Being back in Tunbridge Wells has churned me up quite a bit.
A lot of my past remains there, abandoned. Walking around it this week, actually reminded me that I did have a lot of good and happy memories of the place. It was probably the last place I was happy at school despite, by all accounts, The Ridgewaye being the poorest School in the County, which is why it no longer exists. My schooling, post The Ridgewaye, was marred by not really being able to adapt to the moves, the changes in temperament of the various peoples, etc. (Humberside was particularly noxious, as I’ve probably mentioned).
Thing is, I so focus on the negatives, I forgot that a lot of the time, I was actually quite happy at Southborough and High Brooms. And, my brother not withstanding, I had happy times with my family.
Walking around Chartwell, home of Sir Winston Churchill, something I had done with my parents, was a particularly poignant reminder of the way in which my folks tried to educate me. I don’t think I appreciated it at the time – and I remember getting much more excited about the fig trees than the house or it’s history – but in the context of an adult visit, I finally learned to appreciate the lengths they went to to enrich my learning.
Chartwell seemed smaller.
I felt older.