We spent last weekend with friends in Würzburg.
What a great city: the history, the ambience, the whole Würzburg "feeling". It actually inspired me, in one of my more fluid moments, to make a promise that I'd write at least a short story set in that great medieval, castle-dominated Stadt.
I was convinced I could capture the admiration of its architecture and character and carry it over to a reader who would then consequently also fall in love with the city.
Of course, in the cold, blinding, headache-inducing glare of sobriety, I realised that would never happen. To be able to portray a place, be it country, region or city, and to invoke the same love that I experienced in Würzburg whilst under the influence of her Dionysian charms, I'd have to be a master scribe of Zarathustran proportions.
Which I am definitely not, unfortunately.
It brought home how good some of these travel book writers are. Those unsung heroes of the written word who cleverly manage to sell a concept of a place rather than the place itself.
The idea of being a travel writer seemed almost as bad as being a journo, but on reflection, I can now understand their talent.
I've always kept my locations down to a minimum of metaphors, relying largely on the characters of my book and the situations they land in to prod the reader along.
For actual place settings, of which I have many in "Division", I generally tended to ignore the specifics, relying on the reader's imagination to beef out the scenery.
That said, conversely, I read a book about Atlantis, written by a man who specialises in underwater architecture. In the book, when our hero finally finds Atlantis, the author wrecked the whole ending by scribbling reams upon reams about its sub-aquatic ruins. It was so tedious that I actually started skipping pages. Awful.
What's my point here?
I don't know, to be honest.
Würzburg is a great city. Whilst drunk I fell in love with her, all be it briefly, and wantonly yearned to dedicate a story to her. The next day I felt different and broke off our engagement.
Did I, a philanderer and rake, use her?
Würzburg, am I guilty of breaking your fragile heart?
Will you wilt and die for the love of a staggering Welshman?