"Welcome to Your Area"

Maybe you lot can help me out here, and explain why I get so very angry – almost to the point of irrationality – whenever this particular publication drops onto my doormat. Lord knows we’ve got enough estate agents’ mags cluttering up the universe, some ever-so-slightly better than others, but this one, just this one, makes me want to do something brief and violent to a punch bag.

Perhaps it’s the fact that it’s Foxtons who create it – a company who don’t even have a branch in Greenwich and to whom I wouldn’t go if they offered to sell my property in a week and pay me for the privilege. The nearest branch is Canary Wharf, and yet they choose to litter my environment with their yuppie tosh about how to add a coat of paint to your blistering walls so that you can fool other yuppies into thinking that they are pristine and stick a pot plant in the garden so they won’t notice the next door neighbours’ caravan site.

Maybe it’s the impersonal smugness of it all. “Welcome to your area,” it smugly chirrups. It hasn’t even gone to the trouble of personalising that title in ANY way; of actually making it relevant to anyone who might be reading it. I guess it’s democratic – whatever area they may be shoving this tedious tripe through unsuspecting letterboxes, they can guarantee that from Balham to Newham, Parsons Green to Stepney Green, they’re going to piss off everyone equally. It took me a while to work out that it was the photo that was supposed to be ‘local’ (I think it’s that well-known local landmark, Limehouse Basin, but I won’t swear to it.)

How DARE they ‘welcome’ me to my own town? What right have they to impose this waste of paper on my doormat, trying to ingratiate themselves and their services by making it look like they’ve created something worth reading?

Could it be the dull articles by local branch managers? Who do they think their audience is? Other branch managers, I assume. Oh, they dress it up as “insider knowledge” on the property market – but are they really going to tell us (even if it was) that the market is anything other than fantastic and that every buyer in the world wants to go through them? Every so often there’s a boring graph or a bloomin’ obvious tip for brightening up YOUR home “You need to let as much natural light into your home as possible.” Great. Thanks. I was going to paint the whole lot Goth Black but now I’ve read Welcome to Your Area, I see the error of my ways…

Most of it, of course, is properties for sale, and I note that there are half a dozen or so Greenwich ‘homes’ this month (not, it would seem, put up by ‘real’ sellers, these mainly seem to be developers.) But that’s the only reference to my area in the whole ‘magazine.’

The weird thing is that however damn impersonal it may be, this actually isn’t a one-size-fits-all. This crappest of all crap mags is actually available in 22 different versions and if you’re really keen you can call up Foxtons and they’ll send you any one you like.

No. What really bugs me is that they post it into MY home. If it was a catalogue available to people who are actually interested, I might just about forgive them, but instead they force it on me.

But why do I hate this one more than any other flyers that end up on my mat on a daily basis? Maybe you can help me with that. Most, I can live with. I may not want to get a Chinese/ Indian/ Japanese takeaway or order a Pizza or Southern Fried Chicken, but their flyers don’t actually send me into a rage. I’m actually mildly amused by Professor Manjou, the International Medium (he’s 100% successful, you know) and Sister Angelina the palm reader (even if she is only 98% successful) and the other local papers and magazines are at least worth a flick-through.

But this one…this one… What is it with this one? Help me out, please. I’m going to chuck this evil misuse of innocent trees in the waste bin now before I suffer an effing apoplexy…


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