S’funny isn’t it when you remember just a single snippet of a conversation from years ago and it really sticks in your head. It was Simon Calder giving a talk on travel writing at a blog conference when asked how a blogger could get into being a travel blogger. His reply was so blindingly simple, yet something that nobody had really thought about
Write about your own back yard.
How many people write about where they live? I don’t think many of us do. I know I never do. I am happy to go to the next town and so a restaurant review, or photograph the trees on a walk in a different county but it never really occurs to me to write about my own doorstep.
Fleet as a town grew up in the Victorian era as a place for Victorians to come for the day, not too far from London. It was literally the end of a railway line because of Fleet Pond. From there Fleet grew and now all people say when you mention it is “Oh yeah, I know the services”. Yet there is so much more to Fleet. Most of which to be honest, I am clueless about. It is one of my blog resolutions for the autumn, to explore and blog more about my own town and the pretty villages and towns around.
For now though, for this week’ Gallery theme of “Where I Live” I give you this. Just up the road from us, the beautiful church in the centre of town was destroyed by fire in an arson attack recently. The why, who, how is not for me to discuss, though there have been arrests. I have never been in this church, though I drive past it about 87 times a day. I never really paid much attention to it, until this happened. Two hundred years of history, up in smoke.
You don’t realise how close knit the community you live in is until something like this happens. There was a huge outpouring of grief in local Facebook groups, rightly so. Families where several generations had been married or christened there. Brides who were now facing having to find another venue for a wedding in the next few weeks. Though Jonnie did suggest it would make an incredible backdrop to any wedding photos. Charred wood, rubble, ash, stark white dress? In black and white that would look stunning.
For now though I have to content myself with taking photographs from the car park across the road.
Like the proverbial Phoenix this will rise once again from the ashes. Maybe I should make a note to blog the refurb as part of my “there’s more to Fleet than the services” pledge.