“Go to Hull”

When our kids don’t like what I have to say, they snap at me: “Go to Hull!”

This causes much amusement around the kitchen table, as they remind me of the time I suggested we move back there and my beloved replied, “See you then!”

She never was very impressed with those days early in our marriage when I insisted on showing her where I was from. For a start, she didn’t understand the accent.

My argument, though, was that for the price of our tiny house down here, we could buy a great big place up there.

My entire family has a well-rehearsed counter-argument for that, unfortunately. “For what you’d gain,’ demands my beloved, “what would you have to sacrifice?”

“Yes,’ agrees our daughter, “we’d have to make new friends, start a new school, leave everything we know behind.’

“And anyway,’ says our lad, ‘you took us to Hull once.” He smirks as he says this, their eyes all joined. “Enough said.”

To be clear, we’re not moving to Hull. My parents long moved away, before finally migrating south. We have no remaining connections there, other than a lingering emotional attachment born of childhood memories.

That shortlived idea came about purely as a result of feeling constrained by our circumstances. As a result of marriage and work, we have somehow settled in one of the most expensive parts of the country. Sometimes you feel like your hands are tied.

Of course, my beloved was never going to seriously entertain the idea, no matter how convincingly I argued my case. “I love my humble home,” she forever insists. Then she points across the valley. “And you couldn’t pay for that view!”

True, but she’s not stopping, listing all the reasons for this actually being the perfect location. Easy access to airports. Its proximity to London. The little community she has here. The beautiful countryside. And, well, Hull just seemed so… dull… and grey… and cold… and do you seriously, really want to go back there?

Not seriously or really, but I think there’s always a pull back to wherever we’re from. My maternal grandparents, who had been sent to Hull to practice medicine, moved back down south as soon as they retired. I don’t think I will answer that call though.

“Go to Hull!” laugh our kids in the midst of another altercation. No, you’re alright. I’ll stay here, a thorn in your sides.

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