Yorkshire Airlines part deux

English people are so patient aren’t we?

So it’s hot. It’s very hot. And where am I? Standing in a plastic tunnel waiting to board Yorkshire Airlines back to Leeds Bradford.

Typically I’d wait until everyone else had boarded before heading to the plane, as I don’t see the point in standing in a queue when there are seats to sit on! However, because I arrived at the gate just as it opened, and am still half asleep, I just carried on walking and am now close to the front of the queue.

At this point I check the time, to see we’re actually not scheduled to board for another 25 minutes. Erm, confused.com? Ah lovely, the inbound passengers are approaching, they haven’t emptied the plane yet, let alone cleaned it ready for the next flight. Hot recognition that this could be a long wait. In a hot tunnel. Surrounded by perhaps the most disillusioned group of women you’ll ever meet.

Lis, Linz and Lore’a (sure there could’ve been a T in there if/when she was christened?) want to get home (novel, wonder what they think the rest of us are here for?…) They share with each other (and most of the tunnel) that “the did this t’us in’t Malaga, med us wait for ages”. I’m not convinced the Spanish team are intentionally trying to roast us, but the Lasses seem to think so! This could get quite entertaining; my ears are now locked into their conversation with a Hislop-esque cheekiness in mind!

At the front of the queue (priority boarding) is a lady in a wheelchair and her two companions. Linz and Lis are chuntering away behind me, until Lore’a announces she’s going to throw said woman out of that wheelchair in a minute, just do she can sit down! After a few more such comments and some colourful language, the classic liner comes. “We’re too flippin patient us English aren’t we? We’re idiots!”
At this point, I’m unable to contain my laughter and have to disguise this as a cough (as you do), at which point the silent older couple in front think I’m choking on my haribo, and turn to see if I’m ok. The others around can see exactly what’s going on and a few wry smiles, wiggly eyebrows and winks come my way. Ah, we’re boarding, lovely 🙂

Lost on a plane

Not me, the pilot! This could be fun! He’s just announced ‘Lads & lasses, boys & girls, we’re just flying over the South coast and are now heading up towards London. From there, we’ll skirt round the west of Heathrow (makes sense…) and follow the A1 north (erm…) past Northampton (?), Birmingham (eh?) and Wakefield (where is he?) before descending onto Leeds’ northern runway bang on time” (could be a slight delay whilst the Captain’s satnav recalculates, me thinks). He continues “there’s some rum cloud in Leeds, and it’s about 12 degrees…” what? Oh lord I’m not ready for this “… but it’s not raining!” Joy! Welcome to the UK in the height if British summer; it’s not raining!

Right, got to switch off all electronic equipment for landing now, let’s hope the SatNav hasn’t brought us to Glasgow?!…

ttfn /Rxx

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Valencia by night

The old town

Whenever I go to a Grand Prix… Hang on, does that sound complacent? *self awareness kicking in* I know how privileged I am to be doing so many, but I’m also a realist, for which I make no apologies! …so whenever I go to a Grand Prix, it’s like an excuse for a mini break to another new city; Melbourne, Barcelona, Monaco, Valencia, Budapest… But because I’m at the track much of the daytime, the city tours generally happen at night. And last night was no exception.

Valencia apparently has two distinct parts to it: the old town around Colõn and the Bullring, and the new town, recognisable for its distinctive architecture. Well the Grand Prix track, despite being a ‘street circuit’ is in neither of these areas (it’s down by the harbour). So last night was an opportunity to see the old town.

Pose, and… doh!

A few of the Merc team and Signõr Bean are keen to watch the footie, but having followed little or none of Euro 2012 so far, I figure the old town is a more appealing option, so Mr P takes me across town to see it.

AN: Signõr Bean is Mr P’s Italian colleague, who bears a frightening resemblance to Rowan Atkinson’s character with his many “Beanerisms”.

So we hail a cab and fly across town, fly being the operative word. I’m sure the driver jumps at least two red lights and is clearly an Alonso fan (loving that iPhone predictive text thinks ‘Alonso’ should read ‘Aliens’!) as he’s leaving his breaking to the absolute last metre. As the sound of horns grows ever louder, I’m starting to think he could be on the run from the mafia? However, the cheers from those outside the cafes we pass, soon gives away the football score, Spain are thrashing someone?!

Anyway, we get to the Old town; v impressed (and embarrassingly uneducated) I drop a clanger and remark that I didn’t know Valencia had a coliseum… On realising the impressively-illuminated circular structure is, obviously, the bullring, I quickly move the subject on to the need for beer and tapas, and we head off in the opposite direction.

