Saturday, 13 December 2008

The grandeur that is Lenton

Today is another wet and wintery day in Lenton. The trees are bare, the dark clouds look as if they are clinging to the rooftops and underfoot every step you take ends in a puddle, yet, for me, there is still a grandeur to it all. If I had a better camera, I might be able to capture a sense of what I want to convey. For now, words will have to suffice.

Last week in Lenton was very different, the days were cold, still and crisp, with azure skies. My walks around or through the recreation ground laid before me a grandeur I was able to capture with my camera. The grass looks lush and is recovering from overuse by football players in studded boots, thanks to the football ban. The trees have become wintery silhouettes and from a distance look like lines someone has drawn on the sky. The sun remains low in the sky and shadows remain long throughout the day. The houses on Devonshire Promenade, where I live, look to me as if they have turned themselves towards the sun and are soaking up what warmth there is to be found in its rays. And behind stand the flats, high, like mountains, marking Lenton out as special — for that it what it is.

At times I have an urge to wander further afield, but Lenton has seduced me. With it, as a place, I am content. In its recreation ground and other nearby parks and nature reserves I have everything I need within walking distance or a bus ride. The same goes for what shopping I need to do. Lenton is a splendid and impressive place, where the past does indeed speak to those who care to listen and the future is never more than a few steps away. Above all, I love the coming and going of people, its transience is a strength, not a flaw. All this is also true for Nottingham at large.

Pride in where one lives does not mean you have to be parochial. In no way do I believe that I have a narrow outlook on life or the world at large. What I do argue is that to be truly global in outlook you have to be a localist first, but that’s something for another day.

The jury at the inquest into the death of Jean Charles de Menezes has rejected Scotland Yard's claim that he was lawfully killed as part of an anti-terrorism operation. In a series of answers to a list of crucial questions, they dismissed the testimony of the senior firearms officer who shot De Menezes – suggesting they did not believe the officer was acting in self-defence.

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