Another one gone…and a footnote to the floods

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A relaxed Sunday, on the surface at least. Cerys Matthews is on the radio. Her BBC6 Music show is the new now since my attachment to the Archers omnibus began to fray like a string vest belonging to Joe Grundy.

So what’s been going on in Cole-land? There was a leaving do on Friday for my old workplace. Yes, another one. What a queue of departures. For the first time I felt detached from my old life. Not surprising as it’s been a while now.

When you leave somewhere, even if you spent an unholy chunk of your life there, you are no longer part of what is going on. You know the players, the rules and the routines. But it’s all moving on without you; a case of long train runnin’ while you kick your heels on the platform (a couple of Doobie Brothers references in there for readers of a certain age).

Don’t get me wrong, it was good to see people again, to chat to old friends and former colleagues. But this onetime stalwart felt like a bit of an outsider. This is natural and healthy, if a little sad, as you have to let go. So far I’ve moved on but not fully onto anything else yet. Lots of writing, some earning a pound or two, but nothing you can rest your feet on.

Beneath the low rumble of panic, I feel an undercurrent of optimism, based on what I couldn’t say. What a fool believes, perhaps – right, I’m done with the Doobies now.

My Sunday morning run, the first in two weeks, took me along Walmgate towards my old office. Not been down there since the floods, and many shops are closed and being repaired. It was a sad sight, although not as sad as the photographs from a couple of weeks ago showing the street like a disaster zone.

The rising Foss did for that area – and also inundated Huntington Road, leaving many people without anywhere to live for months to come.

All this has created a wider problem. At the height of the flood the council leader announced to the world that York was closed. Some businesses believe that message resonated too deeply, as people seem to be staying away from the city. We’ve not had anyone in our Airbnb room for a few weeks, but we do have a guest tomorrow. Funnily enough from his details he seems to be here to help a business that was flooded out in Walmgate.

So York is open, back to normal for the most part. People and businesses are still displaced, but the ordinary visitor probably won’t even spot the city’s damp patches. So please come back…

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