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Having taken the necessary and sensible action to avoid dehydration (ie we order a bottle of water with our cerveza e patatas bravado con allioli), we move on again and discover a beautiful square, surrounded on all sides by some of the nicest architecture I’ve seen here.

Besides the ironically-named Intelligent bank, the other buildings are definitely worthy of a picture. Out comes the camera. I eventually remember how to use it, I think; I frame my shot, wonder why it’s still whirring? I find the switch to turn it from movie back to still shot, frame my shot again, switch the flash off and… the building’s floodlights go out. Dammit. Right, after watching me faff around long enough to miss that opportunity, Mr P takes the camera and just casually snaps the adjacent building, looking very smug (clearly, I did the hard work setting the settings correctly…)

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By this time, as a result of either stupidity and/or alcohol, we start to get a bit silly… Swiping my card to gain entry to an unlocked ATM facility, getting chased down by a road sweeper polishing the marble pavements, and taking photos of people peeping out from behind palm trees… I suspect the CCTV from last night’s cameras could prove quite entertaining! 

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Eventually struggling to keep eyes open, we call it a night around 2 or 3. Tomorrow is race day so sleep would be a prudent idea! Night.

ttfn /Rx

What did I do today? Well…

Today was one of those cool yet a bit surreal days. Waking up at 04:50 as a message came in from Tom in America, I pounced on this and replied whilst he was still online (for Tom this is a rarity atm; he and girlfriend Amy are in the Desert somewhere in Arizona so chat is occasional).

Tom tells me he’s not texting as it’s expensive, but is grabbing WiFi opportunities when they arise, like now. Given he’s on WiFi, I’m somewhat bemused why he’s using ltd txt spk? He’s on Facebook chat?! It’s not more expensive to write in full?! Ah well, it’s stupidly early, so I just go with it. We talk about America, he shows little surprise but some envy that I’m off to Valencia, and signs off by saying “Cheer Bruno on for me!” #sennafan

I then drift back to sleep for my alarm to wake me at 6am to go to the airport. You guessed it. I wake up leisurely and have that second of calm, where you feel pleased to have woken naturally, rather by an alarm. Then that second of confusion sets in, where you’re sure you should’ve been woken up early for something important today. Then all hell lets loose (that’s loose, not lose 😉 !) Oh crap, the alarm didn’t go off, it’s 06.20 and mum’s picking me up in 10 to take me to the airport! Luckily, as she and dad are known for their lateness, I asked her to get to mine for 06.30 knowing we didn’t really need to leave before 7am. So I dive in the shower… and the doorbell goes. Oh pants, she’s on time for once! I buzz her in, she helps herself to breakfast, I get ready and we’re away before 7 – cool bananas.

I won’t go into detail of the flight – see Yorkshire Airlines – but on landing in Spain, I’m met by my Godmother, Suzy Q, who gives me the biggest hug in the world and takes me up to Denia for lunch – bar Helios, bliss! A tiny tapas bar on the rocks at Denia, watching the ferries sailing into the harbour from Majorca, Menorca and Ibiza. The sun is baking, there’s a lovely breeze and the sound of the sea rippling on the rocks is just calming. A beer and calamari later, I’m in seventh heaven.

After lunch we head up to Casa de Suzy; my Spanish retreat! This place is my little haven, my escape from the UK where I’m guaranteed a cuddle, a hot tub and a glass of something cold, all surrounded by orange groves and the addition (since my last visit) of more beautiful white flowers outside my bedroom balcony. By now it’s after 5, it’s clouded over a little and is a little cooler, so factor 15 will suffice. I change into my bikini, leave my phone inside, grab a sun lounger and fall asleep by the pool…

Around 7, I think it’s about time I was sociable so I head indoors. After the world’s best shower, I wander through to the kitchen, grab a sarnie and Suzy and I head up to Valencia.

So this is where I am now; sitting in a little cafe bar on a side street, sipping cerveza pondering just how many different things, scenarios, places and people I’ve interacted with today… Mum in York, Tom in Arizona, the Stags & Hens of Leeds Bradford / Alicante / Benidorm, Suzy in Denia, and now here I am, waiting to meet Mr P for a beer in Valencia.

Someone recently told me I’m getting around a lot lately – my response was that in 2012 I’m grabbing every opportunity life throws at me. Sometimes you have to create these opportunities, as they won’t just land in your lap, but I’m doing that wholeheartedly and, right now, it’s making for a fun-filled, varied, exciting and happy life!

