Let's move to the county town and crime hotspot of Kent! This week: Maidstone

What’s it about?

Thirty miles and 35 years south east of London, Maidstone is the county town of Kent. Not Canterbury, with its cathedral, place in history and swanky gin bars. Maidstone, with its vape shops, rancid river and indiscriminate violence from shirtless drug addicts.

When David Brent was musing on nearby towns in The Office, he said ‘There’s nothing wrong with Maidenhead. Not Maidstone – that is a shithole.’ So even a character created to thrive in Home Counties commuter belt crapness firmly draws the line at this soulless and derelict disaster.

Any good points?

For about 40 fucking quid there’s a slow but direct train service to London Victoria, which is handy if you want to go and see Hamilton. Which nobody in Maidstone does, because racism.

There’s the aforementioned river Medway, which regularly has sewage pumped into it and saw wild swimmers projectile vomiting and hospitalised this summer.

And there’s TVS Television Centre, which used to be where Jools Holland was filmed, meaning in theory Kanye West, Adele and Metallica have nipped out for a pint at the Fox & Goose, just down the road, turn right after the big Tesco. They make Supermarket Sweep there now.

The best thing to ever happen to the town was in the 1990s, when the council commissioned a large floral sheep called Shorn. A back-and-forth of vandalism, outrage and repairs continued for five years until the folly was removed, but it’s still discussed to this day. Which goes to show just how little happens here.

Wonderful landscape?

Are you kidding? What survives of the traditional market town was been ridden roughshod over by concrete-crazed 1970s planners, detemined that big, shit office blocks and car parks would draw businesses out of London. An orgy of urban ruination followed.

Every brick of Maidstone acts as fortification to protect the picturesque hop fields and farmland to the south from the lawless depravity of Chatham, Gillingham and Rainham to the north. As such the town is like the wall Trump never built: a borderline and last frontier where Kentish men shoplift 2.5 litre bottles of Frosty Jack’s.

Hang out at?

Locals congregate outside one of three courthouses, awaiting news of friends and family, or nearby at the Wetherspoons which is knowingly named The Society Rooms.

If news from the court was bad, why not loiter outside the prison? For eight years it was the home of Reggie Kray, perhaps the town’s sanest and most upstanding resident.

For rest and relaxation, however, try the gardens next to the Carriage Museum where bone-thin drunks clutching cans of Strongbow Dark Fruit have been singing Build Me Up Buttercup on loop for the past eleven years.

Where to buy?

Anywhere else. But if your ankle tag demands you stay local then why not try taking over a network of weed dealers in the estates around Shepway or Parkwood? You’ll have a job on your hands, so maybe consider it a project.

Upmarket buyers might be tempted by Len House, a conversion of an abandoned Peugeot garage into luxury flats approved in 2020. Drawbacks include it being above a sewerage outlet into the river Len, and the developers half-demolishing the building then abandoning the site in 2021 with no intention of ever returning.

From the streets:

Martin Hollis, 47, said: “They say Kent is the Garden of England. Not Maidstone. This is more the rotting patio decking of England.”

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Six sexual positions that will leave you with lasting soft tissue injuries

BRINGING a sense of adventure to the bedroom: there’s nothing worse. This is sex, not a fucking log flume. 

But, in our erotically charged society, even the most boring, tired and lazy of couples can give into pressure. Enough Pimms and Mexican soft porn on Netflix and you can find yourself in the mood for a position you need a YouTube video to get right.

At first it seems like you’re banging while consulting an IKEA manual, but get it right and you’ll enjoy up to 180 seconds of unfamiliar bliss before pulling a ligament. Get every Wednesday afternoon off for a physio appointment with these positions:

Body masher

Designed to hit your G-spot; will actually put a shit-ton of pressure on your dicky shoulder where you’re prone to getting tendinitis. Especially when the most stretching you habitually do is to the top of the kitchen cupboard to get your secret fags.

But it looked good in porn, and you got overambitious, and now you’ve got bruised ribs and a twisted hip and you’re limping around the dancefloor at your own 40th birthday trying to blame it on all the mountain biking you don’t actually do.

Crashing helicopter

This position is designed to suit your every desire: especially the one where you have a legitimate excuse to Zoom into your team away day because you’re nursing a bruised pelvis.

All you had to do was twist one leg behind your back and kick the other up to the ceiling while your boyfriend put all his weight on you from above and wham, sexual ecstacy! If you and him both weighed what you did when you started dating. You’re a combined three stone heavier. And now a lumbar support cushion marks your chair at work.

Batshit cowgirl

Is it possible to pull a muscle in your cock? Apparently so, because your poor penis who’s given you so much has been throbbing every time you’ve so much as taken a piss since trying this strenuous move.

Even in the moment it was more agonising than pleasant, but your wife scoffed at you when you promised to ‘try something new’ last time you did your usual oral-missionary-doggy routine, and not seeing it through would have meant her being right.

Anniversary surprise

Surprise! You’ve fucked your back!

The other main surprise with this position was that you both hauled your limbs into it. You felt a glow of middle-aged married pride, until untangling caused as much injury as the sex itself. You’ve sprained an ankle, buggered your back and your face hurts from the contortions of forcing your largely-immobile body to hit such agile heights. You managed it though.

Acrobat at the sex circus

This one was worth every sleepless night since: an orgasm so intense it would be worth losing a leg for, never mind a bit of deep tissue damage in each calf. When you call in sick to get your injuries checked out, try to find the balls to admit how it happened – ‘a repetitive stress injury due to hot, acrobatic sex’ – and enjoy feeling like a fucking hero! You’re prescribed Deep Heat and Ibuprofen.