I have just four days left to live. At least, that is, to live in Shrewsbury. I’ve lived here for over eight years. I’m really quite very sad to be leaving. I have just returned from a trip around town, buying parting gifts and paying in cheques and other such errands. As I was walking around, after a lovely coffee in my current favourite coffee shop, I felt that sudden, yet familiar pang of melancholy that comes with endings. My weird thought is related to that feeling (a feeling I have had before). It seems that every where I have lived, I have left a tiny piece of myself behind. That piece of me can be imagined as a big ball of emotions and memories (as opposed to, say, an arm or a leg). Most of that piece will of course remain in me but some of that will stay in the place I am leaving behind. It feels almost as if I am leaving it there so that I must return to check it is still there and it is ok.
This means that there is a little bit of me in Stafford (probably lurking around Walton High School or the swings on Weeping Cross). There is also a tiny piece of me in Exeter (in the Lemon Grove drinking a Diamond White – note, not in the library or in the lecture theatre in the Amory Building). And another piece of me lives in Japan (this piece is most definitely in the staff room at Iwatsuki High School eating Hershey’s kisses). Yet another lives in Oxford and another in the lovely village of Charlbury, where I lived before coming to Shrewsbury. And now I must leave another piece of me here in Shrewsbury. What remains of me, will have to travel to Muxton and then on to Newport after that. Will I need to make sure I have more pieces after that for future moves? I don’t know.
But as I say goodbye to my Shrewsbury piece, I will do so with a heavy heart. The good thing is that I won’t be too far away. I know I will be back to visit myself many, many times from this weekend onwards. I need to check that my Shrewsbury ball of emotions and memories is doing ok. I’m sure it will be.