By the time you read this I’ll be in the town I grew up in, visiting for a few days. I have to admit, I’m slightly nervous…
I never thought I would go back to that place that is fraught with so many memories of my rebellious youth and teenage years. After having spent my childhood in the UK, my parents decided to move our family back to Germany, where they had grown up. When we moved, I took it as a great adventure and was full of positive excitement.
But as the weeks and months passed, I started to resent the town, the people, and the country as well to some extent (I still don’t know the whole of the German national anthem). Everything was completely unlike what I had known in the UK – attitudes, people, society, what I could and couldn’t do, what was considered “normal”. I felt like a complete outsider and weirdo, not least because of my bilingualism and bookishness. By the time I reached my teens, I felt completely captive in this provincial town. I was always yearning to be elsewhere, living my life in the hope of a sudden decision to move elsewhere and in daydreams of adulthood, when I would be able to go where I pleased, the whole world open to me like an oyster. It’s no surprise that I moved away as soon as I was able, and I haven’t looked back since.
I’m going back there (I can’t call it home because it never was to me) to visit my dad. We’ll do lots of things that I was never interested in as a child, such as hiking, climbing, fishing and sailing. Things that I now love and associate with being free. I’ll be able to show my boyfriend where I went to school, the various flats we lived in, and our favourite park to drink in as teenagers. I’ll also be able to see, with fresh eyes I hope, the medieval beauty of the town; because it is beautiful, but also because I’m so much happier with my life now. I’m grateful for this feeling of freedom and that I will (finally) be able to appreciate the place without feeling stifled.
I am fully determined to have a great time! So stay tuned for my travel photos and more reminiscing next week when I return. In the meantime, the blog will be running as usual with a great fish recipe going out on Wednesday. I hope you enjoy!
This week’s likes:
My kefir moustache (can’t get enough of kefir) – Packing for an active holiday (makes a change) – Spending time with my brother – But also having the house to ourselves again – Gigs in intimate venues – Feeling accomplished after writing my own blog disclaimer *bloggeek*
Watch – Not much, but we watched the first episode of Deadwood after my brother raved about it. It’ll be good to have a series to get into again.
Eat – I’m trying to use up everything in the fridge before we go away, so meals have been random (and rather large) this week: Squashed banana toast/ Eggs royale/ Veggie scramble/ Homemade minestrone/ Black pudding hash (not my favourite, but I hate to throw food away!)/ Veggie fajitas/ Spaghetti with chilli, garlic, fennel and prawns/ Cucumber and yoghurt flavour crisps I found in the Polish store – they taste nothing like it, but I’m a crisp fiend ate them all anyway!
Listen – The Graveltones, we had tickets to see them in a tiny venue in Cardiff. Amazing noise from a two-piece! I’ve been catching up on some Radio 4 documentaries. Necessary to my happiness is about Byron’s illegitimate daughter who died very young; and an episode of [Stephen] Fry’s English Delight about bilingualism. I’m bilingual so it was really interesting to find out more about us, we’re not as rare as you’d think!
Read – I’m still on The Count of Monte Cristo and not even halfway through because I didn’t read while my brother was visiting. It’ll be the perfect holiday book though, especially for long airport waits and train journeys because it’s a very easy read.
How do you feel about your hometown? Did you enjoy growing up there or did you feel stifled like I did? Have you been back since, and how was that experience? What’s your definition of “home”?