Thursday, November 17, 2005

Car Trouble

Portsmouth is a dirty, rough, hard little city. I say little, because although you'd never notice, it's ringed by a tidal 'moat', a kind of defence system from the Napoleonic wars which is now crossed by the motorway and full of toxic mud. People still refer to 'Portsea Island'. It's a hard little city because of the docks and the navy. Three, four hundred years of sailors and the kind of people that a navy supports! The massive development at Gunwharf Quays is busy gentrifying the dockside and filling it up with ultra-violet neon, chain restaurants and outlet shops - most of the city is still tiny terraces, concrete flats from post-war bombing infill projects and so on. I mention this because although I've lived in Portsmouth on anf off for years, my car is bust. This means I'm walking more and seeing more of the city that you don't normally see from a speeding car. A forty-five minute walk to work each day - must be good for me!

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