Sundays were always a difficult day when I first moved to Leeds.
Having been made redundant for the second time in 2004, I moved to the city unclear what it was that I wanted to do – beyond living with A.
We would often go away for the weekend – to London to see family and friends. On our return, as we approached the city growing larger on the horizon, one building came to define my mood and what Sundays meant to me back then.
The Parkinson Tower of the University of Leeds became everything I hated about my world, outside of the bubble that was my relationship. No money, dead end job – lack of prospects. I was working in the shadow of the tower – a shadow of my former self.
So every time we went away, every time we drove back in to the city – the tower was there to remind me of what Monday had to offer. In short, another five days of feeling like a failure.
Eventually I changed jobs, my mood lifted and I came to see the tower, not as a manifestation of my ills, but for what it was. A clock.
The tower is simply a clock you can see from most vantage points around the city. It’s no longer a trigger for ill feeling or anxiety – but a way of telling the time, often against the bluest of skies as it was this summer.
And now I have moved on. The tower has been replaced by Durham Cathedral or the Tyne Bridge for landmarks I now associate with work – with looking forward to going in to work.
I’ll know what to do if that ever changes.