One of the problems of getting older is that decisions that you made, often many years ago, can come back to bite you on the bum. So it has been with me. As any of my readers will know, my early years predisposed me to sudden and drastic change and I carried that into adulthood until I began the long, slow process of sorting myself out. The last of these changes occurred when I moved from Yorkshire back to London a little over 30 years ago. Yes, my children were grown up by then, but I feel bad about leaving them to this day. Yes, I would probably have moved to London at some stage but the timing and the circumstances were not how they could and should have been.
So, going back every six weeks or so, as we do, brings about a further change for me. Yes, I enjoy being with my older children and their children; especially at this time of year when Spring, once again, brings renewed growth and expectation. On the personal front, however, I move over somewhat from being a father and husband to being a father and grandfather as well. In addition, I feel at home in Harrogate, a town that I left all those years ago to broaden my horizons. In many ways that’s to be expected as the seeds that have, belatedly, grown within the adult that I now am, were sown and nurtured in the town. Yet such is the pull of those times, when my two eldest children and I forged a new life together, that occasionally the desire to return to them can feel almost physical.
Well, Harrogate has changed much, as have I. Yet in many ways the relationship remains the same. And, much as I enjoy my visits and having my whole family around me, I still need that bigger palette from which to paint the dreams that I have. Also I’m a city boy at heart and enjoy the energy that the metropolis generates. That may change if I slow down at any time; indeed, the thought of that happening can itself be quite comforting. In the meantime, I live with that bite on the bum created by my actions from all those years ago. I suspect that it’s something I’ll just have to continue to live with. C’est la vie.