It’s been bugging me ever since I arrived in Edinburgh, and it is something that has nagged on the past occasions I have stayed here. Don’t get me wrong I like the city a lot – but there is something missing and now I think I know what it is. A river.
Like London there is a north and a south to Edinburgh and there is a place where the river ought to be – along the train lines that run through Waverley. Asking around I heard that water – a loch – did once sit where the railway station now lies. On further investigation (see The Scotsman article linked below) it may have been man-made shitpit/water hole that also served as a place of medieval execution.
The Thames is different in that it is a flowing river as old as ice ages. It is cleaner now than it has been for, what, 2000 years? But my river spent much of that time as shitpit/water hole and place of death. Meanwhile the Nor’ Loch, to quote a line from one of my London Poems is, a “forgotten absence as as hard to reconceive / as the seven windmills that once faced Rotherhithe.”