I am at St Nicholas’ Kirk (church in English) in Aberdeen. It’s right on the main, busiest shopping street of Aberdeen, so there’s a lot of traffic noise, but still a calm, green and peaceful place in the heart of the city. It is populated by people who like looking at graves, people who need a sit down after the trauma of Primark, office workers on their lunch breaks, dodgy drunk people, and pigeons.
I am sitting here reading Elizabeth Gaskell’s ‘Mary Barton’, and it’s quite an apt place to be reading it as half the graves here feature the phrase ‘died in infancy’, as I’m pretty sure everyone is going to die. Most of them are permanently hungry, eating opium, catching fevers and working with dangerous machinery. I bought my copy in the Oxfam bookshop for £2.75, it was printed in 1924, and has a lovely printed flyleaf.
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