I used to believe that beauty was everywhere except where I was at that time.
As someone born on a small island in a fishing village, beauty for me was in small quiet places, panoramic views, the seaside, the countryside or a quaint chocolate box village. While all those things are true, it is all relative, (a quote I often hear from literary agents). We all have our own ideas of what makes for beautiful surroundings. For some, it is city life, the lights, the atmosphere, the wide choice of food and entertainment, while others prefer the quiet, stillness and space of the countryside.
As human beings we always want more, to be somewhere else, a different time, a different place, if only..
A few months ago I decided to put some real effort into my Instagram. I wanted bold, colourful photographs that told a story of who I was and what I loved. The problem was, I didn’t have time or money to travel to exotic places just to take beautiful pictures so I had to look for beauty here, in my own backyard. Well, further than my backyard, more like ten steps out the front door and anywhere left or right of that.
Maybe I’ve been walking around with my eyes closed, or maybe my idea of beauty did not match where I lived. But I have been taking days out to explore my city, and this is what I saw.
Sure, it’s not the Bahamas, but here’s what I fell in love with once I opened my eyes. Autumn, I love it. The browns, yellows and greens splattered across the ground like a carpet. The snug feeling when you’re wrapped in a nice warm coat and a gentle autumn breeze teases through your hair.
I love our twenty nine mile canal that runs from Worcester to Gas Street. The stillness of the water pushed through a series of locks and bridges from the river Severn. I spent many hours walking along the canal by my home. I take a forty minute stroll along a walkers trail, over grown trees on either side, a lazy river and the canal, finishing at one of our largest parks Cannon Hill.
At Gas street basin I found colourful canal boats taking a break from their usual tours. Many painted vibrant reds and yellows, and all surrounded by chic bars with overlooking balconies.
Birmingham has made great strides to change its image, incorporating stylish and forward thinking buildings like the new library and Central Station. Bold buildings that introduce modern art to a new audience.Whilst still maintaining its history.
Most of all, what I love most about city living, is the bustling night life, the diversity of our community and having everything at your fingertips. There is an adventure around every corner, a new hip bar, an authentic family restaurant, while still having the countryside just a few miles away.
Explore where you live, try something different, see your area with new eyes, try new food, create new experiences. There is a whole new world out there for you, and it’s just outside your doorstep.
Maybe a bit further than your actual doorstep, but you know what I mean.
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