I've always avoided going back. For the first years of our married life, G and I didn't have our own home. We were working as Youth Hostel wardens and lived on the premises. Norwich is too far to go back to, but I've been back to Crickhowell a few times (once to show our daughter A where she used to live) and of course Kings is just a few miles away and we walk up by there every so often.
But I've only looked at them from the outside; I've never been inside either building since we left. Crickhowell has changed the most. The old building hase been transformed into upmarket flats and the old stable/coach house that was our quarters is now a small house. Another brand new house has been built in the garden, the lovely walled garden where the photo of Alison with goat was taken.
The thing was, we knew, even when we lived there, that these places weren't ours. We were doing a job and we lived there for a while. I don't know what it would be like to go back to a home that you used to own. I have occasional fantasies about going back to my childhood home in Manchester, but as it would no doubt have changed drastically over the years, it wouldn't be the same house any more, so I don't think there would be much point. I haven't lived in the area for well over 30 years. I don't belong there any more.
Similarly I've never been back to my old school or any of my old workplaces. They were phases of my life that are now over. I've moved on.
I do wonder sometimes if I sever the ties too completely?
However, though I don't go back physically to places I knew before, I am finding that I'm increasingly returning to the interests and pastimes of my youth. The trail ride in America has got me interested in horses again; I've done a bit of guitar playing recently and I'm more serious about my photography than I've been since my teens.
What this means, I'm not sure. Is it this thing called a "second childhood"? :)
PS The cold is much improved. I will be going back into work tomorrow.