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This week: Is home where the heart is?
So where is home? You may be thinking that it was only a matter of time before I forgot where I live... but do you consider your birthplace home, or is it where you were raised? For me, home is where my bills are sent and the house I live in with my wife and children. I’ve moved about a bit, from Denver, Colorado to Bedfordshire and during my time spent at those locations that was home but, for now at least, home is Canewdon, Essex.
I really don’t understand the Northerner that I work with every morning referring to Leicester as home as in, “I’m going home this weekend,” when she has a mortgage here in Essex. It’s not as if she even has a second home in Leicester. Her mother still lives there but Essex is where Su lives with her daughter Lily and therefore it’s ridiculous to refer to Leicester as home.
Whilst living abroad, when asked where home was, I would say “Georgetown”, which is a small town in the Rockies in Colorado. Inevitably, the accent would lead to further questions and I would of course go on to explain that I was from Britain originally, but at that stage of my life home was America. I guess there was always a bit of me that still felt fondly about my homeland.
I was born and raised in Croydon but that was my parents’ home. It was where I have many fond childhood memories. But today I have my own home which costs me a small fortune. Sometimes, I wish I could still call mum’s place home and get out of the expense of running my own home.
As for those who say that, ‘home is where the heart is’, what on earth does that mean? I have been to many places that are considerably quainter than my home village and to be honest several places I would rather live but home is where you live, as in right now.
Paul Young once sang, 'Where ever I lay my hat that’s my home' and whilst I do own a number of hats and I do have a house here in Hockley, Essex, I don’t class it as my home, much to Martin’s annoyance.
On Monday morning I mentioned to Martin that I had been home for the weekend, home being in my eyes Leicester. Don’t get me wrong, I love living in Essex and have done now for nearly a decade. Whilst I’ve been here I have met some brilliant people, made the best friends I’ve ever had - and of course if it hadn’t been for living in Essex I wouldn’t have had my wonderful daughter.
But I have lived in Leicester for more of my life than I have here and all of my family is up their too.
It really isn’t anything personal against Essex or Essex people; it’s just that I think that home is the place where you were born, not where you end up living.
If someone asks me where I live, I reply 'Hockley'; but if someone asks where is home I will always say Markfield, Leicestershire.
I don’t think that it is any different for me than it is for those people who have moved abroad - they will always say that home is the place they grew up not the place they have emigrated to and where they live right now.
When you move to another area, whether it is for work or a relationship, people notice that you are not from round these parts and so even if I did say 'Hockley', they will continue to ask but where from originally, so I may as well just say home is Leicester.