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Slanderous Surrey

A dork is a socially inept, contemptible individual so assumably if one is behaving in a socially unacceptable, contemptible manner one is ….

…being a cock. Which is #Dorking's mascot. Hence its inclusion on the street sign.

#Surrey means ‘the southern region’. Unsurprisingly, it is quite literally the undercarriage of #London. At its uppermost point is the massive commuter town of #Staines. These days it’s called #Staines-upon-Thames: a direct result of the socially contemptible #AlistairLeslieGraham. This socially inept dork brought world-wide attention to Staines, sorry #StainesUponThames, which was, until its unveiling, largely invisible under the smog generated by London’s busiest airport: #Heathrow.

Local lad, Alistair Leslie Graham is a fictional stereotype whose dubious humour revealed Staines, sorry Staines-upon-Thames, to the world. He was retired in 2007. Such was his legacy, Staines, yes…sorry, was repackaged by local councillors into Staines-upon-Thames in 2011. Provincially it’s still called Staines, just as Alister Leslie Graham is still called #AliG. The happy postscript to this story occurs because the #RoyalMail finally adopted the name “Staines-upon-Thames” in 2013. Not for nothing is the Royal Mail’s service pejoratively called snail mail. Still, it could be worse, it could be something like #Consignia. Like consigned. As in consigned to the past.

And if you think calling it Staines is slightly offensive, I suggest one swerves the entire county of #Surrey because it is full of #British insults just waiting to be invented. Let’s start off with #Effingham. The home of Effing and Jeffing. Effing means to express annoyance, for example: that effing Ali G came back in 2012 and caused more hurt. The town of #Hurtmore demonstrates that particular pain. And as for #Tongham, I’m not even going there. I did go to #WilleyGreen and also #TrumpsGreen but both of them had vanished. Trumps Green incidentally is adjacent to the home of a world-famous #PGA golf tournament at #Wentworth. It has no relationship with a former orange President who has a penchant for renaming golf courses after himself. Phew.

Instead, I sought out the village of #DonkeyTown. It’s a village. A bona fide village. Not a town. As I hurtled in, a pretty little sign displaying “Welcome to Donkey Town West End” whizzed past me. I decided to seek out the East End. There is no east end. It’s a dead end. So I trundled back to the original sign, parked up at the first available space intent and set off purposefully into the distance to photograph its roadsign. I walked quite some way. And some way more. Then all the way to the main road yet still unable to find it. Thankfully I found it on the way back…thirty minutes later.

Following that, this donkey moseyed on to the towns of #Leatherhead and #Hindhead. I have no idea why these are not contemporary insults because they effing well should be. I’d like to nominate a name change to Knuckle Head and Butt Head respectively. Most apt of all, is the residential area of #Nork. Nork is thought to descend from the word for “stepmother”, who is stereotypically depicted as a mean old nork! Anyway the townspeople of the Nork like to celebrate their norks unlike the village of #Titsey which takes a little more exploration.

But by far my favourite villages were those of #Fetcham and #Bookham, sounding somewhat like a scene from law and disorder. Later that evening, I’d found an isolated road to park up and not too far from the invisible border of #Hampshire and shortly after, I had my first ominous ‘rap on the window’ moment that signals the breaking of one’s vanlife virginity. I was to be moved on by the #ForestryService. I say ‘moved on’, I was, in fact, merely asked to park on the other side of the road behind what I suspected was an abandoned car. On a slope, alas. The following day, the car was still there so I pondered whether to call the local constabulary.

Isn’t it scandalous they were evicted from Crookham road…

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