A photo of a boy, standing talking to a girl. They appear to be friends.

I had no affinity to my hometown (Liverpool), I got out at eighteen. I never even attempted to stay in touch with anybody from then, apart from my parents.

I did feel an affinity to my university town, Cardiff, but not enough to stay. I stayed in touch with several student-friends for a few years, and one until a few years ago. I don’t know why – he didn’t seem to want to talk any more.

I did feel an affinity to my next home, in Oxford, but in the end, was happy to leave. The house was burgled three times, the car was broken into and its tyre slashed. I kept in touch with a few people for several years, but I gradually lost touch with all except one (with whom I’m still in touch). I also met a friend from Paris, who was studying in Oxford (and we are still in touch).

I felt a strong affinity with New York City, but after I left, I never went back. Part of that was opportunity, but equally I did not push very hard because I was doing well back in the UK. I quickly lost touch with everybody I knew there.

When I got back to the UK, I settled in Southampton. I liked the place but spent very lirrle time there. I did meet Mrs Bump while I was living there, in nearby Bournemouth.

We settled together in the New Forest. It is the only village I ever lived in, and I love the peace. But… I spent a lot of my work-time in London. My closest friends were up there. Since the stroke, I have not visited – that 200 mile roundtrip I used to make each day now feels significant – those friendships which survived are now virtual.

Of the people I know where I live, I have Mrs Bump and we are inter-dependent. I know a few tens of people casually, but there are only about a half dozen I know any better, and none of these is particularly close. It honestly does not bother me.

I tend to think that my home is here, but then I have thought that before, and been able to move away from places. I don’t want to move again. My heart is actually with Mrs Bump, wherever we might end up, rather than a place. The stroke made a lot of these questions absolutely clear (but please don’t tell Mrs Bump). I think it only takes one or two, but those people are priceless.

for Weekly Prompts Weekend Challenge, where the heart is.

Author: Mister Bump UK

Designed/developed large IT systems, interrupted by a stroke in 2016, aged 48. Now mix development of health-related software with voluntary work and writing. Married, with an estranged daughter.

18 thoughts on “Heartless”

  1. You’ve lived in lots of places. I’ve lived just outside of our village in the same house for forty-four years. It’s the one thing I’m really attached to, and my children of course.

    My friends have come and gone over the years. I never attempted to keep in touch.

    Every few weeks I socialise with friends I used to work with, (pre Covid socialising). I never do the inviting. It’s always lovely to see them, but I don’t need them. I gave up looking at Facebook when I realised I was wasn’t very interested in what any of my friends were doing.

    I like my own company and found lockdown very easy to do, it was no hardship to give up socialising and shopping.

    I think your heart is in exactly the right place and I’ll bet Mrs B knows it! 🙂
    Thank you for doing the challenge, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think Lockdown was a great indicator, wasn’t it? I was/am (I still didn’t really go out since Feb) like you but I see people blog about how imprisoned they feel. I have a theory – are you an only child? I am, and it never really bothered me whether I saw other people or not.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. No I had two older brothers. My late husband was an only child and he always craved the company of people.

        My last social event was lunch with friends on the 12th of March. My friends met up again in August and September, I turned down the invitations.

        I went to a restaurant with my son at the start of September, a supermarket once, and I’ve had three medical appointments.
        I do miss restaurant food though, much better quality than mine! 😃

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Oh well, that scuppers that idea 🤣. We have a cafe in the village and I met a friend for coffee a few times in August. The village was clear at that point but as soon as we got more cases, we stopped. It was 4 or 5 yesterday, so still quiet compared to most places. The SW has got off lightly compared to the rest of the country.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I’m told my area is quite low, but Leeds itself is one of the highest, although the numbers have started to reduce. It’s very high in the inner city area where my son teaches. Next week is half term, so unless parents take control over of their teenage kids I can see us moving into tier 3.


                1. I’m still learning this map but I was using the previous version these last few months. I have not looked at this “tiers” approach in detail though I have heard many commentators say it is flawed. I just work on the basis that zero cases (here and neighbours) means it is safe to go out – it is unlikely that somebody from farther afie;ld will carry it into the village. (Although I bet that’s what happened with our current 5 cases.) We have a gastro-pub that people might come visit, but not much else.

                  Liked by 1 person

              1. 17 for our village and the next, our village is a large village thanks to development. The area my son works has 94. Another daughter’s school area has 7 and the
                one working in a school is at our village school.


                1. Bear in mind those numbers are “in the last week”, so the “day” cases are much lower. The consensus I’ve read is that you’re infectious for up to a couple weeks, so look on the bright side – this will all be over by the end of October 🤣.

                  Liked by 1 person

    1. I can only really speak for myself but a lot of the time – even getting married – was “let’s see how this goes” Because we all do this with our eyes open, we all know the statistics. I guess the stroke made me realise how much everything was reciprocated.
      Not to mention, she would be a complete bastard to leave a guy who’s just had a stroke 🤣🤣🤣

      Liked by 1 person

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