The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

Hope Comes In Mysterious Ways …

First of all happy birthday to Queen drummer, Roger Taylor.

He turns 74 today – which used to sound ancient, but now I’m 53, sounds terrifyingly close.

Hopefully when I’m his age I am also living my best life … though what that is, is evolving in ways I’m trying to work out – haha.

But this post is about my hometown, Nottingham.

I went there a month ago on my way to Cannes and I have to say it was a very emotional trip.

Part of this is because it was the first time I’d been there on my own since my Mum died.

Part of this is because it was the week after a terrible incident in the city where 3 innocent people were killed.

And part of this was because of a personal situation and challenge that I was – and still am – trying to work through.

In my few days there, I went on a bit of a history journey … visiting places that meant so much to me as a kid.

From shopping in Victoria City … visiting Rock City … passing my old schools … picking up some food from the local Asda, where my parents would shop every Friday evening … going to the crematorium to see the memorial for my parents … paying homage to the Nottingham Forest football stadium … right through to popping in and seeing my childhood home, that resulted in me bursting into tears in front of the new owner as it was much more impactful than I had dared imagine.

Yeah, it was one big sentimental and emotional journey.

But amongst all the memories, there was something that popped up that I wasn’t expecting.

Something I thought had died and I’d recently written about.


Yep, Raleigh Bikes were back.

Better yet, they were on Maid Marion Way … a thoroughfare of the city that meant everyone would see them.

OK, they aren’t what they used to be – they’re owned by a Dutch company for a start – but they exist and are still based in Nottingham.

As I wrote in my post about Raleigh last month … seeing this brand that defined and promoted my city to the World, die was incredibly tough.

When you’re a kid you look for signs you’re living in a place that is full of promise and hope … a place that let’s you feel you have a bright future … and in my earliest days, with Raleigh making globally known bikes and Nottingham Forest being Kings of Europe, I did. But then, when Forest fell away and Raleigh died, it shook me to my core.

I appreciate that’s the sort of melodrama only a young kid can have, but I wasn’t too wrong to be fair … so seeing the brand alive in my city – especially after a week that saw the whole county in mourning for the needless death of so many – gave hope.

A sense that even in the darkest times, we can move forward.

Given how fucked the UK is right now, that’s worth its weight in gold.

And I’m happy. Because while I don’t live in Nottingham, I’ll always belong there.

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