In everything one reads and hears from urban planners these days (including Elizabeth Farrelly's 'Ode to the Terrace', 22 Oct), one word is a constant, but makes me cringe. It is "vibrant". It is put forward as if it were a self-evident truism. Why is "vibrant" the holy grail?
Why can't our objective be "calm"?
John Betjeman expressed it eloquently:
"Here where once were pleasant fields,
and no one in a hurry,
Behold the harvest mammon yields
of speed and greed and worry."
NB. [This was published without the Betjeman quote, I suspect for copyright reasons].
There aren't too many ways available for venting one's anger or frustration at some of the things happening in the world around us. One such escape valve is the good old Letter to the Editor, even if only a small proportion of them gets published. It is often well-nigh impossible to keep the discussion short enough for the newspapers. So rather that have them expire in some Editor's Trash bin, we'll preserve them for posterity here. Inevitably, though, some nuances will be lost for those unfamiliar with the background or the letter or article to which we are responding. But each is undoubtedly a miniature literary masterpiece, though you may find the themes become somewhat repetitive.