I have lived in a fair few places in my life. Hull, Secunda, Mossel Bay, Grahamstown, Oudtshoorn, Knysna, Immingham, Barton-Upon-Humber, Sheffield, Sowerby Bridge, Brighouse and Halifax. Not the one in Nova Scotia. I think that’s all of them.
My instinct here is to explore the phrase that ‘home is where the heart is’, and looking back all of those places – perhaps with the exception of Hull (Which I left when I was 10) and Halifax (where I live now) – felt rather temporary. I have very few, though definitely some, memories that I look back upon with fondness, and try as I might I find myself hard pressed to remember the feeling of content I have where I live now.
Perhaps it is the stage in my life that I find myself at, the life I have made for myself and the physical surroundings that all together make my current home something different to everything that has gone before. It is not a fancy house by any means, only a small terrace in an average part of an average norther town but it is mine. Or ours, as I share it with my wife and children. It is the place that we have made our home for the last ten years and where the memories that mean the most to me have been made.
It is where I have watched my boys grow up, each room filled with magical memories of at least one of them covering it in vomit. It is the place where I have threatened to paint and put up shelves and trust me, I will get round to it I promise. When we are long gone somebody will pull up the carpets and see the large cock I drew on the wooden floors in the back bedroom.
We renovated it from top to bottom recently, and put everything we had into it to make it the place that we could spend the next decade though there is perhaps still not quite enough room for my comic collection. Oh, and don’t get me started on the collection of things at the bottom of the stairs up to the kids bedrooms.
It is about more than just the four of us though, it is the place where my wife and I have made new friends and welcomed them into our home and been so very grateful when they have eventually left because we do rather like the peace and quiet too.
When I go out I see so many people that I know from the community, and I feel like I belong here and am part of the community and proudly so.
I love where I live, the house I live in and the people I share it with and who knows, maybe we would have been happy in any of the myriad of places I have lived but to me this one is special.
Next time…I is for i-spy