I recently read a post by notSupermum that asked ‘Do you like where you live’? I started to think about all the places I have lived, the contrast of these places and how I felt about them. Is ‘Home’ always where you currently live?
The first place I remember being ‘home’ was a farm on Kettle Hill. My family moved to Scotland when I was three because of my Dad’s job and we moved into a lovely farm house in the middle of nowhere, or at least it felt like that to me.
I remember the house came with a black lab called Jack and a grey pony called Toby. I think the owners had gone abroad and we rented the house and their pets!, which was great for us.
I remember running round the garden as the red arrows flew overhead. Also having to check our wellies at the back door, in case the cats had left a present in them. Apart from these blurry memories I don’t remember much about living here, although it was meant to be haunted..
This is the view from the from the farm. The farm itself has changed so much it’s unrecognisable from any childhood memories I may piece together.
My room was the top right window. I remember trying to get the dog, Jack, to jump makeshift show jumps in the garden as I longed to ride ponies (I didn’t ride the dog!). I remember playing with friends (going sledging and trick or treating among the strongest memories) and that we had loads of guinea pigs. I also have my first memories of my dad being ill in this house. Of hearing him being sick from chemo and watching him hypo. It was in this house that we found out he had died. I was ten.
We then moved back to England, so we could be near family. We stayed for a few weeks with my Nanna and Aunty in Cheshire. This was their house on the left. My memory from here was that they had fish and chips on a Friday! I thought this was great, as we weren’t used to take away food and it seemed such a treat.
After a couple of months we moved a few miles away to our own house. This house was on a main road (on the left of the picture), but hidden at the back was a garden stretching for as far as you could see and ending up at a small stream. We lived in this house for years and so much happened to us all here.
My mum bought us a horse with Dad’s insurance money and I spent my childhood from this point obsessed by all things horsey. I remember riding him home and riding down the garden to the stream. It was a happy home.
When I was 17 I left home to live with my boyfriend. We were offered a flat and took it. It was on a large estate in Runcorn and seemed fine to us at the time. All our friends lived close by and it was great for our social life. But I was never really happy. It was quite a scarey, oppressive place to live and I was essentially a country girl. People used to set fire to the stair wells and drugs were rife..
I can’t find the exact flat, but we lived in the middle of a strip like this. I remember feeling like a weight was being lifted, when I would drive out of Runcorn and in the end I left my boyfriend and the flat behind.
My next move was to buy my own house near my family in Cheshire. I was 20 and at the time it was cheaper to buy than rent. So I did. An ex workers house, which had been renovated by a developer. I remember being thrilled at owning this cute little house (the one on the left) and feeling like I could breathe again. After 2 years things didn’t work out with my relationship and I decided to go to university. After the sale I lived on my sisters couch for a week or so, before going back to Mum’s new house for about 6 months.
It was when I was living back at Mum’s and planning to go and live and study in Liverpool, that I met Mr Hubby.
Three months after meeting him I traded Liverpool Uni for Reading and I moved lock, stock and barrel to Berkshire. This has been my home ever since (over 14 years now). I still think of myself as Northern, but I have lived here longer than anywhere else in my life and so this is ‘home’. I don’t feel like I am going home when I go back up north, it feels like an other lifetime ago.
I love coming home, shutting the world out and feeling comfortable and safe. This is our garden and I can’t wait to watch Baby playing here. We are lucky to have lovely county walks right on our doorstep and the view from our bedroom is just fields.
Home for me is wherever we are all together.