From time to time I mull over the path my life has taken so far.
Many of my friends and family went to university. Despite a couple of attempts, I couldn’t focus on it, distracted by the lifestyle, and so set myself back several years (it can be argued that I picked up a lot of life experience during this period, however; on the other hand, I was drunk much of the time and can barely recall it), at least as a writer.
I’m currently reading the diaries of former Monty Python, Michael Palin, and noticing how fortunate he was to have made such strong friends and contacts at university (and public school, but we’ll skip that). Is this still a thing that happens now? I suspect it is, but I’ve long been attracted to associating with The Wrong Kind of Person. Indeed, most of the people I’ve called friends over the years are no longer that.
Having been freelancing since 2010, I’ve long wanted to be able to reach out and touch the metropolitan lifestyle of the scriptwriter. We have a tentative plan to move to York if and when we can afford it (floods may be a stumbling point) as this affords a quick same day trip to London while leaving us within reach of in laws. A desire to move abroad (possibly Canada) has kind of petered out since our children were born.
However, there is a massive advantage in being a self-employed writer in this day and age, and that is the Internet. Fellow writer (and a friendly chap he is) Dean Wilkinson told me that he does very little travelling, with a large volume of meetings conducted via Skype. Dean regularly writes for TV, and I know that there is some intra-UK travel, but he maintains a link with his roots, residing in Teesside still.
And you know, when I do think of what it might be like living abroad, I do get struck by a sort of homesickness. I think of the times I’ve run my fingers through the soil in the garden, and how much it feels like I’m connected to it somehow. Touching the earth in this way in other parts of the world I’ve visited has never been so satisfying. Despite my paternal origins (the south east) I’m surely a man of Yorkshire.
So really, there’s no need for us to ever leave these hallowed lands. Not yet, anyway…