The circle...

posted on: Tuesday, 24 September 2013

So, my family settled in this little corner of England in the early 1980's. My earliest memory of moving here was rollerskating down the tree-lined avenue near our new house, feeling rather pleased with my ability to do a 360-degree turn. Fast forward to my teens and I fell in love with the boy next door. A short but important sojourn away to University, and I then returned to my home town to be with him. We married a few years later, bought our first house together and since then have had two other houses as we climbed the family and property ladder. In entirety, these moves (apart from Uni) have taken me around in a circle of about a 5 mile radius. When I write that out I realise how utterly provincial that makes me sound and how attached my husband and I both are to this place. He too has barely left. As time has gone on I think I will grow weary of our home town, of the normalcy of it. But actually so far I haven't; it's a really cool place to live, we have the beach and the country. We can get to London in an hour or so and best of all, we are surrounded by our families.

What I do notice though - and this becomes more poignant as Boo enters adolescence, reminding me of my youth - is that the twenty years that have passed seem to have done so ridiculously quickly. Do you ever notice that? Where you feel like something happened a few years ago and in fact realise, dumbfounded, that it was over ten years ago?! I drove past a guy, who for a second I thought was someone I went to school with. Of course my brain didn't compute quickly enough that if that was the case, the guy would be pushing 40, whereas this guy was probably in his late teens. It's like I have time-warp goggles on that only see 1992. The same applies to films - films that we saw at the cinema and are now playing as 'classics' on TV - those films are twenty years old.

So as we get ready to move into the other, new side of our house, my Mum and I have been retrieving old furniture from our shed, cleaning and sanding it down and restoring it for Boo's room. The dressing table that I had as a teen for example, has been given a new lease of life. Strange though, to see the nail varnish stains that don't come out and think of the many hours I spent sitting at that table, growing up, wondering what life would hold. Seeing a full circle from my time to hers. Funny how it goes...

And I figure that this is what we all hope for, isn't it? That life gives us an easy run and there is time and occasion to stop and enjoy it and to reflect on the journey! At least that is how it feels to me.

via un amore per sempre


  1. Love this post Lou....

    I think it's wonderful that you have always lived in the same place, pretty much....I think that as long as you have happy connections & associations with a location, then living there & being happy there is always possible.

    I don't associate happiness with my childhood home, where my mother still lives just the other side of London....and so find it quite hard to be there, it's not somewhere I am drawn to, I find it quite a challenge.

    Equally, Cardiff - where I was born, which we left for London when I was just 6 years old but where I spent holidays with my grandparents - is somewhere that I have an almost overwhelming emotional connection with, I go back as often as I can even though we have less family there now. I went for the day this summer with my children to see the castle & explore the city, even as the train drew in & out of the station, I could almost feel my heart swelling, it does it every time. I even dream of living there such is the effect it has on me! Lots of happy associations & good memories I guess is what does makes me feel very emotional when I go there.

    The thing of 1990 being just 10 years ago.....SO true, LOL!!!

  2. I sometimes wish I lived in the same area where I grew up. Instead I don't feel any specific place is home. When I am in Spain I live in an area where people never leave (they usually end up dying no more than 1km from where they were born). I at first was horrified and thought I would find it claustrophobic. But I came to learn my friends in Spain have such close links with the place where they live and the people they went to school with. Nearly 80% of my friends in Spain married men who they were at school with. The only downside is if you are not originally from the area, it can be very hard to make friends as their friendship units are very "closed" to outsiders. But after many years living in Spain I can see the attraction of staying in one place xx

  3. I'm at the other end of the spectrum, having moved to two other countries I'm far far away from where I was born and raised. I don;t feel any huge pull to be back there and would find it a very hard 'fit' to live there again. The biggest thing really is not seeing all the oldest friends and family that we've known since we were kids - where you share memories and histories that nobody else knows about.

    I like your life story being pretty much within 5 miles. Friends and family close by. Your friends' children becoming friends with your children. Lives shared.

    But seriously! Was 1990 not just 10 years ago!

  4. ..noticing the nail varnish of a teenage you and thinking back to those times and now looking at the present! Gosh time flies! I think its just lovely that you have those close ties to your young self. By the time I was ten I'd moved home three times ... two farms in different states of Australia and then London! xx

  5. 1990 was just ten years ago! Wasn't it? Damn, I know getting all these reminders of things celebrating anniversaries...they're killing me. Time is a strange and wonderful thing.

    I love that you live in your hometown, and that you love it, and it is now the hometown for your kids too. It's beautiful. I've often been jealous of people who have that, and whose families still live close by. My childhood was split into two very different locations - there is a familiarness to both, but not a longing for either. I had to travel to find my home, and unfortunately, I'm a flight (or two!) away from most of my family. I do hope we stay here forever so that my boys enjoy a real connection to their childhood home and town - I think it's a gift.

  6. Love it! And yes, me too. 1990 will forever be ten years ago.