I've just got back from a conference in Leeds and I'm so pleased that I took the opportunity to grasp an evening to myself and return to the town where I went to university and where I met the woman I married and loads of other people, including Ian, who is in the picture on a blog below, and who I wrote about when he died. First stop, the Fighting Cock pub, which hasn't changed in 25 years. Two pints later and I was ready for the nostalgia walk.
Home sweet home
I braced myself - wasn't it a long way to Summerseat Place? Well, not really, but I think my circle of activity was very minimal back in the 80's. The biggest surprise was that the Italia cafe, famed for its artery-clogging food and cups of tea so strong a spoon could stand up straight in them, is gone. It's replacement, actually looking mighty fine, is pictured. I took the bull by the horns and went round the back of the house. Coming down the street was an older Pakistani man who was very interested why I was walking down his road looking at his house. I explained the situation. We had a lovely chat and he almost persuaded me to stay.
I'm sure that things changed in most places over 25 years: it's just a shock to see students excercising on running machines that are observable from Great Horton Road. We didn't do that...And then there was the letter box. The one that Ian and I jumped over - well he did, I never made it. It's pictured. Still going strong in 2010 and still leaning to the right a bit weirdly.
Then it rained on me heavily - very Bradford.
Take me to the Kashmir
At the conference there was a delegate who I was at Bradford with all those years ago and he opined that these days we're more likely to go to the more upmarket curry houses. (There are plenty around Great Horton Road). I didn't want to do this. I noticed a couple of old timer curry houses had closed. But not the Kashmir. The site where I had my first Bradford curry and where my wife met Mari Wilson when she played the University in about 1984. It's certainly a bigger place now, the Kashmir. But, and I noticed this as I passed a couple of other curry houses, the smell of a Bradford curry stays the same and is like no other. My chicken and mushroom rogan josh with onion bhaji was brought with spoon and not much ceremony. Neon lights, formica tables and the best curry in the world. Heaven.
There's been an awful situation regarding some recent murders. This has to be mentioned as much of the publicity occurred whilst I was in Leeds and Bradford.
Back to Leeds
As the train pulled out of the Interchange I felt so happy that I'd been back and that I'd done it on my own. I was soaking wet and very happy. Happy to remember the completely brilliant time I spent in Bradford from 1982-1986.