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Monday, 9 March 2020

On Visiting A Daughter At University

How we walked
When legs were strong
And lungs were full
From Jesmond to Gosforth for tea.
Then back in the dark
Across the park
To terraced streets
With pavement flags
And drainage runnels
Where Victorians and Edwardians
With large families
Have been replaced
By students.

32 comments:

  1. I have walked it many times. Your words brought back many memories for me. Thank you.

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    1. Osborne Road is just madness on a Saturday night.

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    2. Unimaginable. It was the arterial road with buses, the Osborne Hotel and a Porsche dealership.

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    3. But even 50 years ago it was a big student area and bedsit land serving the nearby University and Poly.

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    4. It's all hotels, bars and eateries now, plus the odd chiropodist and chiropractor. Rowdy at night. She's doing Art - one of the few courses at a proper university that's practical as well as academic - ceramics, glass, metalwork, sculpture, you name it. We're both as jealous as hell.

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    5. It was multi-occupancy student land 50 years ago. The wealthy families of Jesmond had all long gone to Darras Hall and Ponteland. The working class terrace streets are in Wallsend, Byker and Heaton or south of river in Gateshead.

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  2. I have not been there but your words conjure up a great image.

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    1. Sunday evening. Table booked like in your post with about one hours notice. Only two other tables occupied. The impermanence of it all - Victorian families, 'families' of students, and our own health and strength.

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  3. I have never been in your country but still I could get a feel and a picture of your words. Your title along with the words brought back a time when my son was at a university and I would visit him. I love the feel of campus life.

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    1. You can look up West Jesmond on streetview and have a wander around. I can't look at Victorian terraces without wondering who has lived there.

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  4. Wonderful. I have the exact picture in my head - I think.

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    1. Oh good. Daughter was very bored with me talking about drainage runnels.

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    2. Hello. I keep reading your replies on the blogs people I blog with so thought I would nip over and read you - and I liked what I read so have put you on my side bar - hope you don't mind. Presume we are talking Newcastle here - my grand daughter read English there and now lives in Glasgow - and I feel just the same about the tenements there - some are now made into very high class flats (if only the old residents could come back and see what they were like).

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    3. Sorry but I have missed out the word 'of' in the top line of my reply between the words blogs and people (it is 11.05 at night - that's my excuse).

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    4. Thanks for looking - and bookmarking. Hadn't noticed the omission. I make so many mistakes myself these days too. I think (hope) it's through being too quick rather than getting gaga. I keep seeing you on other blogs too and have sometimes popped across to read, although maybe I've not commented.

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  5. The perfect picture of my own college campus days, Case Western Reserve in Cleveland, old Millionaire's Row. It was miles up the road from school to Little Italy.

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    1. I used to say to prospective students that one main thing to choose is whether they would feel more at home in a city or a campus university. I also used to tell them that their choice would affect all of the rest of their lives, through the friends they make and so on. I think that used to go over their heads. But watching students with their friends (e.g. we went to a pizza place one night) brings home what a special time it can be.

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  6. I really enjoyed this piece, Tasker.

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    1. Thank you. It came into my head overnight and I put it in my paper diary first thing next morning and almost didn't post it here because I wanted it to say so much more (see reply to JayCee - 2nd comment above), but vagueness somehow makes it stronger.

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  7. Although I have never been to uni myself and do not have children, I can well relate to the feeling of change; sometimes welcome, sometimes less so.

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    1. Well read. It is indeed a reflection on change. I only went late, but it was still a special, formative time, very transient for most students, although I managed to drag it out for several decades.

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  8. Very evocative of the thoughts that flow through the mind.

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    1. The words formed in the night but yes, it is stream of consciousness.

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  9. Could be so many places... Our Edwardian family house was sold on by the family we sold to and is now being used for student housing. Sad.

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    1. I bet it's being smashed into pieces. The one my daughter lives in this year certainly is. Seven of them in one house. Also bet you wish you still had it. The landlord is raking in over £30,000 p.a. before costs. Not so long ago you could buy them for a couple of thousand.

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  10. I like the idea of this poem. It could be any city.

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    1. There must be similar parts of Sheffield.

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    2. There certainly are and in Birmingham, Selly Oak has become a student ghetto when once those terraced streets were occupied by regular working class families.

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  11. The vibrancy of being among students at a university! A city of the young!

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    1. "Vibrancy" - good word. Definitely true of that part of Newcastle.

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  12. Thank you Tasker for giving us such a beautiful experience of your country through your lovely rendition of words. This tempts me to visit your country and experience your expression first hand. Visiting your loved one when they are away from home has its own beauty and feel to it. Especially when they are in a university studying.

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