Be A Tourist.

On the odd occasion that someone I know asks for suggestions for what to do with their weekend, I’ll go to my trusted response: be a tourist.

I live in Hull, which is due to become the City of Culture next year (2017), and it’s currently a building site. And that is not an understatement, I mean, literally like 80% of the city centre is cordoned off and having work done to it, the main theatre is closed until July 2017 and a whole bunch of other stuff just won’t be done in time. But it’s my city, so I have to love it, don’t I?

I avoid going into the city centre for a number of reasons: I work there, I might bump into someone I work with and sometimes it is nice to get away from that, and also the amount of work is just off-putting.

However, the boyfriend and I were at a loose end and luckily the city has had a new art installation put in across the whole area, including the suburbs and some out of town areas: A Moth For Amy.

IMG_1817.jpgIt all started with the one moth we saw on Hull Truck Theatre, and we didn’t know what was really going on. But then we started noticing more. It turns out some where put up fairly early compared to the others as it all started officially on 1 July 2016, and runs until 31st March 2017.

In total, there are 59 moths spread mainly throughout the city, but also at Herne Bay, Sewerby Hall, Sheffield University and the Science Museum in London! So, we set about trying to find as many as we could. It’s funny how on a map everything looks really close together, but in reality, walking from place to place actually takes longer than you think and three hours later, and 22 moths spotted, photographed and ticked off the list, we were ready for home.

It is however, still a valid suggestion of mine: be a tourist. We didn’t venture too far from the city centre we knew, but we were willing to go as far as we could for it, and stumbled across the Maritime Folk Festival in the process happening on the Marina and outside the Minerva Tavern. This included sea shanties, and many, many groups of Morris Dancers. I’m not one for Morris Dancing, but when in Hull…just politely watch.

Anyway, these moths are true things of beauty, and are here to remember Amy Johnson, who was born in Hull, educated at Sheffield University, and died off the coast of Herne Bay, as well being famous for her solo journey to Australia. They’ve been designed to reflect Amy herself, her voyage and also the time in which she lived. There are some truly beautiful examples in the accompanying leaflet that has the map there too. We’ve only found 22, but you can rest assured, for all those within a short distance of Hull, we will be finding them!

So, go out and be a tourist in your own town or city! It’s a great thing to do to explore, pass time and discover some new things about the place that you live. If you live in the UK, don’t hesitate to let me know what you got up to, so if I ever visit, I can make the most of being a tourist!

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