home is where the ______ is?

Home Sweet Home by Debbie Smyth - photo by Zac Mead

The concept of home is, I believe, an interesting one - and there are a number of definitions to describe it: the word can be used to describe the place where one lives, one's birthplace, a place that is dear, or an environment in which one feels safe and happy.

One might be led to believe, considering the loving way I have previously written about my local community and beloved studio, that I am super happy about my current living arrangements, but that isn't strictly true. It's true that I love living with my flatmate and my kitten. I love my studio. I love my spiral staircase. I love my neighbours, even the ones who play their synthesizers on Sunday mornings. I love the wacky stuff that goes on in my building. I love the local Turkish shops and their amazing bread counters.

But for a number of reasons I don't feel as though where I live is "home" other than in the sense that it is where I currently live. I don't think I have felt a sense of home for a good few years now, and whenever people ask where I'm from I always feel I have to explain that I was born in London but that I grew up in Devon, and then lived in Bath during my time at uni. All of these places have a special place in my heart, but none of them really feels 100% like home any more.

I recently made a list of all the houses I have ever lived in - and it's quite something: the list consists of 18 properties in 5 different towns or cities, and it turns out I have shared my living quarters with 34 people, 7 cats, a dog, a fish and a tortoise. That seems like a lot. Is that a normal amount?

Despite the quantity of houses, not many of them have actually felt like home, and although there are many things I like about where I currently live, and I always feel content when I get home after a long day, this is mainly due to what I am coming home to (ie. Yoyo and all my stuff) rather than where I am coming home to.

In many ways I hate change, but it's almost always necessary at some point, even if it may be difficult. I think I've reached a time where I kinda want to live somewhere that's more than just a house - somewhere I feel calm and happy and content and can feel more homey, rather than just living in a big white box.

5 hellos:

Siobhan said...

I always feel surprised when people describe visiting their parents' house(s) as going "home". The first place that has felt like home in I can't even tell you how long is my little house here. And I think the thing that makes it feel this way is that I feel settled here. I walk through the door and feel like I can relax.

I hope you find it for you.

Vixie said...

Yeah, me too. My parents live in Cornwall, and I have never lived in any of their Cornish houses, so it can't possibly be described as "going home"!

I hope so too - I think I just need a nice warm snug somewhere, full of pretty things and little Miss Yoyo and lots of blankets :)

Claire said...

My home feels like home....but London doesn't. Bizarre.

Oh, and I did the maths (cos I'm an uber geek like that): 19 properties, 11 towns/cities/villages, and (thanks in the main part to the joys of boarding school) 106 people!

Tea and cake soon?



The Tote Trove said...

Very interesting. I live at the beach and love it, as well as my bohemian little cluttered rented cottage. But I think more space would be homier!

Vixie said...

Hi Tracy!

In a way my house is too big at the moment - it doesn't feel cosy enough! I would love to have a little cottage!

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