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?
Leeds Town Hall: Wikimedia Commons
A village pond at North Stainley.
Manchester Town Hall: Wikimedia Commons
St. Paul’s Cathedral seen from across the Thames