In the words of @whc4s #liveyourbestlife

ttfn /Rxx

Yorkshire Airlines

Ok so up front clarity: I was born and brought up in Constable country, Suffolk. I live in York now and think its one of the nicest places anyone could live. There.

So, I’m sitting in departures at Leeds Bradford International Airport and I’m chuckling.

Firstly, I don’t recognise it: it’s not just had a paint job but a complete redesign! Much better. So why have they done this? Let me describe LBIA and all may become clear.

Even in today’s global society, they still feel the need to include the word ‘International’ in the name. Prior to the upgrade, the airport was like a shed in a farmer’s field, on a windy hill overlooking Leeds to the south and Bradford to the west. The duty free naturally included alcohol and the bar took up 60% of the space in the departure lounge. WHSmith had an outlet but hardly a flagship store. To get to the planes, you walk out of Safestyle UK’s best conservatory doors (think these were on BOGOF from the pilot’s brother-in-law) and literally wander across the Tarmac to the bird. In warmer climes this is nothing significant but in typical west Yorkshire weather, it’s a long way from the Gatwick shuttle!

Then there are the passengers.

Sitting in my seat under the departures board, I have a prime view of pretty much everyone. But first to catch my eye is Nora. I’d say in her mid fourties, Nora is being pushed around in a courtesy wheelchair by another lass who seems a few years her junior. Now it’s not the chair which draws my attention to Nora, it’s the eloquent articulation of her disappointment at being delayed. With enough volume to ensure the captain of her pending plane could her hear from the Tarmac, Nora declares “ah fa fooks seak, the’ never flamin well go on’t raght time d’the ? Raght tek me back t’ut baar luv” (it’s 08:15) and her driver shuttles her away, to more mutters of “fa fooks seak”.

Then there’s Elvis. If anyone ever wonders if Elvis really is still alive, visit Leeds Bradford and you’re bound to find him. Generally he’ll be at the bar, surrounded by guys wearing matching attire, each with a designated role in the group. There’s the chap wearing an almanac – I’m guessing he’s timekeeper? Another is faffing with 8 pieces of paper, lists and looks generally confused – I’m guessing he’s the best man in (questionable) control of the itinerary. The rest are queuing for the bar and checking out the group of girls opposite.

The girls are loud, very loud! Periodic shrieks (much to annoyance of the couple across the way, who are trying to catch up on their sleep) and shouts of “Mica’s gonna be ratted by’t time w’get there, wohoooo!” They wear matching blue t-shirts adorned with the phrase “Lose women, Benidorm June 2012” and one (Mixa?) is wearing a glittery tutu.

Desperate to hide my chuckles and get some work done before I fly, I keep my head down, accrue $5k, raise a PO and book a supplier to deliver some Prince2 training in London for Q3.

*****

Ah we’re boarding, excellent, bang on time. So far, Ryanair, so good. Did I just use the words Ryanair and good in the same sentence? Blimey.

Ok, new airport layout, gate 5, where’s that? Previously, departures was so small, it was like walking across the living room to get to any gate. But now I can’t even see the runway? And I’m upstairs? Aha, signage, and whilst I’m disappointed it doesn’t read “t’ut gates” it’s clearly telling me to go that way. So, down the escalator, ok. Right, this brings me into the old departures – the living room – and gate 5 is where it used to be. But I now have to climb a staircase again? Ok, up I go, through where they tear your boarding card in half (with little care, making it illegible!) but then, guess what, another flight of stairs back down? All this in the space of 50feet? Welcome to Yorkshire! We then head out of the Safestyle conservatory doors onto a car par, oh hang on, no it’s a plane park. And ours obviously arrived last as it’s parked at the far end. Gutted. So in sub zero wind and driving rain, we walk half way down the runway to our bird and wait whilst they jump up & down on the metal stairs to make sure they’re safe *gulp*.

Luckily, I’m near the front of the queue so one of the first to board. I get on board and the attendant tells me to pick a seat. Hang on, when I checked in online, Ryanair gave me the option to pick my seat? I chose not to pay the extra £10 as I’m travelling alone as I do, but god help those who did, complete con!

As we board from the back of the plane, I pick seat 29F and watch as everyone else traipse by. And we have another hen party on board – I count 7 blondes, all in their mid twenties I’d say, wearing black boob tubes with “Nat’s Benidorm 2012” on the front and “Not another hen do!” on the back (is this for the benefit of the hens’ bank managers’ or the inhabitants of Benidorm? Who knows.)

