However when it came to discussing our friend's, lets call him James, home it was rather more challenging. The place where he grew up one couldn't really describe it as a village or a town, it certainly isn't a city or even a suburb. It's neither a dwelling or a hamlet. The best way we found to describe it was, well, an area. Oh dear. An area makes it sound like somewhere where joy-riding takes place, drug deals go down and gang fights tend to occur on a regular basis. And worst of all, and this really is the worst, it makes it sound so bland and anonymous and lacking in character..."it's just an area"...you might often hear people say. Or in the papers' one might read 'an area just off...' where some dispicable crime has just taken place. And you would never say to someone yourself that you are from an area. I mean, no-one actually lives in an area. It's one of those places you only believe exists on a map but not in reality as such.
And you never feel like visiting an 'area'. You don't wake up on a lovely sunny morning and say to the missus "hey honey, it's such a lovely day outside, why don't we pack a picnic and take the kids to such and such an area". No, you visit beaches, and castles, and farms, and villages. Although in this current economic climate perhaps an area doesn't sound like such a bad idea after all. At least it's free or cheaper than most.