Just back from a great weekend staying with old friends in Newtonmore, a part of Scotland that I and the family love a great deal.
My son sums it up with his view that "I get to be free there, like you are there but not watching my every move". Its true. We do feel much more able to let him and his wee pals run free there ina way we would not dream of here in the city. But that's quite sad too. Realistic but sad. Something has been lost in urban life that I doubt we will ever get back. No matter the number of police we put on the streets, or publish falling stats. that show falling crime. as it has been for years now, cities by their very nature, feel less safe and the difference between that and rural living is becoming more and more stark.
That's not to idealise the country life. This story from Orkney about car theft a few days ago suggests that some of down sides city life is impinging on the country more and more. The truth is that country living is tough in different ways and there as still many of the issues of social deprivation, family breakdown and drug and alcohol abuse that we presume are the source of much of the fear of crime in the cities. It just feels different up there and I hope we don't loose that.
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