What’s a Home, Anyway?

In General on May 31, 2021 at 9:15 am

We bought our house almost three years ago now. It remains undecorated, with our photos on the walls as our only decoration.

It got me thinking. This doesn’t feel like my home, it’s just the place that houses all my possessions. Maybe coming from being a long-term renter; and technically we do still also rent our house with it being shared ownership. We were never allowed to decorate, apart from repainting when we moved out.

We never got to choose carpets. They’ve always been there. We couldn’t do any decorating as we had to wait a year for the house to settle. It still creaks and moves, by the way.

I’m in no hurry to decorate it. Heck, I’ve almost grown to love the plain white walls and the sense of ‘clean’ it has. But then I see other people decorating and I feel like maybe these four walls might start to feel like a home if we make a start.

The only time we painted a room a colour that wasn’t “landlord magnolia” was the time we painted H’s room yellow. Which of course was repainted when we moved out, back to the neutral shade.

It’s a very strange feeling. We’ll have been here three years in a few months. Maybe I should just paint the walls white and be done with it!

This conversation came about while chatting with my mum. I pointed out how the home I grew up in doesn’t feel like “my home” any more like it used to. But actually, “my home” doesn’t feel like anywhere. That actually, what is a home anyway? Is it just the four walls and what’s inside makes your home?

I understand how people have attachments to places, in my days as a renter, I remember being heartbroken several times when the landlords decided they were selling up so we had to move out, when I had felt settled.

So in the end I learned not to be settled, that nothing lasts forever. That someone will come along and change things. That the only way you’ll never be moved on is owning somewhere, but knowing that owning somewhere was a distant dream, that stop passed several years beforehand.

I look at properties online and see homes and houses. I wonder, when anyone visits here (back when you could), do they see this as our home?


In Parenting on September 27, 2020 at 4:04 pm

Things are difficult. We’ve hit the angry tween years, ones I remember vaguely well from my time going through it.

The child doesn’t think the parent understands it, the parent doesn’t understand why the child doesn’t use their head and help with things, rather than wait to be asked.

Until you’re told by the child to get out of their space, they don’t want you in there any more.

The first few times you can call it out, tell them it’s not nice to speak like that.

But you end up ground down, ground up into the smallest of pieces where you’re no bigger than a speck that is about to get trodden on. So it happens. This time there’s no means to respond. Just keep quiet and get out. Move on. I’m in my place.

Then you find space. You hope you’re doing this right. You hope you’re not royally messing up that child’s life by dealing with it like that, so they end up dealing with everyone else like that. After all, aren’t us parents the testers in life as to how you deal with angriness, arguments and more? We teach the calm way to deal with things in the hope that it passes on to their peers in similar situations.

This isn’t the first time, it won’t be the last time, I’m so ground down I don’t have the emotional capacity to be upset by it any more. I just switch off.

Space, we all need space. Headspace, life space. Give each other space.


In General on August 2, 2020 at 9:45 am

I’m 50. There’s talk of people over the age of 50 going into mandatory lockdown should things get worse.

My mum has been in a care home since her fall at the end of the year, about to go home for the first time since Christmas.

Am I allowed to see my mum?

There are talk of bubbles and groups of people you can meet. We have nobody in our bubble, I’m not entirely sure what a bubble should be, or who a bubble should be. Do we have our own exclusive bubble, and that’s it, or do we have several bubbles?

H was in a class bubble at school. That meant she was with the same people through the day, and walked home with them. But if she bumped into someone who wasn’t in her bubble while walking home, that was okay. I think, because they were outside. But I don’t know if that’s one of the rules.

When we go back to see my mum, I can’t go into the house. That’s fine, we can sit in the garden. However, should I choose to enter an establishment which involves paying for something, and my mum does too, we can both be inside, as long as we don’t sit together.

My mum is 75. We have no guidance whatsoever about what sort of shielding she should be doing. She had pneumonia earlier this year, and doesn’t really understand. I’ve insisted she keeps away from areas which might put her at risk, and that she has a face mask. It doesn’t feel like enough.

We’re staying in AirBnb’s on our upcoming break. We can’t stay at my mum’s (as we can’t go inside the house) which is fine. Each host has an excellent rating, and we’re looking forward to going away. However, what happens if an area we’re visiting goes into lockdown? Are we meant to stay at the AirBnb or are we meant to go home? What would Cummings do? Barnard Castle isn’t that much further up the road…

So yeah, confusion is still with us, thanks to the unclear messages from the Government. I’ve read the guidelines and it’s still as clear as mud.

Anyway, I need to lose some of my weight gained in lockdown. I’m going to make the most of all those half price takeaways in the local junk food shops like McDonalds. Ummm.