Wednesday, 16 July 2008


I knew within ten minutes of getting off the train, the first time I came to Newcastle, that this was where I wanted to be.

I was 17 going on 18 and applying to universities. Mainly on the transpennine express route, for some reason. Before the open day in Newcastle, I'd decided to go to Durham. (It was inevitable that I would end up in the North East, really.) I loved the overnight stay I had in Trevelyan College at Durham.

But there was something in the air when I got off the train in Newcastle. The sun was shining and warmed the air in the station. The taxi driver who took me to the University was chatty, telling me about how they'd changed the traffic flows on Percy Street, how they'd caused havoc. (Fourteen years on, it does take quite a while to get down that road, now I stop to think about it.)

I knew immediately that this was where I wanted to be.

I dropped out of uni in the end; too much socialising, not enough work. Or maybe I was kicked out; I never did work out which really happened. I ran, tail between legs, back to my parents' house. I lived there another two years, going out every night to drink soda water and play (bad) pool at a pub down a dark country road, because I didn't want to face the fact that I wasn't where I wanted to be and didn't know how to change it.

Then I got a boyfriend in
Yorkshire and moved there once I'd found a job. I told myself that I loved the city I'd moved to - and I did. But it wasn't home. It was never home.

I split up with the boyfriend, got back with D, who I'd had a fling with years earlier. I applied for job after job and finally got one, moved back up north after three years in Yorkshire.

I never settled in Yorkshire. But ten minutes after moving back to the north east, I knew I was back home again. D's a geordie; he's never lived far from Newcastle. I can't imagine we'll ever leave.

Thinking about all this has got me thinking. Why do you live where you live? Was it something you chose or just something that you fell into? Do you feel like you are home? Will you stay where you live now? Is there anywhere you miss, or anywhere you'd pay to never go back to?

I'm curious.


Cassie said...

I was like you, the moment I set foot off the plane I knew I would love it here. There's just something about it... can't tell what! I feel very much at home here and I never want to leave.

However, my bank account disagrees with me, and because it's very hard to find a job here for non-nationals, I will have to return to the US in September. I won't really be going "home" because my family is moving an hour and a half away from my old house, and they got two puppies that won't recognise me and there's nothing worse than having puppies that don't know who you are...


Lane said...

You're very lucky to live in a place you love and to never want to leave.
I 'fell into' the place I live now and have no affinity to it at all really. I come from the south originally and I'd move back there like a shot. Somewhere near the coast would be just fine:-)
I'd pay money not to go back to East London where I lived for 20 years!

Calistro said...

I miss Newcastle. I had four of the happiest years of my life there and I too felt like I was coming home (my dad's from Northumberland).

Where I live now? Hmmm. It's my temporary home. In fact it's the longest I EVER lived anywhere (10 years now) and I'm about to move again. That'll be even more temporary I hope (the plan is 2 years).

Where's home?

I don't know.

Dad was in the army. We moved around a lot. I've always felt a sense of loss about having no 'home'. But I'll find it one day.

p.s. This post was written after 2 large glasses of wine so apologies if it's a bit melacholy!

Kate.Kingsley said...

Aw, nice to know that you had some happy years up here, Cally :-).

I've been back up North for 9 years now, after 8 years in Sheffield. Sheffield served it's purpose for a while, but I woke up one day and realised that I missed the North east. I moved back about a week later, adn I haven't regretted it for a minute.

No regrets about Sheffield, I loved it, but I wouldn't want to live there again. I've outgrown what it meant to me, back then.

I don't see me moving anywhere else, not in the next ten years at least, although i would like to live by the sea so maybe I'll move out to the coast eventually.

Anxious said...

I live here because I was offered a job here 10 years ago.

While living here the first time around (5 years), it didn't feel like home - I thought that leaving wouldn't bother me when we moved to the West Country.

But it bothered me a lot. Because all my friends are here.

And that's why we came back.

With me, it's not so much about the place - there's not much to like about Southampton the place. But it's got my people in it, so that's where I'm staying for the foreseeable. I won't say forever - because I don't really do "forevers", you never know what will come up.

I miss France. But if I'd stayed in France, I wouldn't have met Big and that just wouldn't do. And I don't think we could live in France because Big couldn't do his job there (he won't consider any other job). And again, we'd have the friend issue.

I miss my London, but feel very divorced from it now. I don't think I could live there now.

I'll shut up now...

B said...

Cassie, I'm glad that someone else feels the same about this place :)
About not being able to get a job: that's just crap for you! Are you still looking, or have you given up now?

Lane, you're right, I am lucky. I love this place and I'm very lucky to be able to live here.

I would pay good money never to live in Manchester. Or Leeds :)

Aw, Cally *hugs* My hubby has lived in something like 31 houses in 34 years. We plan to move once, and then stay there for a very long time if not forever. He likes stability after that. We definitely have to have a meet up here so you can rediscover old haunts :)

Kate, I can understand that. Sheffield is too hilly for me though! I'd love to live by the coast too... maybe one of those huge places at Tynemouth near the Priory if we ever win the lottery. Or if I ever get a huge publishing deal :)

anx, sometimes it really is all about the people. I don't miss where my parents live at all, but I miss the family and friends who live round there dreadfully sometimes. I wish there was some kind of wormhole I could go through to get back without the three hour journey.

sometimes i would like to go and live where my sister lives on the continent. but i don't think that will ever happen - but again, never say never....

Cassie said...

Still looking, if you know of any where hiring for a receptionist! If I can find a job that's worth staying for (ie making money instead of losing it) I would stay forever!

Mike said...


There's a receptionist's job in your University - part/time.

Some admin job at my Uni...

...and here's a whole bunch I just found on

At least it's a start!


Cassie said...

Thanks Mike! Many of those I have already applied for (I go on those sites everyday looking for new listings!) but I really appreciate the help!

Anonymous said...

I moved to South London, stayed 6 years with every bit of non-work time coming back home.

Came back - then had to move to Hampton Wick (work move). Retired 1998 - managed to buy back the cottage I had sold in 1991 - will never move again.

Mind I could have moved and lived happily in Shetland. Whenever I visited there it felt like 'Kent Ground'

diehard geordie

B said...

Hi diehard, thanks for dropping in!

So lucky that you were able to buy the cottage you had to sell. I really do love this area and can't imagine moving away myself.

Cassie if I hear of anything I will let you know :)