It was the same when I returned to Scotland on the first driving holiday with my wife some seventeen years ago. We lived with her parents near Glasgow for a few weeks and then with mine, up in Perthshire. Having both met at school, we had similar memories of where we thought we were going: we were mistaken. In the Big Smoke it was a palpable sense of fear even getting into the lift to return to the car in the parking building; in the countryside, the nights were filled with the shouts of inbred local yokels high on beer. Walking through the centre of the city of Perth was not pleasant either for the same reason: insane looking people slouching on the benches and glowering at one as one passed by them, which was utterly unavoidable.
I remember on a later trip back, we had gone for dinner to a posh restaurant in Glasgow in what's now called The Merchant City. We had a great meal, and then on leaving, there were the obligatory youths, sitting on the pavement opposite the restaurant, propped against the wall, their beer cans on the ground beside them. Even the upmarket places aren't kept swept clean by the police; God alone knows what it must be like in the sink estates that surround the city on pretty well all sides.
We lived for years next to a beautiful park: Rouken Glen. As the kids came along we'd go there for walks, and in winter, when it snowed, we'd take them sledging. Before that, I had lived there too and would wander around the place without a care in the world; I even shot fashion pix and a calendar in that park. Autumn brought beautiful colours on the zillion trees and on two islands in the lake; I often went there and shot that. Now, I wouldn't even consider wandering about the many tracks on my own, never mind with the old camera case with Hasselblad writ large on pretty stickers!
Blame it on the bleeding hearts.