I have a pretty terrible short-term memory, often forgetting who people I've recently met actually are, but my long-term memory's alright. I decided to go to Bicester on my second-last weekend of living in Buckinghamshire. Bicester was my childhood home between the ages of three and eight (post-Colchester and pre-Malvern, the move westwards did me good).
I was going to have a load of photos to post of my old house and school and church, and was prepared to post them in the happy knowledge that they're only of interest to me, but sadly, I've sat on my cardreader and it's reacted to this by not working. But anyway, I got lost at first in the town centre, but as soon as I got to the old church, I knew exactly where I was and was able to proceed to my former home and school, in the Dark and Dangerous suburbs of west Bicester. There were all sorts of things I'd totally forgotten about, like the boat outside the scout hut and the road on which I once had a tantrum because my mum had forgotten to record Sesame Street that day. I had a difficult and troubling childhood, clearly.
It was kind of nice to go back, although tinged with a bit of sadness because I've got no real connection with it anymore. A lot's changed, as you'd expect, and this was my first proper visit since I stopped living there, but I have so very many memories of that fairly short period of my life, and of course, when you actually go back it's a very ordinary place. I'm not sure what I was expecting, to be fair- it wasn't meant to be a giant revelation, unlocking lost childhood memories, but SO VERY MUCH is different. Obviously, because it was 16 years ago, and in that time I've gained two extra siblings who have no connection whatsoever with the town, I've finished school and university, and got meself a job or two. These are all good things, but I guess the sadness is because it used to be home, and my notion of home is that home's always home and that it couldn't change, but clearly it has, because now home's in the West Midlands. But what if that changes too? Yes. It's a stupid thing to be even a bit sad about.
Then there's Bicester Village, a mega-posh (in stark contrast to My Former Neighbourhood) retail outlet full of terrifying designer shops which people QUEUE to get in to. I fitted in really well with my fisherman's jumper and jeans. People come from all over the place to go there. I heard some Danes, which made me happy. I only went because it first opened when we were just about to leave, and I remember there was a competition in the local schools to name a bear statue in the middle of this retail outlet. The bear was named 'Porridge', and I've been bitter ever since that my fantastic suggested of 'Alexander/dra' (they didn't specify the gender of said bear and even at eight years old, I didn't like making assumptions) wasn't chosen. I checked, and the bear's still called Porridge. But will always be Alexander/dra to me.
I bought some owljamas (from town, not the village), too:

:owl

I like them because I do cartoons a bit like that but not as good.
I've been pretty successful in avoiding everything to do with The Move, which is to take place next weekend. I think tomorrow I'm going to have to actually start doing something constructive. It's going fine really. Soon I'll hopefully be arranging flat viewings in Alnwick and shall have a brand new place, full of things that don't break!

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