Friday, September 11, 2009

Pewsey: it's a place I'm in

Whenever I see three girls wearing leopard-skin outfits, I usually start to get a little bit homesick.

My latest adventures have taken me, again by train, to a little village in Wiltshire called Pewsey. Pewsey is a little bit like that village in the movie Hot Fuzz - quiet, peaceful, upper middle class and white; only there don't appear to be a rash of homicides plaguing the city. I also enjoy the occassional Cornetto.

I'm here to visit one of my good friends of mine from University, an american who married a kiwi who celebrated by moving to the UK and having 1.9 kids. Pewsey is somewhere in England, about an hour out of London and apparently close to Stonehenge. It's on the Avon river (though here it's only three feet wide and half a foot deep), and is also famous for crop circles, and plenty of pagan stone circles (circles of stones for pagans).

It seems that I manage to arrive during significant cultural events - Edinburgh had the Fringe Festival, and now Pewsey has its annual Pewsey Carnival; a week long festival of all that is Pewsey - last night they had the four-legged race where you had to run around a set course tied to two other people and in fancy dress. I saw everything from people dressed up as converse shoes (my personal favourite), to three girls unashamedly dressed up as leopards, to three middle aged white ladies who had painted their faces orange and dressed up as native americans. Another event (which I sadly missed) was the Wheelbeero race, where teams have to carry somebody in a wheelbarrow around a course (which includes sections of the Avon), and must down a pint of beer at each checkpoint. Who said village life was dull?

I can see why people would live here (and not just 'because you're away from all those immigrant folk that pester London - not that I'm racist, mind' according to one anonymous local), it's quiet, reasonably close to London, and it has everything you need right here including:
  • a post office
  • 7 pubs (including one owned by an MP with a mail order bride which allegedly sells alcohol to underage kids)
  • a train station
  • a major army base (important to keep the 7 local pubs running), and
  • its own police station that's open from 10am until noon every Tuesday
It's also very pretty. But it's kind of a 'Stepford' pretty, where everyone knows everyone else, and everyone's business is everone's business. Everyone here is nice enough, but I can't help but feel that I'm being noticed as somebody that doesn't quite fit in. Maybe it's my accent, maybe I'm just a new face and the locals are gunning for the nicest small town award, or maybe it's the fact that I'm not pushing a pram around. I'm actually half tempted to walk into the pharmacy and order a gross of condoms, a box of aspirin, and bottle of glitter glue just to see how the story spreads through town.

But then, that would probably just make me homesick too.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, that town sounds (culturally) like Honolulu's polar opposite! Though both are beautiful.

    Love the point about the Police Station. I'm sure you could always "borrow" a pram if it was any day but Tuesday.