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Home sweet home? (Flashback Friday)

A friend and I had some fun on the internet the other day. We played “Where I used to live” on Google Maps. That makes it sound like a proper game, which I don’t think it is, and I cannot remember just how we started on it, but we ended up checking out Google Maps and then showing each other where we have lived over the years. It might not sound it, but it was fun.

An English Mamma in Stockholm: Reigate home

© 2013 Google

So as my first entry to Flashback Friday, here is where I grew up.

This is not the first home I lived in, but it is one of the two houses that I spent most of my childhood in. We lived here for about seven years and my parents completely renovated it. When we moved it, there was no toilet inside the house. In fact, one of my earliest memories is having to use the outdoor toilet one hot summer afternoon – I think I must have been three years old. Not the best first memory to have. However, I loved this house and I remember crying when we moved, mostly, I’m sure, because we were moving to another town and my closest friend lived just around the corner from here, but part of it was because we were leaving this house.

My father now lives in the town again and it is a trip down memory lane each time we go to visit him. In many ways, the town is just the same as when I was growing up, and in others it is a world away from how it was. The High Street now is full of boutiques and restaurants and cafes, which was certainly not the case during my childhood, but the streets still look the same and our old house is largely unchanged (except for the front garden).

But last time that we were there, last summer, I felt for the first time like a foreigner in England and in my old home town. It was such a strange feeling, but after 12 years of living outside the UK, I guess it is only to be expected. It feels a little sad though, as I always thought that I would return to the town and have a strong connection with it, but I suppose what it really means is that I am actually creating a home here now with Husband and the boys.

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7 Comments

  1. I’m yet to feel like a stranger in Oz, despite my 13 years here. I think I would feel funny about that although yes, we have a life here etc I have found that after the kids arrived, I was a much happier expat for some reason …

    • It certainly was a strange feeling. And I guess it is good that we feel more reconciled to the place where we are bringing up our families. In my case it has also coincided with us finding our dream home last year :)

        • We finished renovating just before Christmas. Cannot believe that as of the end of August, we’ll have been living here for a year. Still feels like there are so many small things left to be fixed.

  2. firstly, i am so sorry for not commenting sooner i didnt realise you had linked up until yesterday!
    Secondly, i love this game and I want to play this with someone now! My OH loves google maps but i dont really use it very much. it seems an odd concept nowdays that toilets used to be outside in the garden doesn’t it? and i think tyou are so right about how the home you have now with your children and husband, being the home that will be the msot special because of the connections with your children growng up in it.
    thanks for linkig up x x
    sorry for late comment x

    • Hello jenny! Thanks for your comment. It is such a fun game to play – made all the more interesting because the colleague I played it with is from South Africa – somewhere I’ve never been. Incredible to look at streets in a city thousands of miles away.
      Isn’t it crazy to think of not having toilets inside?! I’m glad we had one fitted pretty soon after we moved in :)
      Yes, it really feels like “home” here since this is where the boys are growing up. Who knows though if we’ll stay here or move somewhere else!

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