Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Meanwhile, below..

And sure enough, the flat below us, 16 Caspian House, is going the way of obliteration and Sitex, thanks to the Somalian family there being rehoused.

Exactly as the teenage son of the family had described to me yesterday, the handing over of their keys and departure coincides with the flat smashers' exact arrival. In fact, in the spirit of multi-tasking, the flat smashers are also the key collectors, a huge timesaver no doubt. There is literally no moment in all of this where any door keys can be duplicated by potential squatters, new door locks put on and the place squatted.

Not that the departing family could've helped out in Operation: Door anyway. Whilst we might amuse them as neighbours, it's very clear to them that any involvement with us could endanger their relationship with the local council trying to rehouse them. It's fair enough. And regardless, the Sitex people remove the front door altogether, which thoroughly negates the whole key-cutting operation.

Simply put, there is no way to squat the place before the local authority comes to board it up.

Sitting quietly in our flat above, SoundsNorwegian and I do nothing except listen in on what will eventually become the fate of our home, to unexpectedly witness a face of local government at work that few see firsthand. With a similar layout to ours, we start to wonder which part of it is being smashed, as you hear the sound of iron mallets colliding heavily against china and brick. You wonder whether there is some organised order to the flat's destruction. Which bit do the workmen most enjoy destroying? Would ripping out the electrics be the best part, because trashing it completely terminates the life of the flat? Carving up a beached whale suddenly springs to mind. The heart and work you put into making your home now bleeding out onto the gangway.

Eventually, the flat smashers will leave, and then the Sitex men will come, with their medieval array of metal screens, screws, drills and steel bars to shield the devastation from public sight. They will work to cover up the barbaric side of local authorities from public curiosity. They will hide away, seal up, disappear the outrageous actions of a local government that claims, on the slogans across the sides of their vans, to be working