I had to go to London yesterday. I was born there a long time ago and spent 18 years there in my childhood and have many memories. A trip back always creates some excitement and this visit was no exception.
For example, passing Buckingham Palace in the sunshine I saw the Queen’s Guard Mounting, and The Mall was looking splendid. The buildings in central London are truly wonderful and if I was a tourist I’m sure I’d have a great time there.
But one thing that stood out above all else was the sheer cleanliness of the place. It looked clean, was well decorated with flowers and gave a sense that London was proud of what it has.
Sadly, Cardiff where I’ve lived for the last 15 years or so and regard as my home, does not have the same feel. I can honestly say that I don’t think I’ve ever seen it dirtier or less welcoming.
Approaching the city by train from the west, first impressions are of a run down little town. Even the iconic Millennium Stadium has its aura spoilt by grubby track side rubbish and trees/weeds growing on the embankments collecting rubbish.
Our streets are filthy and the city centre is a town planner’s playground, with the focus being on shopping and not on strategic development.
And we sadly seem to accept this: the sense of pride in our capital city is missing. London’s got it, why can’t we get it?