The weekend after next, I’m going to be in Inverness for the first time since I moved down to Scotland’s murder capital around six weeks ago. I’ve kept in regular touch with lots of folk back north, so it’s been very much in my thoughts.
Not that you’d think it, moving from a city of 60,000 to one of around 700,000, but I’ve really enjoyed a quieter pace of life here. Largely thanks to no longer having a mentally busy job that takes me away from home lots, I’ve been able to enjoy my evenings and weekends and generally relax when I want to.
And Inverness really stands up to Glasgow when I compare the two. Inverness is in a beautiful location with so much beautiful countryside and interesting places to go and see around it; Glasgow has the likes of Cumbernauld. Glasgow may see itself as a diverse and cosmopolitan place, but not in some senses – Inverness has heaps more Polish and Mormons than pretty much any place I’ve ever been to. And postmen, for some reason… but they’ve yet to be classed as a race or religion I believe. Also, being the fastest growing city in Europe (supposedly), Inverness has a real confidence and sense of boom about it, whereas Glasgow is just a little too big to get any sense of it as a whole.
The accent here still takes a bit of getting used to as well. I’ve noticed how Invernessian my own voice has become over the past three and a half years – I’ve been saying things like “match” instead of “much” and “ap” instead of “up”. I’m not quite sure whether I’ve noticed it because it is so out of place here, or whether I’ve been subconsciously emphasising it to resist getting a Weegie whine. Which would not be good.
Not that I dislike it here at all – far from it, I’ve settled in brilliantly, met some lovely people, enjoyed my work, and had a really good time so far. The shops are good, the pubs are good, the West End has a lovely feel, and the people are nice. Plus the train network is really handy, and I’ve yet to see open gang warfare in the the street.
Which is right enough, I suppose.