I was lying on my bed this afternoon. I shouldn’t have been lying on my bed. I should have been changing the sheets. And I was. Sort of. I’d managed to spend fifteen minutes being confuggled by my king size duvet and king size duvet cover. I’d even become tied up in it. That’s not as exciting as it sounds.
So I was having a rest. And lying there happily listening to the world going by outside. After about five minutes it dawned on me that I was wasting my time because I couldn’t hear the world going by outside after all. In fact, the only thing I had heard was a car drive away.
This pleasantly perturbed me. It’s a quiet area. Well, it’s a little private estate really and the only thing it’s missing is some big wrought-iron gates and a little fat/balding security guard to keep out the riff-raff. I’ve made it sound posher than it is, haven’t I? The fact that it’s so quiet around here is rather nice. But if truth be told I really wouldn’t give a damn if it was on a main road and there was a bus stop full of old women chatting their hearts away right outside the front window.
This made me think of all the addresses I’ve had since I came into being. For the first eighteen years I had just the one address, the home I’ve just left in fact, the home that Mumsy and The Father bought shortly before I was born. A four-bedroom detached property on a 1970s estate in a middle-class village of approximately three thousand souls … and only one pub. Oh, there’s a social club too but you have to belong to the clique to belong to that and stuff like that is far too Stepford Wives for my liking.
In the twelve years since I went to university I’ve had a grand total of nine addresses. This doesn’t include home, and nor does it include this flat. Which would really make it eleven. I’ve had the pleasure of living in one of the roughest areas of Sunderland, the most-likely-to-explode house in Suffolk, the grottiest bedsit in Essex, and the noisiest street in the centre of Norwich. I’ve had to contend with slugs, damp, Greek men who expect me to clean up after them and who rifle through my underwear [cheeky bastard], ceilings that drip water, children peering in my window, mice, drunk men stumbling into my room and scaring the heck out of me, and people trying to burgle the shop below me and making me paranoid.
It’s all been fun.
But none of it has ever been home, not even the flat in Norwich where I lived for exactly two years. Home has always been the place where I was brought up. I know every nook and cranny in that house. I know which stairs creak and which floorboards can be pulled up. I recognise all the night-time noises the house makes. I can find my way round it with my eyes closed and my hands tied behind my back. It’s the place where I fell down the stairs [and broke my wrist … could have been much worse *grin*], sneakily smoked out of the bedroom window, had adolescent dreams about boys, danced to my favourite tracks, argued with Mumsy and The Boys, didn’t have to answer the phone [gosh, will I ever get over that phobia], hid from the window cleaner, had my friends over for sleep-overs … it’s home.
And this flat never will be. I’m in limbo. Before I always knew deep down that I would end up back at home again. Now I know that I won’t. But I won’t have a real home again until we buy a property. So I may not have a home again until this time next year. Oh, I’ll do my very best to make this place feel like a home. But it never will be.
And I expect that until the day I can paint the walls whatever colour I like and have a kitten I shall always think of home as being the one where I was raised.
And this post was only supposed to be a few lines long. My, I do get carried away sometimes …
please God bless the food I am about to cook xxx Elsabeth