Today, Lorna and I explored Dollar, if one can truly explore a place where you spent the majority of your childhood. The last 12 years have done little to change Dollar. The school has developed a little and some of the shops have swapped around but that’s about it. It’s still a provincial town in the Scottish countryside, sheltering under some pretty serious hills.
We spent some time walking, climbing and running up and down Dollar Glen and explored Castle Campbell. We looked at old houses I once lived in and the schools that educated me. We visited rugby pitches where I had miserable times and sports halls where I had great successes.
Wherever we went we seemed to run into people from the past. David Brown, helping run a fencing competition. The curator of the castle. The Toons and Janet Carolan in the Dollar Museum.
The things I miss about Dollar really aren’t about the place itself. No, it’s the community, the freedom and the sheer healthiness of the environment. The countryside, the trees, the rivers and the lack of pollution. The air smells and tastes good as it burns its way into your lungs – not something you could ever say about London. People are friendly and don’t judge you in the same way and for the same things that Londoners do. It’s been 12 years since Iived in Dollar and maybe 9 since I visited it for any length of time. Yet they welcomed me warmly with enthusiasm and genuine interest in me and my family.
I have some serious questions to ask myself when I get back to London. Most of them concern wether I really want to be there at all.