There is a village in England that has some pretty astounding features for a village, such as five or six non-chain places where to have a decent cup of coffee, a village hall where a certain film society shows some pretty decent films, like, ‘lo and behold, Werner Herzog and other illuminati. a Rudolf Steiner school, various great biodynamic farms, some great shops…. (yes, haute design). to name but a few of the attractions.
But, and it’s a big but: there is poison in the well: there’s a population in this village – small but vociferous (kind of terrier-like) opinionated, arrogant, smug – that needs to be avoided at all cost. Put one foot wrong by the standards of these freaky people, and you’ll be hounded on the facebook page named after the village, Yes, beware! These good-for-nothings are so stoked on their magic health diets, tantric yoga classes and memberships of various self-congratulatory clubs that they get together in the comment threads and hound down whoever committed some misdemeanour by the utterly holier-than-thou Forest Row standards. Oh God, can they get mean, those self-appointed guardians of the community …. tread carefully, or you will be named and shamed by the gurus of good taste, the judges of what is Forest-Row-Appropriate Conduct, well, too much health food and obsession with self-healing can evidently make you quite sick in the head.
Never mind, don’t let it put you off establishing your life in this otherwise interesting village. Sadly it gets very choked with traffic as well – be ultra-careful if you drive, say, a BMW – there seems to be heavy prejudice against people driving that make. Come to Forest Row, by all means, just watch out for the people and never ever show your face on their social media. But, given it’s sociologically a highly interesting profile, that page is a bit addictive. Sometimes we just want to read a bit of opinionated s**t to relax.
Trust me, in Forest Row you will find it. On the bright side, traffic permitting, you get out of that fog-bound hole fairly quickly and then find yourself on the glorious Ashdown Forest. Just look behind you when your canine poops …. if you don’t stoop to clear the mess you are at risk of being hauled over the coal by the Forest Row militia.