liv: A woman with a long plait drinks a cup of tea (teapot)
[personal profile] liv
[personal profile] mathcathy asked for my favourite 3 places in the UK

My favourite city to visit is Edinburgh. I love the architecture, not just the obvious touristy Mediaeval bits but the Georgian bits and the 20th century bits. Lots of solid stone, which many English people used to brick find oppressive but I really like it. I love the landscape, the hills and valleys and the beautiful views and all the glimpses of the sea. I love the culture, so many of my favourite eateries are in Edinburgh, and there's always so much going on with art and music. The Edinburgh Festival and the Fringe I can take or leave, I'm talking about the general background of stuff that's always going on. I love climbing Arthur's Seat, ever since I spent a summer living just under the hill (with [personal profile] lethargic_man). Whenever I visit Edinburgh I find people friendly but not artificially so, and people from all different backgrounds seem to mix there. I love the train journey to get there, whether I start from the West Midlands and go across Cumbria and south Scotland, or from the south-east and along the coast past all kinds of man-made and natural beauty.

The place I feel most at home, though I've never lived there, is Manchester. I like it for many of the same reasons as Edinburgh. It's a big enough city to have a lot going on culturally and a very diverse population, but small enough not to feel crowded or to have outgrown its transport infrastructure. I like the very visible presence of the universities, student life and all the related bits of culture. Again, I really like the architecture, though it's traditional to despise the sort of grandiose building style that was popular in the North during the height of the region's industrial success. There's a big enough, visible enough LGBT scene and Jewish community that I feel safe and comfortable in Manchester. There's a fantastic choice of places to eat and even places to shop, though I don't normally get excited about shopping. And it's surrounded by and in easy reach of absolutely gorgeous countryside.

The place I most love is a tiny little village out in the west of South Wales, St Ishmaels. My mother's cousin has a holiday place there, and we visited just about every summer from the time I was 3 to my late teens, and quite a few times since. The Pembrokeshire coast is amazingly stunning, it's not just my personal association with the place that leads me to say that. But the thing about St Ishmaels is that for me it smells of childhood happiness. The geraniums in the porch of the Cottage, and the slightly musty smell of the random collection of old furniture inside it, and outside the gorse and the salt and the half-rotten smell of seaweed. I'm not very good at writing about it, I've been trying ever since I started to learn how to do descriptive writing. Last time I was there, with [personal profile] jack, we got engaged all over again, with rings made from limpet shells with the peaks worn away.

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Miscellaneous. Eclectic. Random. Perhaps markedly literate, or at least suffering from the compulsion to read any text that presents itself, including cereal boxes.

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