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6:41pm on Tuesday, 18th November, 2008:



I'd put Ripon on my list of places I'd like to visit, except I've already been there — it's where I was born. That's exactly why I'd like to visit it, though, because being born there is practically my only connection with the place.

I think I've visited it six times in my life:

  1. Being born there.
  2. Visiting it with my grandmother (we went to the market).
  3. Ditto.
  4. Being driven through it once to visit one of my grandmother's sisters who lived in nearby Wath.
  5. Being driven through it on a visit to nearby Fountain's Abbey.
  6. Being driven past the racecourse on the way to visit the same grandmother's sister who bythen had moved to nearby Melmerby.

The last three of those were as a result of my asking to divert through Ripon because I wanted to see what the place was like. I did get to see the outside of the cathedral on my fourth "visit", but that's about it. It was big, black and looming (it's since been cleaned). Oh, I think my mother pointed out the location of the maternity home where I was born, once, too; if they haven't knocked it down, I'd recognise it.

Ripon isn't a big city (although, courtesy of its cathedral, it is a city) — its population is around 16,000. By all accounts it's quite pretty, though, and as I like Northern market towns in general there's a good chance I'd really enjoy the place.

It wouldn't matter if it were an utter slum, though. The reason I want to visit it (as opposed to would like to visit it) is purely because I was born there.

There's an arbitrary excuse for curiosity for you.

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Copyright © 2008 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).