Telford Shutting Up Shop

film_dogSo I’ve been back in Telford a week or so and it’s been … well to be blunt it’s been pretty depressing. I’d been keeping track of local news and so on via the Shropshire Star website while I was in Japan so I had a vague idea of how things were, but I had no idea that the recession had hit quite so badly.

Walking through Wellington shops were empty and even the atmosphere seemed to be quite gloomy. Also for some reason an automatic door has been installed on one of the market entrances; a bloody stupid door which halves the number of people that can enter/exit the building at anyone time and makes the market feel more restrictive and less open. In fact everytime I walked through it I did say “bloody stupid door”.

Telford Town Centre too had it’s own array of closed down shops despite works going on near the bus station. Whether or not this is due to the recession or the overall remodelling of the centre that was planned some time back I’m not sure, but I was shocked to see that Spencers Mall itself was closing down and the last few shops inside were neighboured by empty space.

I went into Telford Library to do some Japanese work but hit a huge stump. The computers at Telford Library have no idea how to read Japanese text without converting it into boxes. This isn’t just websites, but my own files were reduced to what resembled an empty chess-board when I tried to print off a list I planned on learning that day. When I asked a staff member about computers reading non-European text, he told me that none of them were capable of such a task. Flipping great. I then had a nose at the foreign literature section where I found a wide variety of books in different languages (can’t say it was a wide variety), but none in Japanese. I didn’t bother asking and just went home. I had the same problem at the newly built Hadley Learning Community library, only here the foreign literature section was completely empty (though the staff member here explained to me that they were “on the way”).

I sent Telford & Wrekin Council an email about the computers and they said they’d get back to me within 20 working days … which means 4 weeks … oh wait, there was a bank holiday in there … I’ll probably here back after I’m back in Leeds. If you’re wondering why I can’t just study at home, well the only real place I have the space to study is in the conservatory but with the fantastically hot weather we’ve been having lately I can only really refer to it as an oven. Not to mention we’ve had the patter (or thunderous roar to be more precise) of little feet in the house during the holidays so it’s been difficult to keep concentrating.

So what’s with the Beagle I hear you ask (Simon)? Well yesterday I was in Bolton with my sister and nephew while they were filming an advert for … I dunno, some bed company. I was mainly taken along to watch over my nephew while his mom was filming, but considering they spent most of the time filming together I couldn’t help feel continuously in the way. But towards the end of the day two Beagles arrived on set also for filming. Apparently one of them was in Eastenders as Ian Beale’s dog … or to rob a joke I heard yesterday “Ian Beagle”.

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