My University assignment

England, France, Yorkshire

Here I am, still slaving away at Blogging 101, the University of Blogging.  I’m beginning to get a bit on edge when I fire up the laptop in the morning, because I know Senior Lecturer and Course Director Michelle W will have sent out yet another assignment requiring us to tweak and tinker with our blogs, and generally bring them up to scratch.  I even played hooky the day before yesterday, and the day before that.  Doesn’t she know I have a LIFE to lead?

However, here I am again, back in the University Libary (aka our study).  Today we have to write a post.  And it’s to be inspired by a blog we found yesterday, a blog new to us, which we felt moved to comment on.

I discovered Katherine Price.  She can write in a way that takes me to her world, her street, her little stretch of the Thames and help me to savour with her the local trees and the daily rhythms of the birds, whether a clamour of rooks, or a solitary kingfisher streaking past.  The first post I read was a bit of a hymn to staying put and not moving on, a hymn to her home in suburbia.

And it got me thinking about where I live now, and where I used to live… and the time before that… and the time before that.  It reminded me of a post I wrote almost 5 years ago, and I thought it was maybe time to revisit it and re-work it.

I spent my childhood in London: population 8.5 million.

Then I went to University in Manchester: population 2.5 million.

A few years later I was living in Leeds: population 751,000.

And then we moved to Harrogate: population 76,000.

Then we went to France and I started a blog. We lived in Laroque d’Olmes with about 2,500 other people.

And now we’ve come back to England, and we live in North Stainley.  This is a village whose population is about 730.

Can you see a pattern here?

Everwhere I’ve lived has seemed special at the time.  I used to relish all that a big city could offer, whether the museums, cinemas, or the huge choice of shops.  As I moved onwards and downwards, I remembered instead and with some horror the crowds, the dirt, the general busy-ness of the place before.  Good heavens, even Laroque, not big enough to support a range of shops, much less a cinema or a swimming pool seems rather exotic compared with the facilities in North Stainley (a village hall, a church, and a pub,  to be re-opened in early spring). We’ve traded cinemas for a film on Saturdays once every 6 weeks in the village hall, and shops for the chance to buy eggs from the farm not far from here.  And this blog is where I often report on what we discover as we explore our local countryside .

I’ll leave you with a quiz: can you identify each of the places I’ve lived in from these images?

10 thoughts on “My University assignment

  1. How interesting to find a pattern in your moves. It does seem you’ve been moving towards a quieter place but, since I’ve been following your blog, not one where you’re less busy and less observant of the life around you. Looks like, in spite of the homework, you’re enjoying the WP Blogging University😀


    1. It’s a tiny bit of a cheat actually. I conveniently leave out the moves between Manchester and Leeds. The cities concerned – Portsmouth, Wakefield and Sheffield – have populations of 205,000, 76,000 and 550,000 respectively. But why allow facts to stand in the way of a good story ;)?


  2. Wait–was that whining in the first paragraph? You sounded just like every undergrad I ever taught! I like thinking back to the different places I’ve lived. Not as many, nor as varied, as your experiences but all places I was very fond of.

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  3. Like you I’ve done small, medium and large but nothing was quite right, I felt a bit like Goldilocks choosing porridge. Small country towns seem to be my preference at the moment. I did live in London in my youth and loved it but yes the dirt. At the time I had waist length hair which used to get washed over the bath and I can still see the colour of the water. Yuk!


    1. It’s not so much that nothing felt right. It’s just the way things went when having a job was the most important thing. And I still love London. Visiting my son and his family there is wonderful, and not just to visit the grandson.


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