Friday, 15 February 2008

Going home

I was born and brought up on the edge of Bristol, where the city runs into the Somerset countryside, and - despite the fact that my family are still there - I've not been back since July last year. My wife's pregnancy and T's birth saw to that.

All that is about to change. We're heading West in a fortnight's time to stay with my parents. T's days so far have been, bar one or two forays across London, spent with Lewisham as his northern boundary and Sydenham as his south. It's certainly made life easy, and I am daunted by the prospect of getting him to Charing Cross, down into the Tube, then out again at Paddington. All of this without even considering what happens if he decides to bawl his eyes out from the second we leave the capital until the instant we step out at Temple Meads.

An adventure it will be, and it won't stop once we get there. I'm arranging for him to meet my school friends in what is still for most of them their local pub, and then there's the big question of whether I squeeze him into Ashton Gate for his first Bristol Rugby match (the derby with Bath). All this, and then we have to do the journey in reverse.

For me, this journey always, and will always, be like going home. We'll be making this trip with T for years to come, but there will be a difference in the way he feels about it. For him, going to the West Country, whether his paternal family are there or not, will always be the trip out, and he'll be on his homeward stretch on the way back to London.

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