Every time I come back here, it's like a mental slap to the face. So much stays the same, so much changes. The longer I spend in Egham, the more detached I become here, even though both seem a dream when I am at the other.
It was immediately brought home to me on Saturday. We drove from the station back here past my school. On one side, a building that had stood at the corner for as long as I remember now lies in rubble, and on the other, a new building is taking shape where a derelict one burnt down a year ago. The road layouts for the new school are complete, and Gresham Fields has been forever altered. It's not the same mile I used to walk most mornings, even though I can still walk that mile, as it was, in my mind. Back at home, things are similar, with clutter turning the rooms into caves, complete with stalagmites of clothes, odd papers, and discarded foodstuffs of my brother. On that note, my brother has also grown up and stayed the same. He's still not taking work seriously, and barely revising for his GCSEs at all. He's still hoarding coke and crisps. However, he's less likely to throw a tantrum these days, holding an attitude somewhat reminiscent of a Mafia Don.
I'd claim that I've grown more independent, but as Holly can vouch, that's not exactly true. I'm still quite hopeless on my own, and she's often had to point out the obvious to me. Nevertheless, it's all a far cry from here, where everything is decided for you. I need make no coffee, as my mother brings me them (I can barely navigate the kitchen here, where I infamously set fire to a bunch of grapes last year). I'm told when to go shopping, and church punctuates every week twice. I'm less comfortable here than at Hazel, though. On the one hand, this is due to the various buildings: my room here always leaves me feeling hot, dehydrated and slightly out of breath. I also miss the less-cluttered environment of our sitting room, which I would stumble into around 10am with a coffee and some cereal, and sit on the sofa enjoying a long breakfast as birds sang outside. On the other hand, I think I'm worried about loss. I'm just not sure whether I feel I've lost my family home environment security, or whether I'm missing life in Englefield Green.
Growing up is most odd.
On another odd note, I'm now percieving Nottingham to be a lot smaller than I used to. I suspect this comes from living in what is effectively the furthest limits of the London conurbation. I even considered staying around London when I was there on Thursday and Saturday. It's certainly a lot more active than I'm used to: you can't really forget you're in one of the world's Big Cities. That's both exciting and scary. I'm thinking that London is fine to visit, but I'm not all that keen on living there. Oh well, it depends on what happens after I finish Uni (and then my Masters). The journey between London and Nottingham is familiar enough now to seem very short, so whilst I still percieve here and there as seperate worlds, they no longer seem as far-apart.
One good thing about staying here is that I don't have to spend money on groceries and things. I've not really got any money left to spend anymore, and am hanging on the Student Loans Company acknowledging the receipt I sent them, so I can get my £4000 (of which over half is immediately going to pay off all the rent). Once that's out of the way, I can start worrying about exams. That, however, is another entry.