9:14pm, Tuesday 19 October 2004
Over the weekend we were down in Essex for a friend's wedding. On the way back, in between getting lost (all the roads are numbered A12something) we visited the hell on earth known as Lakeside Shopping Centre and the altogether different underground bunker at Kelvedon Hatch.
Strange how they both seemed to induce claustrophobia. :-)
Lakeside is big. Too big. On one hand, it's mostly linear so you can't easily get lost. On the other hand, that means it's a long walk back to the car park to dump the first load of shopping before you go round again.
Kelvedon Hatch is small (although it's vast in terms of bunkers). The corridors are narrow, the ceilings are low, the lighting is dim in places. The place has a strangely cared-for but unkempt atmosphere. We followed the audio tour which was good, apart from Emily's tendency to stealing the player. The most memorable part for me was seeing a poem printed out and stuck on a noticeboard: "Your Attention Please" by Peter Porter. Chilling.