A love letter to Nottingham
It’s time to pay homage to a city which is ridiculed too often, says Oscar O’Mara
Three years at UoN and a year at Trent have led me to this moment. The moment that Nottingham finally gains the recognition it deserves. I have decided to pay homage to a city too often ridiculed for its history, a bit like Michael Jackson.
So, dear reader, I have written a love letter to the city that has become a home from home.
You wondrous delight of fragility and beauty, peril and passion. You have given and taken the best years of my life.
Without you I would be a lesser man, a stranger to snuff. A lonesome stallion, foreign to the virtues of an El Passo and Rugby League.
If not for you, the solitary confinement of a leafy and isolated London suburb would have consumed me. Yet, your concealed countryside and exposed architecture have still provided infinite possibilities for adventure.
A vibrant city with entertainment to satisfy all tastes, you have battled comparisons with siblings such as London and Manchester, and still retained your identity. You know who you are: the over-achiever, the comedian, the Mark Wahlberg of locations; ever-present, ever ambitious and ever growing.
You are patient, always willing to educate, and enable individuals to find themselves. Whether that be in the early hours of the morning at some of the best and worst nightclubs in the world or whilst you try and navigate your way through The Park.
Are there things I would change from the last four years? Of course. That whole ‘no regrets’ thing is a myth.
For example, I wish I hadn’t first met you wearing a pink Ralph Lauren polo; I wish you could have helped me avoid the girl on the top floor once I realised she was crazy; I wish I had not called the social secretary of Rugby League a ‘fat James Corden’ on the first away trip; I wish you could have told me to duck when a ‘local’ head-butted me on my last shift at Baa Bar.
And I definitely wish I had kept away from snuff.
Nevertheless, my biggest regret is not appreciating you sooner. Your natural beauty, your willingness to protect residents, and the incredible facilities you have to offer bring even the most idiosyncratic of people together.
You are how a city should be: accessible, active and affectionate.
No doubt I am being biased. But I have enjoyed the best years of my life with you and that is, in my opinion, how it should be.
Nottingham is a place for exploration and originality, along with University, the last opportunity to seize immaturity by the hand and give it an intimate kiss, yet, more so than anything, it is the last hurrah before the dark days of employment loom.
So thank you Nottingham for the time of my life. I will never forget you and I hope you never forget me.
It’s been emotional.