When did you shift from being home to ‘my parents’ house’? When did my room become the spare room; my keys, the spare set? The sheets are dusty with my four-month-old aroma. When I walk through the door, the hardened exterior that weighs on my shoulders cascades to the ground and I can breathe in the familiarity.
You can take the girl out of Hull…
The room is full of things, yet barely mine. The atrocious hot pink and lilac walls remain from an ill judged childhood decision. Otherwise, my bookshelves no longer groan with the weight of my challenge to see if I can fit ‘just one more’ and half of the furniture never returned from Manchester. It’s still my space, the memories ooze from the walls like tree sap but the scent of ownership is faint.
London is the place I call home now, where my branches stretch across the Thames, but Hull will always be my roots. The solid stems from which my Northern twang with always run deep. Where we get croggies down the tenfoot when we’re tagging from school. We might have gone and got a chip buttie in a BREADCAKE (not roll or bap or bun *major eye-roll*).
… dragging her heels, kicking and screaming…
There are things I miss that the glitz and glam of London will never replace. For one thing, bus journeys are totally different. You really appreciate the ease of TFL when you go back to a rural area and have to plan your day around the buses that only come every 30-45 minutes. However, there’s nothing like getting off the bus and walking past the driver to say thank you. It’s almost as good as walking down the street and getting ‘Good Morning’, ‘Hello’ or ‘How’d you do?’ on a regular basis.
Sometimes it’s easy to get lost in the 24 hour insta-cycle that the London bubble can create. Not making enough time to slow down and self-care has been a real problem for me recently and getting on the train to Hull, watching the world pass by for a couple of hours and seeing the infinite fields really puts everything back into perspective.
I love my home town. I love to rip the shit out of my home town (don’t you dare try it). I have loved and lost here. Life-long friendships have been formed and some have torn to pieces, picked back up and burnt. Some people associate my thick skinned nature to my Northern roots, but the truth is those roots were thick before I was firmly planted. I couldn’t be prouder to come from such a richly populated city of brilliant undiscovered minds, with such a strong sense of heritage.