The place you’re from, the place you live, the place you feel most comfortable, the bricks and mortar you inhabit?
I hope you know, because I really am flummoxed.
I left home at 18 to go to university. From Evesham in the midlands, (which you will have heard of if you travel the M5, I have never known such a shit-hole to be listed on so many motorway exits) to Swansea.
After graduation, I moved in with Big Big Man to our own home, this was before the recession in the days of 95% mortgages (we put the other 5% on a credit card). It was a new build, end terrace, 2-bed in a small village between Bridgend and the Rhondda. It was tiny. I loved it. I could decorate, and furnish, and garden (very minimally I might add, because we were trying to pay off that credit card).
The house was great, our neighbours were lovely, but the location was not the best; the village was nice but you had to drive to get everywhere, there was nowhere to go walking without coming back the way you came, and there was only a shop, two pubs and a petrol garage.
So, my house was perfect, but it wasn’t quite right.
Then the Big Little Man came along, and my bijou home was just too bijou.
We found our next house whilst I was on maternity leave, and I fell in love all over again; panelling around the windows (made a travesty by being painted blue and yellow), original plaster ceiling roses, picture rails in every room, original fireplaces in every room, a second living room, four bedrooms, a decent-sized garden, outhouses (with original features!), a large kitchen-diner. In budget. Perfect, perfect, perfect.
Except the location. In the Rhondda. Now, I am ashamed to say that I had always said I would stay in Wales with the Big Big Man, but I was NOT living in the valley. Well I had to suck it up, because like I had never thought I’d marry a Welshman (not that I didn’t specifically want too, it had genuinely never crossed my mind), I had fallen head over heels in love with this house.
And, as it turns out, the location is far better than before. I’ve a train station a 20 minute walk away which has me in Cardiff within 40 minutes. I’ve got mountain views out of every window, and endless walks and towns around me.
And although my house is definitely home, the location isn’t, and I don’t know why.
Evesham certainly isn’t home, I’ve been gone too long and although it is familiar, it’s an uncomfortable familiarity. I’m glad to be gone.
So where is?
Will I ever feel completely settled, is it just a case of time? I still don’t know.