Well Carlisle… A few days ago I was in the lovely town of Keswick, the picturesque mountains, the sunset glistening on the lake. As the love of my life enjoyed a fruit cider, as semi retired couples smiled and waved at my son and I, me being somewhat naive, jumped at the chance to work in the heart of Cumbria, England’s most northern city and gateway to Scotland.
Let me tell you now, not all towns are the same. In Cumbria, as I made my way off the m6 past jaguar and tescos, I was fooled into believing this walled town is quite the city. Let me also tell you, this is a trick, these are the last bastions of civilisation as you enter a land you will never forget and unless you have a raging drug problem, you will never visit again.
Stopping for fuel and coffee at the said tesco, I noticed something very odd and it should of been an early indicator that the people who inhabit this city are not quite right. The truth is, these people very, very rarely see foreigners like me. People can live in Carlisle their whole life and never set foot out of the town, so when you speak to the locals, they sound like Geordie’s. A dull Geordie, kind of like a west country accent for the very north.
The next thing I noticed, was the use of the words puddin, mush and init, all said in the same dull voice and used by males that all wear identical tracksuits.
The lady’s here all seem slightly larger and love to wear jeans that are 5 times to small for them. I saw several of these creatures camped outside the hostel near botcher gate. I wasn’t sure if they were homeless or just sad, because they looked ridiculous.
Although Carlisle is Short on housing, it’s not short on drug dealers. Everyone is selling and the currency up here is bar.
So once you’ve bought your bud for twenty bar, why not have a leisurely stroll to the lanes, Carlisle’s shopping centre. It’s only a few minutes walk from anywhere because Carlisle isn’t actually that big. You can walk along the road to Botchergate, looking at the lovely decaying architecture of a dozen closed shops and smell the aroma of two stroke oil from the stolen motorcycles that fly up the road irregardless of the police presence. The odd pub with those who are addicted to narcotics are the only busy establishments until you get to weatherspoons / Lloyd’s bar this is hammered.
Then you pass the citadel which looks surprisingly good, even though it pains me to say it. Into the lanes, similar to the decaying high street, many shops lie empty others are less then busy, but then you see the crowning jewel in the heart of Cumbria, the driving force behind the economy… sports direct (selling thousands of tracksuits to the [alleged] drug dealing youth of Carlisle. Then right next to it, McDonald’s. Tracksuits and big macs, the driving force in Carlisle.