Last weekend was wierd. My friend Monkey was back from Italy for a week, so I toddled off to St Albans for a visit to see him, his new girlfriend and to generally reaquaint myself with the town where I had spent so many years of my life. It was strange coming to St Albans as a visitor, staying in a hotel etc.
The days activities were of course a success, traipsing from pub to pub, avoiding popular locations and going for atmosphere, talking about art (contemporary art: overly maligned or random mess), creativity (apparently living and working as an artist in Italy works better because there is no financial safety net) and whether or not Tony Blair was spawn of Satan (the jury is still out on that one). The conversation was made somewhat more cumbersome as Monkey’s Italian significant other spoke only broken English and I only speak menu Italian (Due saltimbocas e una bottiglia del chianti per favore).
But the wierd part was the overwhelming nostalgia. Memories, both pleasant and unpleasant, sometimes tinted rose, overlaid with actually seeing the place ‘in the flesh’ was certainly an overwhelming experience. I still like St Albans, but now it’s probably more in an intellectual sense. I doubt I’d ever want to live there again.