From a young age, I struggled with the concept of home. I think it’s because we moved around the country so much that the thought a fixed abode that I was born into and always came back to at weekends and holidays was pretty alien to me.
First we lived in a cottage in the middle of the Welsh countryside.
Next came a house in a pretty village on the Northamptonshire/Leicestershire border.
And later a retreat to my mum’s homeland when we moved to her former house keeper’s cottage on our family’s estate in Essex.
All this moving around is probably why I grew up thinking of home as simply wherever Mummy Bags happened to be at that point in time.
This place is currently, and has been for the past eight years, Hathersage in the Peak District. My family love it here so much that I can’t see them ever moving again. These pictures might help you to understand why!
Home from the inside looking out:
Home a hop, step and a jump from the front door:
As I got a bit older, I started to think of home in a different way. Gaining some independence during my university days, I began to see Nottingham as somewhere that I could start to carve out my own little place in the world. Then I got my first real job in London, and there was borne the beginning of a lifetime love affair with a city that I know I will always return to as my spiritual and cultural home.
Now, five years after I first moved to London, I am about to make another, even bigger move to a home very different from any that have come before. A new culture, language, climate and religious ideology awaits me.
In four days time, I move to Doha, Qatar…the Middle East.
This will be home when I get there, what do you think?
There is an important reason for this big move. For the past year or so, my concept of home has changed yet again. Without wanting to sound too sentimental (oh sod it, I’m going there)…these days it’s all about love.
So the desert, for now, it is! Until Christmas comes and then home will be where the stockings are.