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I lived in Wolverhampton for 11 years in the late 70s and 80s, and I go back only rarely these days, usually when an old friend has an occasion or, sadly a funeral. I’m a member of a group on Facebook which has lots of photographs of Wolverhampton in the old days, and also of one which allows photographs of modern-day Wolverhampton.
Now on the former group, there are plenty of people who moan about how lovely it looks in the old days – wasn’t it clean! No it wasn’t! Pollution in the atmosphere so thick you could taste it and the snot from your nose was black not green. Horse muck in the roads if you go back a bit further in time. Further back still, roads were basically mud and potholes. There’s no denying the buildings were prettier, particularly the Victorian ones, but people who moan about them being knocked down should remember that they demolished some lovely half-timbered buildings in order to build the red brick ones. Sometimes I don’t bother looking at that group because it is so negative.
The other group has someone taking pictures of Wolverhampton and you can tell that she is talented, she may be an amateur photographer but she really has an artistic eye and finds some amazing perspectives. The cityscapes she posts are truly beautiful, and many times I’ve thought “oh yes I remember that detail”, and many more times I’ve thought “I never noticed that!”.
Sometimes it takes a different eye to show you a new perspective on an old thing. Maybe when life gets too much, a different perspective can give us a boost, or a new angle on things could bring new opportunities or new ideas. A key way of untwisting your thinking can be to go for a walk and get some air into your lungs. Maybe, instead of focusing on the pavement in front of you, you could look up for a change and see a gargoyle, a name plate, a finial, a bird, a nest…
If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.