Finally we take off, to shrieks from the Lose Women, no noise from Nat’s team (who still seem to be faffing with their hair) and whines from
Elvis that he needs a wee-wee… This could be an amusing 2.5 hours!

*****

I’d forgotten people clap when Ryanair flights land! And the fanfare they play over the tangy, haha!

Well it’s 28 degrees, glorious sunshine and tomorrow the European Grand Prix beckons! But first, an afternoon and evening with my awesome godmother, Suzy Q.

Hasta luego! /Rx

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Laughing in the face of pain – really?

This is typical – I open up Vesper ready to blog, as something worth blogging about has just sprung to mind / happened. Only I get side-tracked by the tsunami of email flooding my inbox and, by the time I open WordPress, I can’t actually remember what I was going to blog about. Am I really getting like my Mother already?!

So I’m now staring inquisitively around my house, trying desperately to look for something to jog my memory and remind me what felt so important, funny or interesting a few moments ago. Does anyone else ever have such ‘senior moments’ at such a premature age, or is this just me?

OK, so I think it was this (it might not have been?) but if it wasn’t, then by the time I’ve written this, posted it, closed down Vesper, made a cup of tea to take to bed, jumped into my PJs and hopped into bed… I’ll remember what it actually was, and what was planned as an early night will end up another 2am finish – welcome to planet Boxy!

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Every week I have a session with my personal trainer. He’s called Ade and reminds me a lot of my brother; I’m not sure if that’s because there are few people I let boss me around (Simon was one, Ade is another) or because he’s one of few people who I randomly trust (ie he hasn’t earned it, I just find myself trusting him).

Anyway, Ade’s been training me for around three years now. At first, he wanted me to go for an hour a week, saying that’s what it’d take to get me fit again – laugh my backside off, yes I did! Anyway, as someone with a short attention span, I said I’d rather do short bursts more frequently, so I did two half-hour sessions a week. This means he knows me pretty well and is now as much a person to rant at and let off steam, as a trainer! As money got tight, it reduced to just one session, but I’ve kept going and still see Ade every week.

It’s worth pointing out here, that Ade would beg to differ – only last Friday night, whilst I was out being led astray drinking with Paulie Paul, I texted Ade with all best intentions of giving him plenty of notice that, incase I was slightly hungover at 9.45 on Saturday morning, it could be prudent to postpone our session until Monday. It didn’t occur to me that Ade would be at the same wedding as Paulie Paul the following day, so whilst Paulie Paul articulated Friday night’s drinking antics, Ade’s compassion for my apparent considerate deferral soon dried-up, and Monday’s session became more like torture than training – ouch.

At the time, I figured fair play, and put up with the pain, albeit with the appropriate amount of whining and winging throughout and requests for compromise on the number of reps on each exercise. (Is it just me, or does anyone else do this? He says “right give me 30“, I reply “we only did 20 last time?” He responds “and?” so I ask “can we compromise and I’ll do 25?” His final answer “ok let’s compromise, give me 30“. I can’t win. Yet I pay for this?)

Anyway, god knows what he did to me last Monday, but since Tuesday I’ve had the stiffest pain in my neck and shoulders. It’s now a week later and I’ve still not managed to get more than a few hours’ sleep without waking up in pain as I turn over and put a teeny weeny bit of strain on my neck.

Right, hangover or no hangover, this is Ade’s fault so he can put it right, right? Well. Ade is, by profession, something more than a personal trainer. Don’t ask me what, but it’s something to do with sports physio or rehab for disabled people, kids with learning difficulties and keeping old people mobile. I kind of think he knows what he’s on about, so when he offers to do a sports massage on my back instead of training me this week (training was never going to happen in my state), I said fine. It wasn’t until an hour before that I got worried.

I’m leaving the office and a colleague asks what I’m up to this evening. I tell her. Her face goes white. “Oh my god” she says, “take paracetamol, lots of it, it flipping kills.” OK, so I have a very low pain threshold. Help. This is going to hurt? I thought it was meant to make it better? Oh man, what have I let myself in for, further retribution for postponing last weekend’s session? Long overdue proof that I did indeed need 60 minutes each week rather than 30? Or just an opportunity for Ade to inflict further pain on a client and get paid for the privilege? I was dreading it.

*****

Well, I didn’t need to. It was fine. Whether it’ll have done any good or not remains to be seen, but psychologically I feel better (which is often half the battle).

