Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Parallel lines

I'm pretty good at making decisions. I'm not saying I necessarily make the right decision, but I'm not one of those people who agonises for weeks about every little choice and then spends just as long afterwards worrying whether or not I've done the right thing. Weigh up the pros and cons, decide, move on.
Crouch End Broadway, 1979
But I've been writing an article about leaving home and looking for a flat in London in the late 1970s. Long story short: I ended up in a bedsit in Crouch End, which was at the time a cheap option but is now very desirable. Across the way from where I lived was a small block of one-bedroom flats, newly renovated and on the market for £20,000. No, I haven't missed off a zero: £20,000.

Why didn't I buy one? Because I was having too much fun, spending ridiculous sums of money of records, concert tickets, taxis home from the Music Machine in Camden Town, patchouli oil and black eye-liner. I didn't want a mortgage!

But if I'd bought it, stayed 10 years and then moved to the Midlands, would I be rich now? Perhaps. But would I have married the same man? If not, does that mean that my two lovely sons would never have existed? Which lives would I have touched and which would have passed me by?

I am where I am now because of the choices I have made. But is there another 'me' somewhere who never left London, and who pursued a career in public relations and never went to a yoga class?

Too much philosophy for this early in the day. But it makes you wonder.

No comments:

Post a Comment