A fortnight ago, I was in Berlin. I love that city. Over the last year, it's become my most visited city, and I enjoy every single trip. It has an edgy, interesting feel – like everything's changing, but nobody's quite sure what the finished product will look like. It's just fun.
But, oddly, while walking in a Berlin park, I had my first moment of nostalgia for my old job and office. You see, when autumn arrived in Sutton, the conker tree between the car park and the office shed its bounty of conkers, and I was the only one who seemed to care. I stuffed my pockets with them, satiating the desires of my inner eight year old, and built a little stack of them on my desk. It was a beautifully organic counterpoint to the digital focus of what I was doing.
There are no conker trees around where I live, or the various places I work. And so, I've missed those moments this year.
Until a Tuesday afternoon, in Berlin, in a park, when those moments all came back. A single conker, lying in the leaves, in the crisp German early autumn. A world – a life – away from where I was then, but the feelings came flooding back. It's a mark of how happy I am in my new life that the principle emotional callback I've had to my working life of six years is a single conker in the leaves in a park.
Life moves on. There are conkers everwhere – and I'd rather encounter them in Berlin than Sutton.
There was only one thing for it: head off and kill the nostalgia with a lunchtime currywurst…