Sunday, 25 October 2009

Edinburgh (III): Scotland's capital

South of the railway line that bisects the city the atmosphere scrubs off a hundred years or so. Magickal. The very essence of Victorian urban Britain.

South Bridge - not so much a bridge, as a road south of the bridge. On the corner, another beautiful Victorian pile, the Carlton Hotel.

Not forgetting that Scottish soldiers were fighting and dying for the British Empire since the early 18th Century.

The wearing of over-sized socks on one's head in Edinburgh is as popular among the local youth as it is 400 miles to the south. And a propos of independence - each visit north of the border suggests that Scots are happier to wrestle free of England (while ruling the place themselves!). Some fascinating thoughts on devolution, what it means to the English, and what is meant by 'Britain', here and here.

I'm particularly struck by this equation (from the second of the two links above):

Britain: republicanism; secularism; multi-culturalism; liberalism
England: monarchy; Christianity; ‘ethnic’-English culture; conservatism.

1 comment:

Richard B said...

Hey Mike, Richard here. Just to let you know am really enjoying your blog - love all the cycling stuff and pics.
Have moved to near Woodstock in Oxfordshire now. You'd be most welcome to drop by, should you wish.