take one woman with low self esteem, but quite good hair
add one moronic illness
stir in some medication which causes hair to fall out
mix it all up and this is what you get...

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Shattered illusions 

"Somerwest World" said the sign - a sign I've been driving past on the M5 regularly since we moved down here over a year ago.

The thing is, for about a year, I read that sign as "Somerset World". Did you do that too? Probably not if you're non-British, as I doubt you've heard of Somerset and wouldn't automatically think "Somerset" when seeing a word starting with "Somer...". Funny how the old brain works (or doesn't work, I'm finding as I get older).

So, I spent a year wondering what "Somerset World" actually was (when, in fact, it *wasn't*, although that's probably beside the point). It was on a brown sign, so I imagined it was probably some sort of tourist attraction. I pictured it as a theme park, with Somerset-related rides. A log-flume with not water but cider, perhaps. Some of those moving models of "local people" doing "local things". Whatever those things are. A mud slide called "The Glastonbury Experience", maybe. A historical section, where you can experience how people used to live in Britain. Oh hang on, you'd already be in Somerset, you wouldn't need to pay extra for that... ummm, a futuristic section, where shops are open on Sundays and there is an integrated public transport system!

Somerset seems to be the rather poor relative of the other counties which make up the South West peninsula. People pass through it to get to their *real* holiday destination. Not many stick around - unless they go to the Glastonbury Festival, of course, where it can be difficult to get unstuck in times of heavy rain, so I've heard.

So, finding out that this attraction was actually called "Somerwest World" did not really enlighten me any further, but at least it enabled me to reach for my friendly, neighbourhood search engine where I soon discovered that it was, in fact, the "pseudonym" of Butlins in Minehead. I then remembered that, in the dim and distant past, I'd actually *been* there as a child.

I must say, I'm rather disappointed with my findings. Sometimes, I guess, it's best not to know the truth.

<< Home

<< Home