Saturday, 1 September 2007


Home is really important to me. I get homesick very easily; even when at university just an hours drive away I often felt lost, desperately craving the familiarity of that place where I grew up. I've never liked the town I was brought up in but my attachment to that suburban hellhole is quite profound. I've lived in quite a few different places since then but none of those places has ever felt like my home.

So today is a huge day for me. Tonight I'll sleep in my hometown for the last time. I move into my new flat tomorrow and I'm looking forward to it. It's a nice flat and my flatmate seems like a really nice guy. More importantly, my parents will be moving house on monday. They're moving to Gloucestershire. This means that that place I've always regarded as my base will be no more, it will no longer hold anything for me and I'm finding it all hugely stressful. This month has been as unhappy a month as I can remember in recent years, largely, but not entirely, because of this. It's also had periods of utter life-affirming joy where I've been reminded of just how great my friends are but my disposition is one that would much rather deal with steadiness rather than ups and downs. I've not been happy lately.

I've spent today doing not a great deal, wandering from crappy home town pub to crappy home town pub, all the time being aware that whatever I did, wherever I was, I'd be doing it for the last time. I've passed up what would be a really enjoyable meal out with my parents and various other friends and relations because I don't think I'd be particularly good company and would rather sit at HOME typing this, my last ever entry from HOME. I'm in a bit of a pickle, truth be told. I need a new home. But where?

My new flat won't feel like home. It will be nice, of that I'm sure. I'm moving to a much nicer area to the one I was brought up in. There are no fast food outlets or groups of moody kids hanging around. In fact there aren't many outlets of any kind. There is a hairdressers, a petrol station, a chemist, a village store and five pubs, one of which claims to be the third oldest in the country. I'm moving to a town that has its priorities sorted, that's for sure.

What now then? As I type I'm sat among boxes. Boxes full of memories and rubbish. Apart from the dogs and cats, all of whom I've cuddled today and will miss terribly, there are few signs that this is actually a home as opposed to a house and it's all quite depressing. I'm told that the new owner will convert this three bedroom property to five bedrooms, just to maximise rental revenues which will further reduce its status as a home. This place is far more than bricks and mortar to me. This is where I took my first steps. The memories I have of my grandparents, all but one of whom are departed, are all rooted here. I remember Christmases and birthdays and homework and sibling rivalries and crying and laughing and pain and joy. Everything is based here and that base is being taken from me and I don't know what to do. I need to find a new home, but where? And how? Will I ever have another home? It all feels scary, like seeing how far you can walk with your eyes closed. It's quite exhilarating but you know that if you keep your eyes closed for too long long then you'll hurt yourself. I have no idea what I'm doing or where, in the grand scheme of things, I'm going.

I should add that I'm drunk right now so this writing might be even more maudlin and self-indulgent than my normal rubbish (I'm a happy drunk generally but more prone to share my emotions than when I'm sober) but I should make no apologies for that. Sometimes I need some assistance to rid myself of my inhibitions and show a bit of negative emotion, regardless of how pathetic it makes me look. Pathetic is how I feel right now. But I know that I should be looking at this differently. This should be viewed as an opportunity and intend to treat it as such. It's a new chapter, possibly the most significant of my life, and good things will come of it. That much I know.

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