Friday, 26 November 2010

Durham Days

When long shadows stretch from the trunks of trees and a golden sun shines warmly on a world as cold as glass, I'm always transported back to Durham.

I'm taken to a city in which it always seems to be autumn and the trees that line the river are always tipped in gold and bronze, where low sunbeams shine off ancient stones and students wear black cashmere coats, wound at the neck by scarves.

I feel the cobbles dimple my feet as I hurry over Old Elvet bridge with a bag of books on my back, I see rowers flash by on the shadowy water below, I feel the cold air pinching my skinny waist as I walk and I hear the cathedral bells ring out across the river, making my heart peal with pleasure as they chime.

And as I dart through the winding and well-trodden streets of the city, trudge up the endless expanse of Church Street to the library and wind my solitary way back to college along the silent tow-path I feel the old emotions crowd my heart; the adrenaline of discovery, the awesomeness of tradition, the elation of self-sufficiency, the stress of high expectations, the hopefulness of infinite possibilities, and the intense loneliness of life.

It's always startling to return to this place so suddenly as the autumn sun starts to shine, and my visits to this dreamscape always leave me adrift, because my memories are as clear as yesterday but I have no idea how the person that I was then and the person that I am today can possibly both be me.


  1. Wow..thats so beautiful...i have a special place too...only 2 others know of it and its hidden from the rest of the world,my secret place..everytime i hear a crow my mind leaps to this place and the days i spent there exploring,lounging,picnicing, is amazing what triggers the emotions and how much that place must really mean to you deep down inside..
    take care

  2. Oh so beautifully written, as usual! I feel exactly the same about York, where I studied, but for me it's the spring daffodils that transport me back there. Funny how the mind works, isn't it?