Sunday, March 26, 2006

Regret & Realisation

I wonder how many Scots wait until they're my age before going for a look around Edinburgh castle. I must admit that I've only visited fair Edina a handful of times over my twenty-eight years, and Friday there was the first time I'd made the trek to the castle.

Edinburgh's a wonderful city, that seems to have been built kind of like Ankh-Morpork - on top of itself. All the old buildings in the town centre seem so staggeringly high thanks to the hills, and I cant wait to go back again and start exploring the back alleys and nooks and crannies that I passed on the way up the Royal Mile.

The most startling experience was in the War Memorial within the castle. I'm not normally an emotionally expressive kind of guy ("Huh! Me MAN!") but I was moved to tears in that place. I was brought up listening to WWII stories told by my Gran, and - though I don't remember him at all - my Granda was a survivor of the war. Admittedly, he spent most of it being horrendously mistreated in a series of POW camps, even spending some time at Auschwitz.

I spent a lot of time reading about WWII as a young boy, filling my head with tales of heroic sacrifice and death or glory charges. In that place, wasn't a symbol of the glories of war that are relayed to those left behind. It was a quiet marker of the Great War that said: "We're sorry"

I was truly humbled.

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