Flip Flop Flying

Hometown

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Typing notes into my iPod touch. A bit drunk. Sat in The Plough, a pub in Lincoln. Not in the centre of town but a pub that I’ve been in a few times. Most memorably when I came here after getting back from a job interview in London. I’d lived in Lincoln since finishing university, working in a record shop, and I came back from London knowing I’d got the job. I felt so on top of the world. I remember how proud my shoulders were that I’d finally done something that meant I could move to That London. I’m sat here now drinking Kronenberg alone. The last song was Children by Robert Miles, and right now it’s Disco 2000 by Pulp. It’s such an overwhelming thing being back in one’s home town. I guess that only makes sense if you come from a small provincial place. I don’t think you’d feel the same if you were brought up in a big city. To come back to a small town like Lincoln is like being reminded of who you were, who you could’ve been, and who you are. In the last six months I’ve learnt that I really am a city boy. No matter how much I think a semi-rural quiet life would be idyllic, I’ve come to know that for me to be the Craig that I like being, a decent-sized city is what I need. And being here makes me snobby about my hometown. My sister doesn’t live here either, and I spoke to her soon after I got home and found myself falling into my usual role as sarcastic older brother very easily. She asked how it was to be back in Lincoln and I told her that it was simply awful to be surrounded by ugly, fat people in tracksuits who looked like they’d never eaten an orange in their lives. This is my hometown. I can never change that fact. I can never change that I’ve spent 23 of my 39 years here. And I think that in a way, every horrid, snide thing I say about Lincoln to myself or to friends or to you is actually to myself. Lincoln isn’t a place to me, it’s what my life could’ve been had I given up. That’s not to deprecate people who stayed here, but it would’ve been so easy to give in to life and accept that friends and family are in Lincoln and that Lincoln is where my life would be. I’m so glad I applied for a job in London, even though I have no desire to live there. But getting out of Lincoln was the best thing I ever did, and I think there’s a natural pull that London has to anyone growing up in a small town who has some sort of feeling that where they are isn’t enough. London is the apex for English provincial people. And being in London isn’t perfect but it’s a good way to get rid of the cobwebs and the knots in your shoulders. London helped me realise that perhaps Britain wasn’t my home. Of course, I’m aware that the feelings I have about Lincoln are similar to the feelings I have about England in general. It’s why, when forced to think of where I’d live post-marriage, I decided upon returning to Berlin. Of all the places I’ve lived, Berlin is the one that feels like home. I feel good that I’m aware of that. After spending most of my life feeling like the next place might be the best place, it’s good to feel like the place where I live is home. I say that, but if I had the money and opportunity to live in New York, I’d be there tomorrow. And if I start to feel crappy in Berlin, I’ll be planning to up sticks to Buenos Aires in a heartbeat. Now the pub is playing that Gwen Stefani song which is fucking ace, the name escapes me; the “shit is bananas” song, you know what I mean- oh, now it’s Fergilicious. Good song…

Written by Craig

October 28th, 2009 at 12:39 am

Posted in Uncategorized

12 Responses to 'Hometown'

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  1. NYC is going to be rocking tomorrow night!

    The New

    28 Oct 09 at 4:42 am

  2. Nice posting, Craig. I feel very much the same way as you about the town (Plymouth, MA) that I grew up in. Boston was my London and San Francisco is my Berlin.

    Cheers,
    Dana

    Dana C Constance

    28 Oct 09 at 8:11 am

  3. Strangely enough I feel the complete opposite about cities. I come from a small town in Essex and thorughout my teenage years all I wanted to do was get out, get a trendy flat in the city, but I never got the opportunity. I then started working in London and soon realised that I hate cities, hate the people, the cars, the noise, everything, and that coming home to that small town was like a breath of fresh air at the end of each day. I'm not saying I never want to leave the town, I just realised that 'the grass is always greener' isn't always the case :)

    Anna

    28 Oct 09 at 10:32 am

  4. Oh and just as an aside, I'm off to New York for the very first time week after next – I am extremely excited!

    Anna

    28 Oct 09 at 10:33 am

  5. Indeed, Anna. The grass certainly looked greener away from Berlin when I left in December 2007, but I'm back there and loving it.

    Craig

    28 Oct 09 at 10:58 am

  6. I feel exactly the same way about Taunton. Always thinking I should go back and live the rural life, but then the reality hits you – ie some fucker shot my parents' cat last year. And then they complain about knife crime in London

    Mark

    28 Oct 09 at 1:39 pm

  7. Saying that your feelings about your home town sum up your feelings about England in general is something that certainly rings true to me. There's a Jeffrey Lewis song where he says 'I'd leave home for New York, but New York is where I'm from', and that's something I relate to, being from London but always feeling like I wanted more. When I've been to New York it feels like home, though knowing that it's unlikely that I'll ever live there is maybe one of the reasons I yearn for it so. If it were an actual possibility, perhaps it wouldn't seem so attractive.

    Anyway, I don't know why I'm rambling, just wanted to say I'm glad you've come to realise where you feel your home is.

    Also, thankyou for writing this blog and sharing a portion of your life with us anonymous internet folk.

    Bryony

    28 Oct 09 at 2:02 pm

  8. Urban Areas over-stimulate me, but I'm comforted to know that they are near-by…

    ~Barbara~

    28 Oct 09 at 4:38 pm

  9. I've lived in Buenos Aires and in Hyattsville, a small town in Maryland, USA. I always found town life suffocating and I made weekend trips to NYC every chance I got. I always felt that living in different countries, you lose your sense of nationality, which is why big cities atract me, you can tell everybody there belongs to the world community rather than to a particular country.
    By the way, you SHOULD up the sticks to Bs As. We can go to a bar and you can explain to me how you can like baseball. I lived in Oriole country for 6 years and the only time I went to see them I slept through 6 innings.

  10. I completely agree about provincial English towns and what they represent – mine is Maidstone, and I'm currently happily in London

    Smomo

    28 Oct 09 at 11:26 pm

  11. I know what you mean Craig. I'm still looking for my real hometown.

    lisa

    29 Oct 09 at 8:00 pm

  12. what is an orange?

    Max

    31 Oct 09 at 12:42 pm

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