City boy

September 27, 2008 at 12:13 am Leave a comment

Ever since moving away from the London suburbs some 5 years ago, I’ve said to anyone who’ll listen that I really enjoyed growing up in the Capital but I really don’t feel drawn to the idea of moving back there.

I wouldn’t say that I’ve that become a convert to country living – ok, part of my pastorate is semi-rural and I’m finding it not as alien as I would once have imagined, but home now is in a town of about 25,000 and I still really value and need the convenience that such an environment affords: the shops (especially the ones that open late), the transport links, and so on.

Still, it’s only since leaving the city that I’ve realised how – well – urban it can be. When I’m there now I find myself quietly grieving for the paucity of trees; subconsciously breathing a little less deeply as if in protest at the polluted air.

How different the experience today, though, when I arrived in another capital city.

I like Edinburgh. I can’t say I know it well – hardly even superficially, for I’ve only been here about 4 or 5 times and rarely with much free time to speak of.

In fact, although it’s only a couple of months since I last passed through, I’d forgotten how much I do like Edinburgh. But after a crowded train journey today, I found myself really glad of the time to walk from the station to our training venue near the Botanic Gardens.

A blue Bechstein upright piano in a shop in EdinburghGlad to pass some of the shops that you just don’t get in villages or towns – the department stores and fast food outlets on Princes Street, the piano shop with a striking blue Bechstein upright, the two or three hybrid antique shop/pawnbrokers.

Glad also to find myself on a street called Dundas, and thus to be reminded of my training placement in Toronto and all that I learned there about cultural identity. Glad to notice a shop sign in cyrillic script, and thus to find myself in a place that knows about multicultural living.

I found myself glad not only for the time to walk, but for the fact that I was in a city.

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Entry filed under: culture, journalling. Tags: , , , , , , .

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