I have recently moved back to the town I grew up in. After years away at uni and living in different cities it feels very strange to come back to this place I once knew so well. While I was away I rarely visited home, even when I was home for the summer I seemed to spend most of my time in the nearby cities or at the beach rather than in town or the places I spent time as a kid. So much has changed. There’s a shopping centre now, a multi-story car park where the market used to be, a tesco extra and many other little bits and bobs which weren’t here when I left 6 years ago.
On Tuesday I decided to go for a run. There’s a lane right outside my house which I used to walk/cycle down a lot, especially when we had dogs. The start of the path is where I would wait for the school bus. I had a cat named Percy who wasn’t the most affectionate of animals, she hated being picked up and rarely sat on anyones knee, but every morning she would wait for the bus with me here. When she died her brother, Bertie (I was in to Thomas the Tank when I was 3, which happened to be when we got the cats!) came out and waited for the bus with me for a week.
As I set off down the familiar path I was mainly concentrating on getting my pace and breathing right. It’s been a while since I went running and I didn’t want to get a stitch or resort to walking. I rounded the corner, reached the top of the hill and chucked to myself as I remembered the first time I managed to cycle all the way up that hill without stopping. It was before I had a bike with gears, got a lot easier after that!
At the bottom of the hill you could still see the shortcut we used to take over the grass. There’s a turning space for a car down there but I never remember seeing any cars. This is where the first difference struck me. These days the lane must be a more popular place as the council have put a bin by the turning space. It might only be a small thing, but having gone down here pretty much every day as a kid it looked alien.
As I rounded the corner the first houses came into view, and it was at this point I decided on todays blogging theme. In fact, it was this…
Once upon a bike ride my nephew skidded and fell into that pile of chippings. It was much bigger then, or I was smaller, but it was definitely that pile, right there! Now it has been at least 10 years since we rode down that lane together yet the chippings are still there. It made me so nostaligic to think of how everything can be so different yet exactly the same all at once. I wondered if Katy and Fiona would be like me if asked to visit somewhere they hadn’t been for a while. It didn’t need to be anywhere ‘special’, just somewhere revisited. To me, as a kid, this was just ‘the lane’. Either I would take the dogs to the college (where the lane met the main road which meant leads for the dogs, and what’s the fun of a walk with leads?! So we’d head back) and back, or Josh and I would cycle to McDonalds or Wyvale to look at the fish and pets. Once I cycled down to get us happy meal each (it’s about mile away) only to return to find Josh only had 10 chips in his! All that effort for 10 chips!! Another time we discovered I was old enough to buy fish, how exciting!! Not so much when we got them outside and remembered we’d come on our bikes…how would we get them home? They went over the handle bars and we peddled very slowly! When I had friends over we would walk to the school (the opposite way from Maccy D’s) and paddle in the river (the same one I mentioned few days ago) or sometimes my dad and I would go for super long bike rides, up and over the hills I took the sunset snaps (see my flickr page over there —>). Going for that run and running down the lane made me realise how much time I spent there, how many hours of my childhood started on that little path, whether it was waiting for the bus or going fishing with my brother, it all started right outside my door.
I went for another walk down there, with my camera this time, and realised I could have walked for hours getting lost in memories. Past the house where Bo used to live, a gentle giant of a dog who Josh was terrified of (to be fair he was bigger than Josh by about a foot!), the gate was open that day and the windows boarded up meaning that lovely family don’t live there anymore…I could turn left at the bottom and go back to the pond, or right and see if the garden centre still sells pets. Am going to do it one day, when I have a day to waste. Am already looking forward to it 🙂
This post is part of the Twitter Blogathon.