Hemel, a newtown just NorthWest of London is a mixed bag of chavity. There are some nice places – houses you wouldn’t get change out of £1.5m by the marina- and some hellholes – the Top of the World public house. It feels like a plcae that they have just given up on.
A quaint, tudor ‘Old Town’ full of character runs quickly into the typical high streer – Wetherpoon’s, poundsaver, wilkinsond and Argos aplenty.
The areas around Grovehill and Woodhall Farm are not as bad as they seem, but if you dare cross the Leighton Buzzard Road you enter a different world entirely. Burberry curtains (!) twitch as a half decent/new car approaches. The inhabitants are much more used to the throaty revving of a distressed cavalier, or the gnat like buzz of a motored scooter. ither way if you aren’t screeching along the road at 60mph it is obvious you are a stranger.
Back to Grovehill – a place with a worse reputation than it deserves, but still full of p***y fuckpigs. The women here are a breed apart. Only one word conjures up their piglike snouts and their misshapen, swollen bellies that are barely contained by tea-stained pink Krappa tracksuits.
The worst – and indeed only place -to shop here consists of a pub (Greensleeves 2 – it is as if they couldn’t be arsed to think of a pub name for f**k’s sake), a florist, (for making up when you’ve got lashed and smacked the wife – see greensleeves 2), a tescos which for no apparent reason attracts 10 year olds to sit outside, a chippy, a snooker hall (if you want some skag, this is the place), an off-licence that shuts at 10, and a motoring shop (for all your alloy and underlighting needs).
The mentality of these kids astounds me. On queuing at the tesocs counter I heard the dulcet tones of a chav (I didn’t even have to look across to know what he was wearing) ranting at the counter staff because they wouldn’t take a decidly iffy-looking £50 note for a pay as you go phonecard
I know it was stupid, but I accidentally caught his eye. I didn’t mean too. I thought he’d leave me alone. I mean, as a 5’10” 19stone ex-professional Rugby player I thought this scrawny prick wouldn’t say a word.
But he did.
“What the f**k you lookin at?” he mumbled, his words would perhaps have been clearer if he had learnt to move his lower jaw.
Without a threat I told him not to speak to me in such an insulting tone. “F**k off”, says he.
Again I ask – no demand this time – not to be spoken to in such a way.
And then he comes at me. Bearing in mind I had my hands full of shopping, I can only surmise that he thought (wrongly) that the punch he landed on me would either see me unconscious or running crying for my mummy.
I will treasure the moment of dread realisation that passed his face as he realised I was going to hit him back. Very hard. Repeatedly.
I’m sure you’ll be glad to know that the police took one look at the security tape and decided not to charge me.
And Tesco’s replaced my shopping for free.
It is a shame that Hemel is turning into a s******e. It lies between some lovely towns and villages. St. Albans, Berkhamsted, Aldbury – they all have a relaxed, more refined air to them.
Roll on the day I get out of here.