I have become a community councillor, and not only that, I have become the vice chair of the community council, which not too long ago would have sounded horribly Pillar of the Community to my No Gods No Masters ears. Lines from Lydia Davis’s piece A Position at the University keep floating in and out of my sphere of vision. What will people think?
Will they assume I’m the sort: who wears M&S ‘pearls’ hoping they look inherited; who secretly wants a personal number plate on her Volvo but has heard such things are considered rather vulgar these days and, thus, is hideously conflicted? Will people be surprised I don’t live in a bungalow** with a double garage and own a golden retriever called Geraldine? Will I be suspected of sending anonymous passive-aggressive notes to people whose curtains don’t quite fit their windows, or who allow weeds to proliferate in their gardens, or whose door knockers haven’t seen Brasso since propertied women over 30 got the vote?
These questions reflect my own assumptions, of course. If I’ve ever thought about who joins such bodies I’ve tended to put them in a box marked ‘Bossy Petit Bourgeois’ and moved on. Why is that? I now see that such people merely believe that a community should have a voice in the political landscape: rather than sitting at home whining that someone should do something they act: they listen, they seek out relevant information, and they do; so what were my assumptions based on?
On another note entirely, if you click this you should be taken to a video version of the above photo so you can watch us performing my (poem type thing) ‘Solway Blues’ last weekend. We managed to entice enough of an audience to pay for the venue and the main act, with a little left over for us support acts to get a fish supper, which is actually quite good for Moffat, and on a Sunday afternoon too.
*Header photo from here.
**I have nothing against people who live in bungalows, btw, some of my favourite people do, I just rather like having stairs and being able to use them.