As someone who likes to understand things (why does this do that, and what’s the name of this muscle, and how does it attach to that one… much like cars really!) I asked Ade to explain what he was doing as he did it. No idea what he was on about, and it could’ve been a load of waffle, but it sounded good and seemed to make sense! I can also see why I was warned it’d hurt – at times it did, but as he was telling me what he was doing / what to expect, it kind of over-rode the pain, if that makes sense?

The craziest thing was, whilst he was inflicting said pressure / pain on my shoulders, all I could do was giggle! For some reason, I couldn’t stop laughing! This could’ve been my body’s way of counteracting the pain, or I could’ve just been laughing at his trainers (that was the extent of my view during the process, as I stared through the hole in the massage table), who knows, but whenever it hurt I just starting laughing and saying “ouch” at the same time. Not sure what Ade made of this, but he just laughed back?!

So I’ve now swapped one kind of pain for another. The stiffness I’ve had all week is still there-ish, but is now joined by some delightful bruising (apparently this is normal, as he’s applied pressure to tissue – not sure the Andrex puppy experienced this side-effect though?) but within a few days, it should be much better. We’ll see.

I still can’t remember if that was what I wanted to blog about?…

ttfn /R xx

Ah, tourists

I love York. There are probably other beautiful places in the UK which are equally as lovely, but when you‘re lucky enough to live in one, you often forget just how lovely they are, especially if (like me) you actually spend more time away from home than you do enjoying the place. However, as I’m sure those in other such beautiful locations will appreciate, living somewhere so appealing has its downsides. Whilst appealing as somewhere to live, it’s also appealing as somewhere to visit. Yes I’m talking about the species that is, the tourist.

Why is it, that when you ‘visit’ somewhere, you lose the ability to consider those around you, when walking down a busy street? This happens in York a lot. Today, I walked down Coney Street (York’s main drag) and struggled to withhold my laughter at the ‘You’ve been framed’ style event which unfolded before me. I’m following Yorkie, a local-looking chap, who seems to be in a bit of a hurry to get from one end of Coney Street to the other. In front of Yorkie are Rob and Freda. About 60-odd, they’ve been to York a few times now and they just love it. They did the Minster and the Jorvik Viking Museum on their first visit, and have since clocked up various other attractions including the York Dungeon, Railway Museum and that famous pub which always floods. But they love York because every time they come here, they see something new. Unfortunately for Yorkie today, without any warning, Rob and Freda just stop suddenly. This is unfortunate, but Yorkie’s not daft; this is why Coney Street is like playing British Bulldog at times! So Yorkie is alert to the risk and takes evasive action to the left. However, Freda has noticed something (questionably) interesting on the façade of WHSmiths, and as she raises her left arm to point it out to Rob, Yorkie gets a face-full and is taken out like a WWF pro. Yours truly (luckily) diverted right and thus missed the pileup evolving in front of me, and the only evasive action I had to take, was to dive into WHSmiths, pick up a copy of Hello magazine and hide my laughter from Rob and Freda. Classic – not uncommon, but classic.

Then there’s Kai and To. Collectively known as Kato, these guys are on a grand tour of the UK from Japan, and therefore have the single objective of photographing everything they can. By the time they’ve waited for everyone to walk past between photographer & subject, extracted their brand spanking new camera out of a case larger than Ryanair’s in-flight luggage allowance, fiddled with all the settings on their piece of technological wizardry, drunk the coffee it made them in the process and finally prepared their shot, the photogenic pigeon was flown off, and they go running round the corner trying to find it again.

And the Americans. Strangely recognisable (perhaps the long shorts, white socks and bright white trainers give it away?) they’re generally heading for the cathedral. At this point, I will (as I always do) point out – IT’S A MINSTER! OK, so as Charlie pointed out to me last year, a Minster is a type of cathedral, but it’s a name which is earned for ecclesiastical status and therefore deserves to be used. It’s like calling Lord Sugar, Alan; or calling a judge by their first name in court – yes, those are the names with which they were christened, but they’ve earned the right to have a title, so why not use it?! This is clearly a pet hate of mine! It’s right up there with post-it notes and bagpipes for Room 101 submissions!

Then there’s the wannabe Yorkies who, when they visit, try and go native. Rather than seeing the sights, they do the shopping, grab the opportunity to go to the opticians, or buy their lottery tickets. Of course, these are all things they could easily do at home, but they don’t, because they don’t have time, they’re always off visiting places, like York, to do the lottery… confusing?

