Dearest Colchester

June 15th, 2008

Dearest Colchester,

It’s seems that you have fallen on hard times. Wise elder statesman of the Essex countryside, it seems that you’ve taken to ignoring your past and pushing on towards the future. It is your choice to try and keep up with the London-ites, you know what consumers demand, but haven’t you seen pictures of 60 year old men before and after their plastic surgery makeovers? Frankenstein could find kinship in this grossly misshapen brethren. You don’t need a makeover, you just need to shine up what you already have. There is more interest in the crags and wrinkles then in the mall spectacles that you try to distract us with.

Colchester, birthed from a Roman more then 2000 years ago, deep within your aging lines lay these Roman birthmarks. You cannot deny your place as the oldest named resident in the land of UK giants. You are the original, you should celebrate rather than try to obscure your true heritage behind some Gap window or Starbucks coffee outlet.

I come to admire your wealth of wisdom, marvel at the structures that adorn you, yet there is little if any help to point me in the right direction. You are unique, a rare find, yet you flare no becons to call forth the mass to revel at your feet.

We walk through corners, look at all sides, but while we want to submerge ourselves in your offerings, on Sunday’s you close them all. We are cut off from your treasures, left only to mingle amongst the same materials that can be found on any high street. Why do you not boast, is it this modesty that keeps your fans at bay? Celebrity is tough to cope with, yet sometimes it’s the only thing that keeps obscurity at bay.

Colchester we come to be entertained, to dine at your table and have our senses saturated with your offerings. Yet all the tables are empty, locked away or predictable. You stand unique amongst a land offering plenty, but we are left begging for a mere morsel of delight. Peer in your treasure chest and you will  find it is brimming with priceless artifacts, these are what we want, these are what make us coming running into your clutches. We have golden coins to shower you in, yet your modest downtrodden ways make us curious what we would get in return.

Colchester, you are in your twilight years, yet forgetfulness seems to have crept upon, as it does as we age. We beseat you, put on your Sunday best, delight us with your tales, and roll out the red carpet, before it is too late and all is forgotten.

In quiet confidence,

The Traveller

aka The Tourist

Colchester CastleColchester Castle

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