Wednesday, July 01, 2009
It seems unlikely, but I'm sure I know it to be true, that from the window of a National Express Coach pulling into Leeds coach station in 1982 I saw a billboard advert for John Player Special with the slogan "Black Up North".
In my head, right on cue, came the line: "the Northern Lights are in my eyes, they guide me back to you…"
My throat tightened, my eyes burned. Like the billboard almost said I was 'Back Up North.' There are some places you just know you were meant to be, and others where you will never thrive. Although I was still a good hour away from home, once that song started playing in my head I knew that, for a little while at least, I was safe.
They told me they were happy if I was happy, and then undermined it by saying I didn't have to go back if I didn't want to. Walking away, after that weekend, was the most difficult thing I've ever done.
My Mum told me, years later, she'd always felt she should've stopped me.
Of course, she wouldn't have been able to.
Northern Lights - Renaissance