Monday, July 13, 2009

Becoming grown ups

Last week, on our driving trip west, I took the kids to Poole in Dorset. We had our children during the five or so years Husband and I lived there.

Son was nearly four when we moved from there and his memories extend only to our having a red front door. Last week we drove past number forty three and now the door is green; a sludgy, dull, army shade.

I have odd memories of Poole. Although we were married by then, it is where we made the transition into proper grown ups. We moved to Dorset from our university town, Hull, for Husband's second post-doctoral job.

We sold our two up two down (to a friend) and set off south. It felt a bit like coming home. We bought a three storey Edwardian town house - "big enough to sprog in" my sister said. We both went to work and then, after nearly two years in Poole, I got pregnant.

I struggled with postnatal depression through the following period. My brain has rewritten some of my memories during this phase: emotionally I don't remember it as a dark time but intellectually I know it was one of the toughest times of my life so far.

I showed the children around, remembering stories and people. It felt very strange, as though I was experiencing a vague sense of deja vu over and over again. We had fish and chips on Poole Quay, ice cream and then we went to Poole Pottery.

That was enough. I didn't know if I wanted to remember any more.

12 comments:

Queenie said...

Oddly enough, I didn't particularly enjoy much of my nostalgia-fest last week either - and I was perfectly happy living in Devon. On one day in particular, there were so many odd and unexpected memories that I felt more nauseous than nostalgic. I think I prefer looking forward to looking back.

Debs said...

I definately find it easier to look ahead rather than backwards, even with good memories.

L-Plate Author said...

We all have memories, JJ, good and bad ones, but I have to say there is nothing like making a memory of eating fish and chips on the sea front x

uphilldowndale said...

That sounds like a very tough time; sadly the toughest memories have a habit of muscling up to the front of the queue

JJ Beattie said...

Queenie, it is odd to look back like that. It didn't feel strange to be in Bucks... where we went next so I guess it's a lot to do with that period in my life.

Debs, I had lots of very happy memories there too but it did feel strange being back.

LPlate, yes, I guess. I did mean to take a photo of my fish and chips but I forgot until I had scoffed halfway through!

UHDD, they do. Why is that? I had lots of happy memories there too. Strange.

DOT said...

Never go back is my motto. Being an Army child I lived all over the place, here and abroad, and the only place I revisited was where we once lived in North Wales. It was a disappointment. I preferred my memories to the actuality.

DJ Kirkby said...

Oooh such a weighty post and in so few words. You write with impact. xo

Leatherdykeuk said...

Ah! I know the feeling well. My sister still lives where we grew up, and I always get the flutterbies when i visit.

Carol said...

I think it's definitely got a lot to do with the place!! I love going back to Glasgow but absolutely HATE going back to the small village I spent most of my early teenage years!! The village itself is stunning but it was where we were living when my parents split up and it was like living in a goldfish bowl...everyone had something to say about the split and what they didn't know they made up!!

C x

Lane said...

Becoming grown up is tough. Still haven't managed it yet.

There are some places I'd never go back to and some I long to but I'm weary of the memories though.

Flowerpot said...

going back can sometimes be a mistake - on the other hand I recently went back to where I was brought up and we had a good time. But things change - we can never recapture how things were, can we?

JJ Beattie said...

DOT, I guess because we've taken the children away from their homeland, I felt the need to show them where they started. I don't mind looking back... normally and I do have happy memories there.

DJ, thank you.

Rachel, yes, I know what you mean.

Carol, none of it is exclusively good or bad, but when there are bad they can overwhelm.

Lane, it is tough being a grown up...

FP, I had a lovely time with the children that day... it just feels a long time ago now.