Fellow Traveller

2001-11-18 12:17:15 (UTC)

Does it Matter where you Live?

I used to think it mattered a lot where I lived but since
moving rashly and stupidly to the wrong place I have to
pretend it's not so bad.

I grew up in an ugly part of East London, made worse in
memory by the disharmony of my parents and my grandparents
who lived next door.Then I escaped. I went away to Oxford
to study. Most people now know how attractive Oxford is
because they've watched 'Morse' on TV. Then it was a
revelation. I never wanted to go home again.

I got married and we spent a year in America. I thought it
would be all vulgarity - giant models of hotdogs revolving
on the rooftops. In fact we lived in a tasteful part of
Philadelphia with row houses.

Later we lived in Canada. The outdoors was beautiful but I
missed England - the red buses, post boxes and phone boxes.
When we returned there briefly it all seemed small and
overcrowded. We spent a year in Hawaii with mixed feelings -
the beauty, the exploitation, the endless good weather. We
returned to England and lived on the south coast.

My marriage fell apart. The children and I moved to a
smaller house. They left home. A partner moved in.
Meanwhile my parents had migrated after me and lived just
up the road. My partner said my family was stifling us. I
plucked up the resolve to move, far away to the Midlands.
He told me it was the wrong place, I didn't listen.....here
we are!