• Tom Crossland

Day 20 - Ready for a trip down memory lane

Honestly I forgot to write anything until now, I have had such a lovely day today in Vikki and her family's gorgeous home, that they kindly opened up to me and John. It has been so relaxing I am definitely feeling recovered and re-energised for the next two days of running that will take me from North East Lincolnshire, through Hull, into the East Riding of Yorkshire, and on to Filey in North Yorkshire. I have had a great time reviewing the route for tomorrow and reminiscing about the places I will see for the first time since I lived in Hull, 12 years ago. Spending this time looking at the names of streets I used to live on, has made me reflect on the person I was and the person I am now. I think I am a very different person to the person who left Hull 12 years ago. But then again I was a very different person then than the person that arrived in Hull 6 years earlier. I think the people we surround ourselves with have a huge influence on who we become. I have had the luck and honour to have been surrounded by brilliant people, both friends, family and at work. People who have challenged my assumptions and made me look at them from different angles. There are too many people to name here that have had profound impacts on me and have made me the person I am today. Maybe one day I will write a list to thank them all personally, but the one person that cannot go unmentioned here is Bex. Outside my mum, dad and sisters, I think Bex has had a bigger impact on who I am today than anyone else. Without her support and belief I would not be 700 km into this ridiculous journey.

I also had some social time today and met up with a friend that I trained with and had a great catch up and coffee. It was nice to chat about life and work. Having this conversation reminded me how much I love the work I do and how much I miss my team and the people I work with. At the same time I am loving being away and doing this project.

It seems to me that I needed some time away from work, after the last year, to realise that I really love my job. I always knew I worked and am led by some amazing, compassionate and inspirational people in my team and more widely in the service. Talking about my work has made me realise what a privilege this is and how much I am in the right place doing the right thing. And although I am really happy to be able to take the time to do this run, I am extremely pleased that at the end I can return to a team of people that each, in their own way, made me a better person.

I will leave you with a Phillip Larkin poem he wrote about Hull (at least I think he did).


Swerving east, from rich industrial shadows

And traffic all night north; swerving through fields

Too thin and thistled to be called meadows,

And now and then a harsh-named halt, that shields

Workmen at dawn; swerving to solitude

Of skies and scarecrows, haystacks, hares and pheasants,

And the widening river’s slow presence,

The piled gold clouds, the shining gull-marked mud,

Gathers to the surprise of a large town:

Here domes and statues, spires and cranes cluster

Beside grain-scattered streets, barge-crowded water,

And residents from raw estates, brought down

The dead straight miles by stealing flat-faced trolleys,

Push through plate-glass swing doors to their desires -

Cheap suits, red kitchen-ware, sharp shoes, iced lollies,

Electric mixers, toasters, washers, driers –

A cut-price crowd, urban yet simple, dwelling

Where only salesmen and relations come

Within a terminate and fishy-smelling

Pastoral of ships up streets, the slave museum,

Tattoo-shops, consulates, grim head-scarfed wives;

And out beyond its mortgaged half-built edges

Fast-shadowed wheat-fields, running high as hedges,

Isolate villages, where removed lives

Loneliness clarifies. Here silence stands

Like heat. Here leaves unnoticed thicken,

Hidden weeds flower, neglected waters quicken,

Luminously-peopled air ascends;

And past the poppies bluish neutral distance

Ends the land suddenly beyond a beach

Of shapes and shingle. Here is unfenced existence:

Facing the sun, untalkative, out of reach.

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