Ugly Day

Today featured a nasty, fairly strong, unseasonal north-easterly wind and a ride more-or-less for the sake of it on the roads around Woodcote. It was an ugly day. It started with two different groups of no-two-ways-about-it ugly people walking ugly dogs – untrained dogs, straining at their leads and sort of wheezing as they pulled. It deteriorated from there.

There was the ugliness of indulgent middle class parents watching their sprogs trashing bluebells in a wood and doing nothing at all to stop them.

Bluebells in woodland near Goring Heath

Bluebells in woodland near Goring Heath; soon to be part-trashed

The ugliness of a young-ish man in a new sporty Jag picking his nose didn’t help.

The ugliness of a white van man in his white van, fuelled by too much testosterone and presumably with bald tyres, all rapid accelerations and wheel spin, all sound and little action, was just grimly predictable.

There was the depressing ugly stupidity of a young girl in her little ‘run around’ Ka, holding her phone to her ear so she couldn’t indicate as she struggled to steer and change gear at a junction, eyes fixed in the middle distance, visibly thinking about anything other than driving.

Inevitably, there was the familiar ugliness of any number of pot holes where roads have been patched badly before. Workmanship, if you can call it that, pretty well guaranteeing the reappearance of the pot hole, guaranteeing yet more public money being wasted, guaranteeing more work for those subbed-out to fill in the hole and all the while threatening accidents to anyone on two wheels.

The ‘I’m so dumb I shit in my own nest’ ugliness of fly-tipping just defeats me; today it was exemplified by a computer monitor on the side of the road.

I couldn’t help but see the waddling ugliness of two seriously obese women, dolled up for a wedding but looking all the worse for it, dispiritingly perfect poster people for our age – an age that’s managed to take the opportunity to eat well with ease and abuse it with gross over-indulgence.

The undeniable ugliness of an overweight man in cycling clothes but off his bike is never cheering: I could happily live without any mirrors in my life.

And being in a frame of mind that only notices the ugly is, in and of itself, pretty ugly.