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Returning to Wymondham: Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

Victoria Humphrey Published: 01 April 2024

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Young lady gives thumbs up standing in field of sheep

That often repeated, never appreciated idiom might never have resonated more than when I left Wymondham for university. While being a resident of Wymondham or the surrounding villages my whole life, I held the greatest appreciation for our historic market town when I left it. Moving away from Wymondham was certainly daunting, but the possibility of missing Wymondham did not even register. However, in my nearly three years living away from Wymondham, each time I return I find myself noticing things I had so far failed to do so in my 18 years of residing in it. (Including how much I took for granted our lack of hills).

Not many people at my university had ever heard of Wymondham, well actually not a single person had heard of Wymondham. I typically had to resign in telling people I was from Norwich, and when that (worryingly) failed, I just gestured east of London. Even as I write this a squiggly red line appears under my correct spelling of Wymondham. In response to our surprising lack of fame, I of course endeavoured to mention Wymondham at every conversational opportunity – no matter how loosely relevant.

I found myself recalling facts about Wymondham Abbey, which until recently had remained completely unthought of since my primary school years. “Yes, they really hung William Kett from its tower … What do you mean you’ve forgotten that vital Elizabethan history lesson from ten years ago?” I was equally disappointed to discover that my university town had in fact failed to erect an octagonal stilted building in the seventeenth century.

It may be so that university is incredibly fun and exciting, and has certainly taught me lots, but no lesson am I more grateful for than learning of my exceeding love of walking up and down our cobbled streets, visiting our numerous small businesses, historical sights, and looking for ducks along the river Tiffey.

While Wymondham is certainly little, quiet, and occasionally smells of manure, if my leaving has taught me anything, it’s that there’s no place quite like it!

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