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'...


  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.

  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).