Day of the Driveway


From Henges and Roman Walls to the Millennium Dome and Legoland. We are a nation of great builders having built many English Jerusalems in our rich history although Psychogeographer Ian Sinclair describes the 2012 Olympics as the ‘scam of scams’. After the megaliths of mega-eras we have the most English of grand projets. Twenty feet of Brylcreem-parted aggregate and asphalt. Gentlemen, I give you – The Driveway.

Englishmen adore this perfect male domain. Created as territorial plinths of status for their prize Ford Focus, religiously buffed up and hoovered on suburban Sundays. In tests, 8 out of 10 middle-class husbands said they preferred to be on their knees to worship alongside a Dyson vacuum rather than to the Virgin Mary.

Flippant I know, but drive through a commuter estate in say, Rayleigh, and you’ll see what I mean. The expression ‘keeping up with the Jonses’ was first recorded in the town of my youth about AD1952 (probably), its ethos alive and well across crisp lawns and trimmed hedges in the snobbish spirit of Margo and Jerry Leadbetter.

1000,000 square metres of concrete driveways are laid (over green spaces) in Britain each year, to the detriment of our native species and to community harmony. Storm water runs downhill into overloaded sewers, provoking Biblical floods that in turn spells the end of future household insurance cover. Hardly the aspiration of pyramid-builders.

Here in inner-city Lambeth, unlike parts of snooty Southwark or Clapham, the driveway is a largely exotic notion. This London borough welcomes the marching jackboots of controlled parking zones which overwhelm street networks like Ballardesque counter-measures, enough to make the twittering classes overturn and set fire to their Volvos. Invest in Lambeth’s generous £60 permit and you can park on-street unhindered from worker-wardens buzzing about on scooters, looking for an inch of pavement-mounted rubber. Hibernating driveway man is stirring, applying for dropped kerbs and crossovers.

Before long, front garden triffids will be eaten and spewed and the Day of the Driveway will be here.

To be continued ..


One Response to “Day of the Driveway”

  1. 1 yesbuts

    snooty Southwark

    How dare you you sniffling little pleb. You’re only jealous because we have the Dome, and what have you got the Oval!.

    Very humorous blog.



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