Sunday, May 3, 2009

House Zero

VBW will finish on 23 July 2010 at the house in which I was born 70 years earlier to the day, in Blackpool. Presumably somebody lives in that house now. It would seem polite to let them know my intentions.

When we flew into Manchester on Friday we picked up Spot, our Toyota RAV4, which had been waiting patiently for us since January, in the care of Shenton's, of Handforth, who provide a most excellent and impressive service.

We then drove to Freckleton. My daughter Karen popped out of her office in British Aerospace to give us a key to her house nearby. At this stage we had been awake for almost two days so had a brief 2 hours sleep in order to remain civilised until the evening. This is our normal policy when changing time zones, to adjust our body clocks, so to speak. We then have no problems with jet lag.

Freckleton is very near Blackpool, so I took the opportunity to drive over to have a word with the current occupants of what was my mother's house. The street, which when I was a lad contained one car belonging to the newsagent, had cars parked nose to tail on both sides, with few gaps. It would have been impossible for my backup motor caravan, to be driven by Gay, to park. Lesson one, I must make a point of arriving during working hours on a weekday, when presumably some of these cars will be elsewhere.

As you can imagine, I have entered that gate countless times. I lived in the house until I was 17. It continued to be my mother's home into this century, so of course I made many visits. It felt strange to enter the gate and approach the door, knowing that if my knock was answered it would by by a stranger. Maybe they would be interested, maybe they would be aggressive. Perhaps they would even set the dogs on me.

I did not find out. There was nobody at home. I will try again this morning. Tomorrow we shall be moving South so if I fail to make contact today, it will have to wait until my next visit to UK.

(Later). Been there. Done that. Bit of a damp squib, reallly. I'm not sure the lady absorbed what I was telling her. I'll drop her a line.

I can understand that. It's not every day that someone knocks on your door and says "I was born in this house and next year I am involved in a mad escapade which will end at your gate."

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