Love Where You Live

Yesterday my 14-years old and her friend presented me with a little “essay” about Medway – the area where we live. It was written with great sarcasm, emphasizing all its flaws and basically slagging it off. Though, I have to say it was written not without style. I had mixed emotions about it: first, sadness (why are they so resentful to this place?), then anger (you haven’t seen other, much worse places) and then I just shrugged my shoulders. Teenagers nowadays. And they said that it was just an exercise in humor anyway. But thinking about it further I could see a tendency, especially among the young people, to actively criticize the places where they live, finding only bad things to say about it. Well…

I love Medway. I love England, my adoptive country. I was born in Russia, but from the early age, since I learned to read, England always fascinated me. My dad was a philologist and we had lots of various classical books: Fielding, Thackeray, Goldsmith and of course, Shakespeare and Dickens. Later it was Conan Doyle (read it about a million times), Chesterton, Christie… I formed an image of England, my own personal idea about the country… It was a dream, a dream based on literature but Oh! What a wonderful dream it was!

Victorian_England_by_brainleakage

And you know what? When I first came here – I was not only not disappointed, I loved it even more. And then I came to live here.

Medway is a little region in the South-East of England, in the county of Kent.

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It is beautiful. Don’t get me wrong – as everywhere else, there are lots of problems here –  rubbish on the streets, drunks on Friday night, unemployment, etc, etc.

But let’s concentrate on other things:

 

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What is more beautiful than English countryside?

 

 

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View of Rochester bridge from my bedroom windoe

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Rochester Castle, one of the very few medieval Norman castles left in England

 

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Tudor houses in the High Street. Aren’t they lovely?

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My opinion about Englishmen as reserved, gloomy people was completely changed when I went to see Sweeps Festival in May. What joy and merriment, jokes and beer flowing freely. This is now the international Morris Dance event.

 

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I just love driving along these ‘tree tunnels’!

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This is the Bird Sanctuary. Would you believe that just 20 miles from here is London – megapolis with almost 9 million population

 

I think it is very important  to appreciate the place where you live, be it your little village, your huge city or your whole country, and – well, yes, simply to love it

I know I do and I am proud of it

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