Duffle coats and memories

So it's certainly been an odd week. One I didn't see coming and one where I never imagined I would be writing a blog entry on the train heading down to Devon.

As you may know both Richard and my mum have been unwell and I am currently en route to see my mum post heart surgery.

I cannot remember the last time I took the train home and its kind of odd. I spent a lot of my late teens and early twenties taking the train to London to see the sights and to experience what the big city had to offer.

It was these trips that lead me to make the decision to leave the south west and find something bigger and better. I knew that Plymouth had had its hay day and knew that I would find what I was searching for in London.

I also knew (by the time I left) that I was gay and that the manner and opinions at home were not conducive to me living a happy independent life

That was thirteen years ago and I have not looked back.

I of course miss my parents but being an only child do not feel committed to the large extended family we have. I made the choice to move away, find my self, enjoy my life but ensure that mum and dad were always cared for. That's what I have done and I am proud and surprised at what I have achieved since I left Plymouth all that time ago.

I cannot condone people for wanting to stay where they grew up but I have to say it saddens me when so many people I went to school or worked with are still there. Same locations. Same lives.

Don't get me wrong many others have gone much further than I and some are tied due to commitments etc but I find it a shame that people stay put. I guess it's comfortable. I guess now I am comfortable too.

I am sure there are other places like Plymouth (or maybe Devon or Cornwall) where you could be born and raised and think you were living a million miles from anywhere.

That mentality still exists and I have taken years to break this mindset that everything is miles away from where I live. I commute 70 miles each way every day and to most people at home, they wouldn't travel that far to go to an airport on holiday.

Family and friends constantly insist we live in London. We don't. It's where we work, where we tune our careers and where we socialise. We live in Colchester and we love it there. It's taken us further away from Plymouth and that's why I have a six hour journey under way but you know what, if you want to do it you make the time. You make the effort. You get off your ass and you do it.

It may sound like I am knocking people – I am not. I made a choice and I am glad I did. I just find it sad some people never even get to that initial decision. Or maybe they regret not doing it later in life…

I fear for the generation growing up at home, there's no airport, no major road links and the local economy is declining faster than anywhere else. All government support (as always) heads up north (no it doesn't make it to London event though it feels like it) and the south west is left to suffer.

But then again the NIMBIES in the area need to stop complaining and be more proactive. If the people of Plymouth saw the value in a motorway, their airport or investing in big business and trade, the place wouldn't be in such a state as it is now.

I often spend these train journeys thinking about things. Mulling things over and I find it incredible that I can now pen these thoughts and store them for myself and anyone who cares to read them. Technology has opened these barriers. Could I have ever imagined such a device as an iPad or iPhone to allow me to do this when I first embarked on my journeys to the big smoke?

I was blogging back then but had to wait to get home to put finger to key…

This is purely my opinion but I love going home. I love this journey and I love my folks. I also love the fact that I made the decision years ago to move away and get a life. I simply hope all the grand children, nieces, nephews and friends kids at home wake up and do the same (before its too late).

I obviously love my husband and miss B and will miss them terribly whilst I am away. I am only gone for two days though and soon Richard and I jet off to the sun for some much needed r and r.


Oh… The duffle coat reference? That's Paddingtons fault. I loved Paddington Bear as a child but could never have imagined how many memories and feelings that little lost bear from Peru would evoke.

I wonder if he has reverted back to marmalade sandwiches following his brief dabbling with marmite?


  1. Just saw this post now. Very well written and I think we all have a story about our own journey of moving on with our life’s. at least you had your iPad and iPhone to keep you company. Glad you back safe… Ivan


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