describe all the facilities, coupled with the arresting details of people’s presumably hot and sticky nights of glitter-covered group sex on revolving beds, that I find both diverting and inspirational. To think that I spend my evenings out drinking G&Ts and talking about whether George Ferguson screwed up by introducing resident’s parking zones.
So, welcome to the world of online sex club reviews. I’ll give you a tour.
This is what I do when I can’t bear to think about serious things, IE when the BBC is insisting on broadcasting constant propaganda round the clock about how we have to go into Syria and save the poor defenseless women and children from ISIS (what are you worried about, people? Look at all the other Middle Eastern democracies we’ve successfully built!).
Behold, Bristol’s finest Google reviewers, making life seem trivial again.
I’m not angry, just disappointed
Jesus, Amy. Start thinking seriously about the way you treat people, or you’re riding for a fall, lady. A serious fall.
I’d love to think he was trying to be funny, but I’ve got the sinking feeling that he’s deadly serious.
Note: I found this piece of writing in my folders and was quite excited because I never got around to writing Part 2 when I started it about four years ago. So now I’ll finish it at some point, but it might not turn out the way I originally intended.
I was secretly pretty happy about the fact that I was doing a cleaning job, and a Masters at the same time. Though I did neither particularly well, I liked the fact that telling people about it – if I got the tone right- made me sound serious and conscientious; the type of person who ended up quietly damaging their health permanently through overwork, but of whom people said, “She’s just so….inspirational. She just gets on with it and never whinges or complains.” Since this is not and has never been the case (I complain loudly at any given opportunity) I didn’t really tell too many people about the cleaning job at first, waiting instead to fine tune the aura of saintliness. Launching in with it too soon probably also would have spilled the truth; that it was actually a whole lot of fun. This would have reconfirmed the absolutely correct impression people have of me that I will avoid anything looking like genuinely hard work.
The cleaning firm was run by a bright, extremely tall and angular woman called Nettie, who dressed as if on route to a Cath Kidston catalogue shoot and whose pert, pretty range of multiple children (I never quite worked out how many, there were loads of them distributed throughout the house at different times) had names like Jemima and Albie. Jemima wore designer corduroy trousers at the age of two, and her bedroom was bigger than mine was at the time.
My housemates and I were looking our local Tesco up on Google Maps the other day.
Somehow we happened across the Google Reviews. It had never occurred to me that anyone in the world might use up the precious seconds of their life writing a review of a store that is essentially just a giant hangar full of brightly-lit corporate meh, but they do.
Somehow (and I admit I was fully intending to be trawling through the listings looking for a place to live this evening) I ended up looking at reviews of all the supermarkets in Bristol, finding them weirdly compelling.
So now I am probably going to live with my friends for another month and not in a nice flat near the waterfront with the ability to watch ‘Made in Chelsea’ in the nude.
However, on balance, I’m happy with my life because I’ve read these reviews.