Brand new Colin Myers original artwork “From the Old to the New”

As the sun had set over Edinburgh and the daylight faded into twilight, he stood up and made for the window. Stopping to find his last match, he struck it quickly and purposefully against the old stone wall and lit the cigarette he had stowed in his pocket. The Moon was rising over the New Town and he took the time to pause.

He looked on in wonder; he wondered who lived in those grand new houses and how they lived. He wondered if they would experience anything of the old town, save perhaps, the obligatory shoe shining at the hands of the Cowgate peasants or ruffians from the Grassmarket. He wondered whether or not a single man, woman or child brought into the new world a bairn of the new town and never venturing over the North Bridge might understand the world from which he now stood, rooted and looking on. Would they ever see the cockroaches climb the walls, the vermin all around his feet or the indignity of sleeping five to a bed with complete strangers and without a mattress between them.

He wondered a little more and he looked on. The lights would come on gradually as candles were lit and the world over the bridge and beyond the far north of Edinburgh would settle for the evening by the fire. He puffed on the cigarette a little harder, his mind working all the longer. He would find a way beyond, a way out and a way to stroll beyond those cobbled old streets, the buildings draped with clothing from one week to the next and with the sheer smell of defeat running down every crack in the paving stones. He would find a way and he would prevail. He would never live on the New Town, he would live a far better life. He would live a life that befitted him, who he was, where he had been, where he come from and more importantly where he was going. He looked on and wondered no more…