251 Menlove Avenue. Childhood home of John Lennon.
Through the door that withstood bombs from Jerry
You stepped to tug sleeves across fields of berries
Not mum’s nest, but taught you that wit
Nurtured the seed of teenage fainting fits
Walk the dotted line glow from mine to yours
Two short miles between distant shores.
Near where those fingers first pressed the frets
I learned love and earned my debts
I was grabbed instantly by my postcode because I went to university in Liverpool and although I didn’t finish my degree I spent three important years there. The first step was to research the house and John Lennon’s upbringing, while listening to his greatest hits. It was emotional, learning about this talismanic figure who was raised by his aunt, but also revisiting my own memories via Google Maps. I found out the woodland that inspired Lennon to write Strawberry Fields is nearby and was a favourite childhood stomping ground. Places of personal significance loomed out from the digital image and I was back in the bars and on the stages of my early 20s. I was fascinated to discover the flat I shared with my girlfriend is only two miles from Mendips. That’s when I decided to weave my tale with his, blending little snippets from the past. The geographical proximity of our formative experiences sits in wonderful contrast to the complete unconnectedness of our lives.