The other day somebody asked me ‘So how are you finding living in Blackburn?’ and I replied ‘Er, yeah‘ in a high-pitched-I-don’t-have-an-answer-to-that kind of way.
The truth is, I’m not really sure what I think of Blackburn.
Partly because I’ve not really spent that much time here and partly because I’m a little scared to look to much into my feelings about my geographical location.
Here’s the thing, I am happy here. But when I say here, I don’t necessarily mean my postcode, I mean where I am in life. If you read regularly, then you’ll have regularly read “I love my flat, I love my job.” It’s true I do, but on the edge of that, creeping around and encroaching on that happiness is the fact that I can’t help but think that living in Blackburn might mean I am missing out on one or two things.
I miss York. For so many reasons, but that was to be expected. That is my home town, my very lovely home town, and when I tell people where I am from I understand their jealousy. Missing York isn’t what is bothering or surprising me.
What is surprising me is that I miss city life. Or at least I miss all the benefits of a city life.
I miss knowing that I can get a coffee at all hours of the day, I miss having the option of going to an art house cinema, even if I never went, and I miss walking down the street and seeing other people my own age.
When my Mum visited, shortly after I moved here, she said to me ‘I don’t think you’re going to find the man of your dreams here.’ Of course, ever the optimist, you can never rule that out completely, but if you were to play a numbers game, well, the odds wouldn’t be in my favour. And it isn’t just about the opposite sex either.
When I lived in Manchester there was something going on every night of the week. Some times that something was a glass of wine and an amazing pizza, sometimes it was a huge international festival. That doesn’t happen here. Not every night of the week. Here I have to make the most of what is on offer when it is on offer.
The shops here shut at 5, the cafe’s are closed Sundays, and there is one cinema with limited listings, but Blackburn is Open.
If you follow me on Instagram you might have noticed that lately I’ve been to a number of arty events including a performance in a caravan and a one night only exhibition. There is something happening in Blackburn, there are groups gathering, there are schemes scheming, and there are young people… somewhere. Some of these things I am involved with through work, and for that I am very grateful and other things, that might not be my usual cup of tea, I have to put myself out there and get involved with anyway, because Blackburn isn’t a city.
In a city if you don’t go out when something is happening that night, it doesn’t matter because the next night something else will be happening. In Blackburn, if I don’t go when something is happening, I miss out. So even when all I really want to do is go home because I’ve been up since 6, and even though visual art and gallery openings aren’t really my thing, I grab a free glass of orange juice (there was bubbly on offer, but I have the will power of a ninja at the moment) and get on with it.
Because otherwise I am missing out, and those odds would get even more unfavourable. And that wouldn’t be down to my post code, that would be down to me and my worryingly hermit like tendencies.
Live life & get out there x
Ps. If you are in Blackburn you should definitely take a look at the Blackburn is Open website and come down and support their events, because proving that there is a demand for art and events in Blackburn is the only way we are ever going to get the ball rolling!