Tuesday 9 August 2011

The Consolations of Coventry

Watching the street I used to live in on telly, and stupidly sad that I'm not there.  Not there to be scared and angry in a city full of scared and angry people.  Not there with the extractor fan on to get the smell of burning bus out of the kitchen.  Sorry about that, people from Brighton who bought my flat.  

Instead, I'm watching it all on telly from miles away and feeling a tiny bit less than alive because I'm not in London, where things happen.

This ridiculousness forces me to remember why I like living here, in my house, with my beloved, in a city that's not yet mine.

The other Saturday, we were wandering around town and heard an unusual noise.  Looked up to see three birds, one of which seemed to be carrying another.  Took a while to process this visually, then realised I was looking at two peregrines taking a pigeon - an Attenborough-worthy drama right in front of us in the city centre!  They live in the church spires, and it turns out everyone knew about them but us, or at least the Coventry Telegraph did.  We then pottered around the Herbert Museum for a bit, going "ooh look, a Lowry" and trying on the armour from the kids' dressing-up boxes, all finished off with a decent cup of coffee.  

The previous week we were at the Godiva Festival, as documented elsewhere, and I can't think of anywhere else I could watch Heaven 17 for nowt, while drinking Pimms and watching families settle down with their kids and dogs for a bit of an eighties singalong.

The following week we unexpectedly got tickets for Latitude - they arrived on Wednesday and by Thursday afternoon, following a couple of quick emails, we were off to Clapham to be ferried to the festival  in style by the legendary Dave the Owl. Despite the perpetually annoying and unnecessary difficulties of travelling horizontally across the UK, we learned that a trip to Southwold at two day's notice was perfectly possible, and I even  had time to nip to Asda and get a pair of wellies for £12.

That's a handful of reasons to be happy living in Coventry right there, and I've only been here a few weeks.

When the riots reach us, I almost feel as though I can say, while banging heads together:  "Not in MY city, you don't".



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