Tuesday, 23 June 2020

The Consolations of Somewhere

I stepped in to the parish church again this morning, to sit a while and add to the 'footfall', and as I was leaving, an elderly gent in a mobility scooter rolled in. I'd seen him around the village before, and we exchanged nods. Continuing on my way, I headed for the nature reserve, and was wandering there when I saw him again. I greeted him and he came over (he was out of his mobility scooter now). We exchanged a few pleasantries and parted. Then, on the road outside, we bumped into each other yet again, so clearly it was time for introductions. His name rang a faint bell...
It turned out that he had attended the same schools, primary and grammar, as me, and had returned to the latter as a teacher, teaching geography, from the late Fifties to the mid-Sixties – so, yes, he had probably taught me: at the age of 70, I had bumped into one of my old schoolmasters. It was strangely cheering, this evidence of long continuity. We 'somewhere' people, 'rooted in one dear perpetual place'...

5 comments:

  1. Brings tears to my eyes, perhaps because I have been dragged from each somewhere I find by my family's wanderings. My real somewhere is where I learned to ride a bike, just off the King's Road, Chelsea - but no one who was born there at the time could now afford to live there & as a result, despite the buildings still being there - (often mere facades these days, the interiors all wet rooms and home cinemas & gyms) - the place no longer exists.

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  2. I sympathise, Zoe – that must be the worst, when the buildings are still there but the place has simply gone. I guess it happens less in suburbia, but I think I've been singularly lucky to have settled in a place that has changed so little in 60 years (and that little mostly for the better).

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