The other day, while riding home from Sunday's Gravel Grinder, I found myself riding down Canterbury Rd. It so happens that I was born in Surry Hills, and lived there until I was eight or so.
After passing my old street, and resisting temptation to take a left to check out my old house, I was shocked and appalled to discover how close my Primary School was.
My childhood memories, still fairly vivid, of walking to school with mum or dad, are of long intrepid journeys. Having turned left from Broughton Rd, in my minds eye, the school is still a good kilometre or so away, possibly more.
But, as I discovered on Sunday, it's no more than two hundred metres.
And, once again, I am taken aback at how large the world seemed (and still seems based on old memories). I haven't explored my old stamping ground for probably close to ten years, but my memory of it is as a labyrinth of lane ways, of tree lined streets, of the occasional dilapidated house are as strong as ever. Walks with Dad to the park (which seemed miles away) were a highlight of the day, sometimes walking Raff the dog (our cousins dog that we would occasionally mind) who, being a dog of the early 90s, was named after the ninja turtle. Sausage rolls eaten in cubby houses as torrential rain pours down, essentially trapping us from the relative comfort of my friends house. Spring days in the sandpit, where the wind blew just strongly enough to rustle the brass chimes hanging from the back porch.
All these memories contained within what still seems like a small city but, in reality, were probably no more than a few streets wide.
I'm not sure I would want to go back, to be honest.