It will never be the same again. I do not refer to the village itself, which I suspect will remain just as it is until the day that the sun envelops the earth, but to my relationship with it. It will never be the same again as it once was, when I was young and lived there and was part of it like a piece in a jigsaw; a vital part of the larger pattern.
The village, like most English villages, nestles among towns and cities of much greater size and importance. It is a quiet little farming community in the north of England, just a forty-minute drive outside of the major urban center of Manchester, and only twenty minutes from the city of Preston. This is the village in which I grew up.
I navigated my home with the surety of a local and the passion of a wild creature. My companions and I preceded the era in which parents seek to shield their children from the dangers of th