Home Again

This weekend I am (hopefully) going home, and I can’t wait. Last month I wrote about how I was missing home, but it struck me that I no longer have a home in the UK so why do I still call it that? When I talk about home it can get confusing as I also consider my house in Brunei ‘home’, albeit temporarily. So where is home, and am I allowed more than one?

I have always thought of the UK as my home, more specifically East Yorkshire where I grew up. I still think of it as home now, even though I haven’t lived there permanently since 2001. I suppose it will remain my home as long as my parents still live there. Whenever I go back I instantly feel at ease, I carry parts of it wherever I go: memories, places; even my accent (which I will probably never lose although it has faded with time).

When I moved out at eighteen to go to university, Yorkshire remained my home. It wasn’t until I relocated to Aberdeen with my partner that things changed. I can’t remember the moment when I started calling Aberdeen my home, but I know that it took time. Perhaps I didn’t feel I really belonged until we bought our own house three years after we moved there. I do know that when we sold up to move to Brunei that I was sad to say goodbye to our first home.

When we moved to Brunei it was different. Here we have affixed term contract of four years and stay in a company house. Yet I can pinpoint the exact moment when it began to feel like home – as soon as our furniture arrived. The house transformed from temporary accommodation into a cosy home in a matter of days and, just like that, Brunei went from being an alien environment to home. The saying ‘home is where the heart is’ also rings true; my home is where my husband lives, and now my son as well. So, although a part of me will always feel at home in Yorkshire it’s not my true home anymore.

People have a tendency to romanticise the past, and I am no exception. It’s easy to look back on a place or time and only remember the good parts, or vice versa. Although I grew up in Yorkshire I wasn’t born there and if I think back to the hazy memories I have of moving there at the age of six then I can just about remember how much I hated the move. I was too shy to approach the other children in my class and they all laughed at my ‘posh’ accent – I pronounced the ‘s’ in ‘yes’. On the other hand, when we moved from Aberdeen I rejoiced at not having to endure any more dark, cold winters or barely-warm summers. Yet when we were discussing places to visit with some friends who have just moved there I remembered all the wonderful days out we had and wished I could go back (at least for a visit to the theatre and our favourite restaurant). I wonder what my feelings towards Brunei will be when we leave, especially given that my son was born here. But for now I am looking forward to leaving my home for a few weeks and seeing our friends and family.

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3 thoughts on “Home Again

  1. Home is absolutely where your heart is. Cliche I know. I returned to Sydney for the first time in June and I realised that Sydney may be where my friends are. Sydney maybe where my brother and his family lives. Sydney may be the most beautiful city in the world BUT my home is now in Mersin, Turkey. That is where The Turk is (well not today but usually) and that is where My Hurley Dog is! Can I say home is where your dog is? Does that make me strange? I think it might make me a little peculiar.

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