Visited my childhood last week. Back to the country roads of Cheshire (nr Manchester, England). So good to be back home (I keep expressing joy with song titles or lyrics!)
I'd started blogging/writing about my childhood in 2002, so it was good to revisit the writing in reality, 9 years later. How was it? Did reality warp or destroy the memories or writing? I'd been warned that going back to London and Manchester, from Australia, things would appear much smaller than in my mind's eye.
In fact, on the whole things were the same or larger, such as the road in our street where we played football as kids. What most struck me in going back to Handforth and into the The Valley behind our house where I played out my childhood, is the march of nature. Nature is relentless, people aging, buildings and structures under threat from 50 years of nature knocking.
It's amazing how the acres of my green grass childhood are now overgrown with new and thick vegetation. Rivers have changed courses over those 50 years. And other parts have remained unaltered. Even the 1960s graffiti has survived.
I can feel a novel inside me, set in the 60s with my childhood memories as the background rather than the theme of the novel. But I don't yet know what I'd like to write about as the main them of a novel, with this childhood 60s stuff in the background. A Kestype novel perhaps, Kestrel for a Knave?
I can't explain, just how green and beautiful Cheshire looks on a visit, after 9 years of living in Australia. I'm happy to be living in Melbourne, a city near the sea (ok, Bay), but Cheshire sure looks lush and green.