I first announced the existence of Beestonia many years ago on the sublime LeftLion website right here: clicky. I then decided that it wasn’t just another glib idea, possibly in one of those moments you may also consider that dancing is a great idea, we should all club together and buy our own bar, and, overwhelmingly, another bottle is a FANTASTIC idea. The idea gestated for many months within, as I went onto WordPress to furnish a nursery for my future offspring.
Then, one drunken evening, my contractions kicked in, my waters broke and sploosh, my cerebral uterine expelled the kicking, wailing baby of Beestonia, helpless, screaming, piping loud. From then on I knew I would have to embrace this horror as both a lifelong project and a terribly mis-thought out metaphor that would take a life of its own, once nurtured with red wine and insomnia. Beestonia suckled to my breast, reader-less, hopeless and in much need of nutrition.
I have no anniversary hook to hang any retrospection off , but since the Teri Lou stuff I have been having to explain his place more often than I ever expected, as people ask on what justification I can give through my self-description as a ‘writer’. A few things here seem to have attracted attention, and while readership is still tiny, it’s a fair bit more than three of my mates and someone who is too drunk to type ‘ESTONIA’ into Google.
Yes, this is akin to a one-hit wonder band playing a gig and pretending anyone there gives a flying fox for material off that 12″ b-side they released in ’92, but let’s have a little look at what happened after writing a few articles back in those heady days of 2009 and January, 2010.
wibbly wobbly camera effects as we slip back in time
My first proper article was one on Beestonia and the Recession. I write it, and a few months later Belle and Jerome attract capacity-swelling custom willing to spend £6 on a glass of wine instead of its former incarnation as Greenlees greasy spoon 70p tea, the Crown throws out Sky TV and replaces it with original features, subtle lighting and good, well kept ale. I predicted Beestonia was going to only thrive, and I was right. I will now lick my typing fingers and make a hissing noise.
I then wrote about such stuff as beestonia-state-limits, beer , the fact the Welsh have no word for orgasm , a liddle birra politics and a liddle birra more politics , and the still majestic, and still not offered me a job as editor of the Beeston Express (sort it out, ducks).
Then I got my first real surge of interest when one delirious night, I typed this out in the throes of serious dehydration and flu-inspired madness and thought as I pressed ‘publish’, ‘thats crap, I’ll delete it’. Then my MP decided to brig it up, as did absolute strangers, and this 24hour garage people became a bit big. Big, as in me dad read it as well as me mum. And possibly Gordon Brown.
Then, returning to my heartland after a week away in the South West, I wrote about how the Tesco-procured desolation in the centre of Beeston. I truly got the sense this was a great thing, as did a few people who contacted me (including the Beeston Express, ta) about how this was not a daft concept butterflies. A week after, Tesco called in the bulldozers and flattened the very sanctuary I had recognized. This is, according to Beestonologists, the first example of the now common Curse of Beestonia. Of which more of will follow. Read on.
Autumn passes, more Rioja inspires more typing from the self styled Benign Dictator who has now got so self-important he refers to himself in the third person. I write of the incredible apparition of a Creationalist Tent at St. Apleford Carnival as the soft fragrances and shades of golden brown envelope Beeston; and the harshness of Winter’s arrival is manifest in the pessimistic dystopian vision of Future Beestonia.
Christmas rolls round, and she enters my life. I had, past-tense intentional, a wonderful girlfriend, yet when Teri Lou appeared everything changed. Its been very odd, and quite delightful, to see what I thought was a bit of only-just-funny mucking around go big, and see people actually ask me for updates rather than having to foist them on them with a promise of bribes or threats of self-harm. It has totally swamped Beestonia, apparently 86% of hits here have occurred since she arrived. That was less than two months ago. I thank her….
Then I write about about Beestonia’s culinary majesty with a good friend from Lahndahhhn, and what happens? 30 hours after if goes to press, the Curse of Beestonia hits nothing less than the Worlds Best Restaurant, El Bulli closes. Obviously Ferran Adrià, the best chef in the world, saw his days were numbered by the sheer majesty of Humber Road Chippy’s wonder, and decided to quit before he was humiliated by his inferior batter.
As all dictators do, I embraced my power and decided to take it further, and really up the ante by talking about death . My uncle, a wonderfully amusing and loving bloke and father to a large and well-raised family dies a few days later, leaving my auntie K, who worked with me at St. Apleford Co-op for years in my student days and is indescribably irreverent, funny and just downright good. Its evident that this world is nothing but a cold random void.
Or is it? My lottery numbers for this Saturday are 11,12,13, 23, 31, 36. Ye Curse of Beestonia, strike, strike!