It was with excitement that I left Bracknell. I’m not entirely sure whether I was more excited about leaving Bracknell or moving to London.
The house I lived in wasn’t the best. 6 people crammed into a terraced house, thin walls and fire doors, people that would leave washing up for weeks and deny it being them, things that would break – I did live with some decent guys though so it wasn’t all bad. But the amount of times those fucking doors would bang at night when I was trying to sleep. Not to mention the cat next door that tried to stare me out at the beginning.
There were almost no hot women anywhere. Whenever I saw someone attractive I really had to double take. In fact, much of Bracknell is fairly ugly – I say much as not all and I will qualify that later. I could be snobbish about some of the layabout whales I’d see but I should try not to, I’m not exactly Mr Thin.
There were no pubs worth visiting and almost no culinary scene. Some of the roast dinners I had there were abominable, others average at best. At work we tried to find somewhere nice to go for lunch on occasion – nowhere, even in the posh nearby villages was good. Though Blue’s Smokehouse, which I went to on my last weekend was excellent – miles better than the BBQ place in Reading.
Culture was non-existent. Almost. There is an arts centre in very nice grounds, but the offerings were fairly unspectacular from what I saw. Certainly nothing ground-breaking or edgy.
They are actually trying to do Bracknell up. The centre does look less shit and once the shopping centre is finished with all the predictable shops and restaurants that it will offer, it will at least have something there.
It was at least just a 20 minute walk to work. And there were nice places to go for a walk nearby. Despite all the cheap 1950’s council housing, Bracknell had loads of parks, lots of greenery, lots of trees – I wish I had had the foresight at the beginning to do a photo album – Bracknell: Beauty And The Beast.
One of the things that pissed me off most was the connection to London. 1 hour and 10 minutes on the stopping everywhere train, after a 30 minute walk from my house – so nearly 2 hours to Waterloo – rarely my final destination. And not forgetting the amount of times the trains were cancelled or delayed. The connectivity of Bracknell by rail was poor – dreadful, in fact, when compared to Reading. Even Reading would take an hour to get to including the walk from my house. And the last train was something shockingly early like 11pm from Reading (later from London) – I certainly did not trust the last train to actually run.
So nights out in Reading were often curtailed. But this brought an advantage in that I did manage much more studying on a weekend than could have been the case otherwise.
And that was the point of living in Bracknell – to cut out the commute, and spend more time studying during the weekdays. It worked.
And for that I thank Bracknell. Begrudgingly. It wasn’t as bad an experience as I expected.
But it was crap. Time to live again.