Archive for February 15, 2020

Bethnal Green Memories

Posted in Biographical with tags , on February 15, 2020 by telescoper

In London yesterday for a couple of things, including the RAS Discussion Meeting in the afternoon, but on my way to that I thought I’d wander through the part of London where I lived many years ago, so got off the tube at Bethnal Green and went for a short walk.

Bethnal Green doesn’t seem to have changed very much and the street I used to live in looks very much the same as it did in the 90s. I couldn’t resist taking a quick snap of the front door that leads to my old flat as I walked past. I wonder who lives there now?

So much has happened since then it’s hard to believe I lived here for the best part of 9 years! I feel a complete stranger in London nowadays. The past is a foreign country.

Visiting places you used to live isn’t really a good idea. It’s likely to make you feel a bit strange. There are always ghosts hidden among the memories. Perhaps that’s why I keep having dreams that feature former residences. Only in the dreams those places are never quite the same as they actually were.

I remember having a weekend break in Newcastle with an old friend just after my Father died in 2007. At one point we walked past my old school and went in the grounds to have a look. That experience affected me rather a lot and I still don’t know why. The past is the past and it’s not comfortable when it intrudes on the present.

Yesterday, as I carried on walking towards Whitechapel, I suddenly remembered that when I moved in to that flat my Mam gave my a microwave oven. Thirty years on, I still have it and it still works well. It’s in the house in Cardiff. I suppose I’ll have to throw it away at some point. But not yet.

When I lived in Bethnal Green if I wanted to go into Town I would take the tube from either Bethnal Green on Whitechapel, depending on where exactly I wanted to go. This time I found that Whitechapel tube station was closed for refurbishment, so I had to walk on to Aldgate East.