Essay 1 - Favourite thing about Surrey?

A Martian strides down Woking High Street

A Martian strides down Woking High Street

My favourite spot in Surrey is without doubt the Woking Martian, a fantastically striking sculpture by Michael Condron that has terrorised Woking shoppers on a daily basis since 1998. I've always been a huge fan of H G Wells and aliens both real and imagined, and the Martian that strides awkwardly down Woking's High Street is very much the low-tech or 'Steampunk' side of aliens - a far cry from film aliens with all that slime and teeth, which is vulgar in the extreme.

My only big criticism is that there is only one - when I am dictator of Greater Surrey I will insist on at least eighty more, striding about the Surrey countryside, above trees, peeking over houses, looking into people's living rooms and generally becoming an iconic part of the landscape, much like the Osborne bulls in Spain.

Written for the Guildford Literary Festival, August 2009

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