Ttfn /R xx

Do things really change, or is it just our perception of them that changes?

Some people say, the only thing you can guarantee is change. I guess, by this, they mean you can be pretty sure that tomorrow things will look quite different to how they look today. So why is it, when I go to places I haven’t been to in a long time, they seem to be just the same as they were?

Years ago, when I could actually handle a long night out (without either falling asleep, having to change into flat shoes, or deciding I was far too old to be in a particular establishment), I occasionally ventured into one of York’s delectable nightclubs. For those who know York, this was generally Toffs (now called Tru, I believe?) or Silks (now called the Gallery, unless it’s changed its name again?). In both cases, before I was legally allowed in, they seemed great. However, as soon as I turned 18, they started to become less inviting, to the degree that eventually, I only went to remind myself why I hadn’t been for years… sticky floors, dipping ceilings, terrible music and over-priced drinks, let alone the fact that everyone was under age (think I may have answered my first question already?…)

In tonight’s case, it was the delight that is, Easingwold…

AN: At this point, I’ll repeat the disclaimer on my “About me” page and say that, in my blog, I’ll say what I honestly think. In this case, I strongly suspect others will be thinking the same, but who knows.  

…so Easingwold. Situated about 12 miles North of York, this pretty Georgian Market town would appear, to passing tourists, to be a lovely, quaint place, with a green, a market place, a golf club, a few pubs and a takeaway. Indeed, when I moved there in 1989, there were 8 pubs (enough to do ‘the Easingwold gallon’) and by the time I left in 2005, there were also 3 supermarkets, 3 banks, 2 Chinese takeaways, 3 Indians, a pizza / kebab shop and an espresso bar. There were also a handful of Estate Agents, as Easingwold had suddenly become the most desirable place to live in North Yorkshire, apparently.

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However, over the last few years I was there, I felt a change in the feel of the place. The once thriving pubs were declining in trade, to the degree that 8 became 6, of which 2 or 3 had their regulars and the rest opened the doors and hoped. Those out in the evenings seemed more interested in having a go at each other, than a good time. And there were often blue flashing lights driving around. Not the nicest place to be out at night and, what used to feel like a picturesque little town with a status quo of youngsters, families and those in retirement, seemed to have become a place where you watched your back after dark, if you hung out with the wrong crowd. This could just be a sign of youthful ignorance maturing, or just generally changing times, but by the time I left, I couldn’t wait to see the back of it.

On the few occasions I’ve been back to ‘the Wold’ or ‘the Beck’ as it was known, it doesn’t seem to have changed much. I can walk into some pubs and pretty much guarantee there will be person X, sitting in seat Y, drinking Z. Beside them will be A, probably with B, and almost certainly talking about C. And it feels like this hasn’t changed in 7 years.

So if change is pretty much guaranteed, how do they manage to still live the same life, doing the same thing(s), with the same people, for so many years? Do they not get bored? Do they not want to know what’s beyond the A19? I actually met one chap in Easingwold, who’d never been further afield than York, no really; he was in his thirties.

Perhaps I’m basing this theory on familiarity – if I go back to the ‘Wold, and walk into a pub, of course it’s going to feel the same as it did; it won’t have changed layout or moved from one side of the market place to the other, so it’s obviously going to feel the same. But I don’t get this feeling when I go to my grandparents’ old house, or when I visit Suffolk – on the contrary, I think ‘blimey, this place has changed’. But those are places I loved when I left, I never wanted to leave, and always love to go back to. I’m disappointed that they’re not exactly as they were when I left, perhaps subconsciously trying to tell myself I missed something, like it was wrong to leave. Whereas I couldn’t wait to leave Easingwold, I didn’t like it there in the end, so when I go back maybe I convince myself it hasn’t changed, just to reassure myself I made the right decision in leaving.

Who knows. But tonight I left Easingwold, in my car, sober, pleased to be coming home, and reminding myself why it’s been ages since I was there. I don’t like it any more. I don’t fit in there anymore. And I’m pleased not to be there anymore. Anyone reading this who is still there – if it suits you then great. But it’s not for me.

You could ask the same question of people, couldn’t you? How many times have you heard yourself say “s/he isn’t the person s/he used to be” or “s/he changed”? Maybe s/he is still the same person, you just know them better; they might not have changed, it’s just your view or perception of them which has changed. But that’s a whole different discussion!

ttfn /R xx

Do things really change, or is it just our perception of them that changes?