The place I would go back to right now if I could is the same place that I always think of – my old neighbourhood in West Norwood, specifically the block of flats I grew up in. As time goes by it isn’t so much what I could see out of my bedroom window, or what the council estate looked like, it is more what it represents to me emotionally.
It reminds me of a simpler time when I literally had no worries or cares in the world. I know it is easy to say that in hindsight, and you probably think that were teenage things going on that at the time I probably thought were the height of stress, but hand on heart, that really wasn’t the case. I was sincerely, genuinely, a care free happy person surrounded by great friends and family and felt secure, valued and wealthy in a way I’ve never quite been able to recapture.
We moved away from West Norwood in 2006 and now, in 2014 I am 28 and even though by and large things are nearly always OK, there’s always something lacking, nagging away and stopping the complete mental release of true happiness.
From 1998 when I moved back to West Norwood – having spent a few years with my grandparents – till 2006, was categorically the happiest, most complete time of my life.
Here are the flats I grew up in
The block was called Violette Szabo House. Who was Violette Szabo? She was a very impressive woman who served as a SOE agent in occupied France before being captured and ultimately executed.
I’m proud to have grown up in a building that was a monument to a remarkable woman.