The other day I drove past my old schools (infants and juniors, on the same site). I knew they had been demolished, but for the first time since then I saw the sad sight of tall weeds growing in the path to the main entrance that I used to walk along with my socks round my ankles, shirt tail hanging out (I was fashionable before my time) and often a sense of dread in my heart. The grammar school I attended in another part of town is now a housing estate, betraying no sign that a proud institution of a thousand souls stood there for decades.
When I took the plunge and gave up full-time work to go part-time so that I could devote more time to writing, I somehow ended up as a car park attendant and spent many long hours cooped up in the above building, now also being knocked down because the local council can’t afford to run it any more. I hated the job desperately much of the time, yet also have very fond memories of good times and especially the many nice people I met on a daily basis. It was also a place where there often wasn’t a lot to do except think, which was actually quite useful. So when I was in town this morning and saw that the demolition had commenced, I couldn’t help standing and gazing at the effortless dismantling by a single dinosaur-like machine of what had seemed like a permanent, immovable structure, together with (too) many years of my memories, hopes and dreams. (Hey – this is real writing!)
So all in all, when I got home I was just relieved to see my house was still standing.