Hull : City of Culture
I went to university in Hull. I really like the place. It's battered and bruised, as you'd expect of a former fishing port on the North Sea coast. This year it's the City of Culture and last weekend I met up with 7 old - in every sense of the word - university friends to see how it has embraced the opportunities the title brings. It was really interesting. The people who took off their clothes, painted themselves blue and walked around the city at dawn for an art project have been the highest profile news but across the city galleries and shops have popped up. Hull is trying hard and change is noticeable. I felt strangely proud of the place.
Philip Larkin was the librarian at Hull University for a long time. He was also one of the country's most famous poets. At Hull Paragon station there is a statue of him and some quotes from his poems are printed on manhole covers. My favourite lines were these :-
"Reaching for the world as all our lives do,
Reaching that we may give the best of what we are and hold as true
Always it is by bridges that we live."
As I drove back across the Humber bridge I reflected upon Larkin's words. Connections matter.