Yesterday Mary posted about the wonderful napkin project and the concept of home. We have ordered our napkin and also thought a lot about what home means to us. So…… we thought we’d share it with you.
Both Ian and Becksie had never moved before going to university. Ian lived in Birmingham and Becksie lived in Lincolnshire. To Becksie her childhood home was a place of colour, fun, a place of comfort and safety. A place where opinions and standards were learnt and set. Her bedroom was bright and was her kingdom. It was versatile and she was free to create her own world. From a young age Becksie collected Dolls Houses and spent hours making food and furniture out of unexpected items. In reflection these mini house are tiny versions of the reality she has (and aspires) to create. Home was our family.
Ian and Becksie met at Derby University where they both resided in Denby lodge. Becksie and Ian missed their families. On arrival the first thing Becksie and her mum did was change the drab halls curtains to bright yellow and orange ones. You see home to Becksie is the ability to be in control. The ability to choose. For Becksie halls were fun but difficult as your choices were limited and unlike the home she was used to this home was subject to rules and inspection. Ian’s home was below Becksie’s and was ant infested. Perhaps this is one of the reasons he decided to come upstairs and spend so much time in Becksie’s home. For Ian home became Becksie’s room (freedom from the ants).
Ian and Becksie’s first real home together was a little flat in Derby. We had viewed several places and this flat was one of four flats in a house. We walked in and without words knew that the other wanted it to be our home. We didn’t have a lot at first but kind folk, auctions and charity shops provide some treasures we were HUGELY proud of. This home to us was about carving out our identity, being grown up and creating a space that reflected us. The kitchen and sitting room were combined and it was in this tiny kitchen our love of food started. This home also had a cupboard on the landing. This cupboard was Ian’s domain. The tiny kitchen Becksie’s. Without realising this home set an example of what we love, who we are and what we enjoy. For Becksie a neat space with cooking weapons, pretty bowls and pots and the space to turn ingredients into food to nourish and sustain us. For Ian this cupboard represented the start of his love of collecting useful things, storing useful (and not so useful things). It started his routine of collecting to bursting, messing up the storage making or building something, not being able to find something vital so spending hours sorting and tidying. We loved this home.
We really wanted a cat so we decided to move to a house with a garden. There is a slight chance that for 6 weeks we may have played hide Katie the kitten from Alan our landlord in the flat before moving day.
Our next home was a little terraced house and was really very us but…… in the winter it was flipping freezing. This home to us marked the hitting if reality – becoming adults – working hard to pay our way.
Next was a move to Birmingham and a home that represents a mistake. Our first home in Birmingham had a wonderful garden but the actual house was horrible. It is here we feel in hindsight we slightly lost our way. The house was not us and for the first time ever our sense of ‘home’ doesn’t feel cosy. As soon as we realised this we moved – a fresh start and our next house really really refilled us with a sense of home. You see in hindsight our first home in Birmingham was a place we tried to be like what society wanted – you know gadgets, soft furnishings keeping up with the Jones!
Our second Birmingham home however was us – the kitchen was such a lovely wonderful place and the grown up version of our flat. Ian also had a garage/ out building, the grown up version of his cupboard. In this house we had too many rooms which meant we had a best room that we kept amazingly tidy at all times, this room housed one of Becksie’s dolls houses – this room was extremely special to Becksie as it reminded her of her childhood home. She loved this room as it represented a lot. She misses this room.
In all this sense of home we’ve not really mentioned a very important part of our home – our cats. Our cats are our home and when work meant we needed to move and finally had the chance to buy a house we went house shopping with their well being at the top of our list. Enter a small cottage up a lane surrounded by fields. This for the cats meant a sense of home – mice, birds, freedom to come and go as they pleased.
Our current home represents and means an awful lot. For a significant part of our time here it was all about preparation. A need to work hard both to earn money and do up this little cottage to just how we wanted it to be.
Ian put hours of time in and did it up himself. Becksie was in charge of design and collection of items that represent us. All this so that we could have our own mini person to share it with. To recreate the sense of home both sets of our parents gave us.
On the 12th May 2012 at about 7.52pm this dream was realised when we bought home a one day old Lizzie. Becksie will never forget that moment of coming home – this was a defining moment and was overwhelming. Becksie remembers bursting into tears because she was so relieved to smell home.
So what is our home – you are right Mary home is not bricks and mortar home is so much more. For us it is:
The freedom to choose
The freedom to create
A feeling of control which is ultimately our freedom.
We are getting to a stage where we are starting to outgrow our bricks and mortar shell, our ‘home’ is getting to big to fit.
It is at this point in this reflection that we realise that the song Becksie walked down the aisle to once again feels hugely apt. This song (whatever it might really be about) to us sums up home. Our family is our home. Please take a moment to listen to this song, it’s been edited (to a) get rid of some of the verses that went off the point we were trying to make and b)) because the church aisle Becksie and her daddy walked down to meet Ian at was very short. Enjoy!