Walking back to St Albans railway station after saying goodbye to my former foster mother was a horribly sad thing to do. I had thought and hoped that seeing her after so long would help me deal with the crossness and sadness that had been inside me for over 40 years but I knew it hadn't.
Part of the problem was St Albans itself. My parents are both buried in the town and seeing their worn and hard to read graves was quite emotional. It was the same seeing the places where Jane (my late-wife) and I had had such fun in our courting years. I have such mixed feelings about the town that I don't have the skill to put into words.
When you are a grown up it seems silly to complain about things not being fair but sitting in the three different trains going back home to west Wales that was exactly what I was doing. Inside my head I was having a conversation with my long-dead foster Dad telling him how his meanness in refusing to pay for my school uniform all those years ago had changed my entire life. Which was true.
If I could have stayed on at school I had the brains to go to university and then into a proper job. But all these possibilities were stolen from me by the meanness of one person and the weakness of my social worker who should have stuck up for me.
I was sitting in the train feeling sorry for myself when something strange happened. I felt my dead wife Jane was sitting there beside me. I have never had any time for supernatural things so this was an ever-so curious feeling to be sitting beside a ghost. I think what must have happened was that I dozed off and I was having a very vivid dream.
Jane told me that if I hadn't left Care when I did I would never have met her and wouldn't have had all the happy years we later had together in Woverhampton as a married couple. She was right of course, Jane usually was!
Sometimes life is like an amazingly complicated maze. There are hundreds of different paths you can chose to go down or be forced to go down by outside events. A Father I don't remember, a Mother who got ill, Foster Parents who didn't care much were just a few of the junctions in my life and it is just chance that they are all associated with a childhood in St Albans and Harpenden.