My Year in Cities, 2006

I remember, last year, seeing Jason Kottke’s digest of 2005 in terms of the cities that he had visited. “What a nifty idea,” I thought, and contemplated doing the same. That was before I realised it would be a four-item set, comprising {Stirling, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Culrain}, all in Scotland. Although, in retrospect, perhaps 2004 was even duller, comprising {Glasgow, Guildford, Crawley}.

Whilst you’re all marvelling at the fact that I didn’t shoot myself in 2004, and inspired by Kottke’s recent post, let’s look back at my 2006 in cities. Adopting his convention, “One or more nights spent in each place. Those cities marked with an * were visited multiple times on non-consecutive days.” Onwards:

  • Edinburgh, Scotland*
  • Oban, Scotland
  • Kyleakin, Isle of Skye, Scotland
  • Ullapool, Scotland
  • Fort Augustus, Scotland
  • Glasgow, Scotland*
  • Port Charlotte, Islay, Scotland
  • Penicuik, Scotland
  • Cambridge, England*
  • Boston, MA*
  • Moultonborough, NH*
  • Burlington, VT
  • Mashpee, Cape Cod, MA
  • Philadelphia, PA
  • New York, NY
  • Chicago, IL*
  • Madison, WI
  • Neillsville, WI
  • London, England
  • Dublin, Ireland

In a number of these places, I was a guest of one or other of my good friends, and I’d like to thank them all for their hospitality. In Cambridge, for one week, I was a guest of the Abbeyfield Guest House. They can go to hell.

This is a fun game: Facebook people should play it too, but I’m not going to tag you so that you think I’ve written something about you but really I just desperately want you to read my scribblings.

P.S. I’m home for Christmas now. You’ll no doubt be relieved to know that I made it home in less than 24 hours, and there was no repeat of the previous debacle. In fact, as I saw fog descend on the entire south-east of England, I felt quite vindicated in my decision not to fly home (although apparently Stansted experienced no cancellations, Murphy’s Law would surely have conspired against me (which reminds me that, in Dublin Airport, the full text of Murphy’s Law is daubed on the walls of the food court (the irony was not lost on me))). My overcrowded and lacking-functioning-toilets GNER train rolled into Glasgow Central a mere 45 minutes late this evening, despite:

  • “Adhesion issues” outside London
  • Signalling problems outside London
  • Being stuck behind a slow train between Newcastle and Morpeth
  • Being stuck behind a slow train between Morpeth and Berwick-upon-Tweed
  • Being stuck at signals at Carstairs Junction
  • Signalling problems outside Motherwell
  • A diversion between Bellshill and Uddingston
  • A delay in getting a platform at Glasgow Central

They reeled off this litany of problems in the all-encompassing apology at the end of the journey. However, most of the passengers couldn’t care less, and just wanted to get to a working toilet. Total disembarkation occurred in slightly less time than a fire drill.

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