Holt! Who Goes There?
As I have mentioned sometime before, being in Woodlands is a bit like looking at the Aleppo tourist board. Not much in it, nothing much to look at, and it’s likely that you’ll never be inclined to be near it again. Holt is a sleepy village, remote, and nothing much ever really happens there. But it is different; in fact I would argue that it’s an uneventful place done properly.
A sharp fork in the road parted by grass divides Holt into two parts; one way leads a nearby town, the other lies a meadow that nestles a rather fetching garden centre. Stewarts this is a garden centre unlike any other. Of course it has the usual rakes, pitchforks, and just about anything you need to fend off what some in rural areas would describe as ‘a bit foreign.’ Tucked away behind a very unassuming hedge features a Café, enshrouded by an exciting collection of cacti. Ignore those psychos who believe that a great time out involves a nightclub round the head and the downing of convenience store piss until 2am, but that’s so far from the truth CNN could’ve come up with it. The real dream is the day in at Stewarts. Where else for the modest sum of £3.60 can you sit with a cup of tea and selection of biscuits, gazing at the largest cactus, imagining how funny it would be to jab it up someone’s balloon knot of someone you didn’t like? Can you do that at club ‘Vibe’? No dear Sir/Madame, you cannot.
“But what of the evenings, Luke, you utter stallion?” you may say. “Garden centres may be the cornerstone of civilization, but they also close at 5!”
Not to fear because Holt has one further treat up its sleeve, a pub. There you can whine away the early hours drinking ale, eating chips, and dissecting the best conspiracy theories on YouTube. It’s the perfect system. You can drink on Saturday night, safe from the terrible flashing horror of the nightclub, and then recover on some garden swings with a coffee on Sunday.
As I whipped out my lighter from my chest pocket and took my photo, I could marvel at what Woodlands could one day be. It could, with the right leadership and guidance, go all out and become the next Taj Mahal, the next New York, or the new eternal city. One day, if the cards are played right, it could build not just one, but TWO garden centers as the world collectively gasps in awe!
Editor: Joel Emmons