Hello – Luke again, here. If you happened to read my last piece – ‘An evening with Matt Le Tissier’ – you may remember that I one day, longed for a jaunt back to Southampton City Centre. Well – I woke up on Tuesday morning this week, and decided to do just that (my recording of Sunday Brunch – that I still haven’t watched from early May – could wait, I thought). For those of you still currently attending Southampton Solent University (or are about to, or – like me – have graduated), they were – in my opinion – the best, three years of my life. I left Wales in 2001, 18-years-old and homesick, and returned home in 2004, enriched and with a degree to my name.
I can remember longing to come home, when I was nearing the end of my course, as three years is a long time to spend somewhere different, doing something new. As soon as I got back to Southampton (after a thoroughly, arduous motorway trek), I wondered why I ever left in the first place. Everything was either just as I remembered it, or had significantly improved. The beautiful, evening sun, and shadows, made for some great pictures (which you should hopefully see throughout this article), and – aside from having to make a small trek with my luggage to my place of stay – my visit was just as great as I thought it would be.
The course I did in Southampton was in BA (Hons) Journalism (and I’m very happy that I’ve recently found Yuppee in the meantime!) It’s the first occasion, where I’ve stayed in a hotel all by myself – I ended up in a Premier Inn – and the room was absolutely faultless. I failed to get much sleep, to be honest (no offence, Lenny Henry – this had nothing to do with your face being on the brochures, on my pillow). It was merely down to the fact that I was about to set foot in a place – that I hadn’t been to – in 9 years. It was surreal. It was almost – almost – like stepping into the past. Whilst it was kind of a good thing, it was also a bit sad, as it brought back so many memories, and was simply a reminder of how much life (and – I suppose – the people I went to Southampton with) have moved on since.
I can remember walks to Burger King on hazy, summer evenings – back in 2003 (with my uniform in my bag, and Evanescence blaring out of my headphones). I can remember trips to the ODEON Cinema, to watch the latest films. I can remember watching Ross Geller, and Friends boxset marathons. I can remember vox pops, video clips, cameras, editing software and Tuesdays spent in the computer room, putting magazines together. I can remember watching Big Brother, when Davina was still there. I visited many old haunts during my trip, and even bought a new beanie from the same place I bought one, a decade earlier.
I loved my trip back. Sitting on the bench, near West Quay, looking at my phone, in the sun – I felt totally content. I have to say – it was a great incentive to try and move forward with my own life. I would definitely visit again, at some point (the drive is an unenviable one!) as I love the place, but I wanted to get the journey back to lovely Southampton, out of my system. And now I have. So – if you are heading to Southampton Solent University, later on this year – have a wonderful time! I really envy you! I absolutely loved it! And I’m sure you will too.
The Biffy Clyro track, that was the soundtrack of my trip back down to the South Coast…