Sunday, 9 October 2011
A few weeks ago, Martin at 'Square Sunshine', one of my favourite blogs, wrote a thoughtful little piece about the power of the place where you were born, how it can soothe and calm one's soul. I hope he won't mind me quoting from it: "Years ago, I unconsciously planted my flags of reminder. They still fluttered in the lanes and cast shadows on the flint.... There can be only one true place where my body and soul feel perfectly at ease. It's a force of attraction that's impossible for me to deny, an invisible, unbreakable tie that holds me fast as the world changes around and about. It may not be where I live, but it's home all the same."
Well, that (though I could never have expressed it so poetically) is exactly how I feel about north
Nottinghamshire. Whenever I go back and see again the mellow old brick - so different from Saltaire where I live now - and the little alleyways between the houses, I am transported back to the comfort of my childhood. I had a great aunt and uncle (on my mother's side) who lived in Southwell, in a red-brick terraced cottage across the fields from the Minster. Whether it was the attraction of their dog, a wire-haired fox terrier; the fact that they still had an outside loo across the yard or the quaintly old-fashioned cottage with its real fire, rag rugs and three flying plaster ducks on the wall, I don't know - but I loved to visit them when I was a child. Uncle Jim was over 100 when he died and Auntie Hilda was 97. I'm glad I knew them.
The Southwell yard above is not the one where they lived but it reminded me of it.