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Tuesday, 1 September 2015

What Does Home Mean To You?

If you Oxford Dictionary the definition ‘Home’ it describes it as: ‘The place where one lives permanently, especially as a member of a family or household.’ Traditionally you’d think of your home as bricks and water or a roof over your head. But to me that’s a house or a flat. Home to me is a feeling. You can live in the most fabulous house in the world and it still might not be home. You can also live with people and that home feeling still may not be achieved.

I write this from a place I consider to have that home feeling. A place that holds lots of memories and laughter. I don’t live here, nor have I ever. I feel at ease wandering round, remembering walking the dog on the cliffs, building endless sandcastles on the beach and the tens of pounds we’d waste on the penny slot machines. So as far as here goes, it’s the people - take those away and I’m not sure this place would gleam as bright.

London feels like home for familiarity, having spent a lot of time through business and pleasure there. Derbyshire feels like home because that’s where I was brought up. I was very lucky in that 80% of my family lived in the same 30 mile radius, meaning that home feeling was never very far away no matter which direction I headed.

Manchester is my base, a very nice one at that, but again, it’s the people that make it my home. It’s knowing the staff at Piccadilly station because it’s my dad’s ex workplace and them asking how you’re doing. It’s living with someone who knows when I’m down to put on Grand Theft Auto and have cheese on toast. Or when I’m feeling in the mood for a rant or chat, being able to turn up outside my friend’s apartment within 5 minutes. It’s knowing if I’m not feeling the city, which happens, I can jump on a train to Didsbury or back to Derbyshire within 10 minutes if home doesn’t mean my city centre pad at that precise moment.
Home is also my workplace. Christian Morgenstern once said ‘Home is not where you live but where they understand you.’ If that was my definitive description of what a home is, then my work address would be my home too. My colleagues understand my quirks, my behaviour, not always my reactions but still tolerate me on my not so good days. Or to flip that, come on board with my crazy moments on the great days. They know what I like and what I don’t.

Home can also mean slightly smaller things. Seeing someone’s face or hearing their voice can make or break a day for me. Getting a (good) hug also works wonders - bad huggers need not apply. Or watching your favourite film, re-living a tradition, eating a meal at a place you love - the list is endless. Home to me is walking in my local pub back in Derbyshire and being able to catch up with old faces and find out how their lives are going, knowing there’s a genuine interest on both parts. It’s now moving to the city and getting a similar common ground with local security and bouncers.

Home to me has a lot of definitions, quite clearly since I’ve ranted on about a four letter word for what seems like the past forty minutes - but I love that. I love that it isn’t stagnate, that it can evolve and be a little bit of something no matter where I am or who I’m with. You only get one life to live, so I’m pretty damn excited that home is not just four walls, it’s not a permanent base, otherwise that would be quite the tiresome life - and I want to get out there and see something more than a house.

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