I went back home this week.
My nana’s house has been the one constant in my life, even before I was born. It’s housed 4 generations of our family, being the one place we could always return to.
Walking the hallway, lined with the same wallpaper put up by my granddad was a trip down memory lane, memories I hadn’t realised I’d long ago forgotten.
The stairs upon which my nana would sit every Sunday and chat with her brother. The kitchen sink which my uncle would lean against as he ate lunch between jobs, the banister we’d slide down and the living room in which I was told my dad had passed away. The kitchen window through which we’d yell at granddad that it was 4 o’clock and thus time for tea. The pantry in which we’d try to stuff each other and lock the door. The bedroom in which I had my very own bed, complete with a blanket hand stitched by my mum. The place where I saw my nana have a stroke, succumb to alzheimer's and became a shadow of her former self. It’s where the only family photograph we have was taken, next to the silver birch planted by my granddad. The archway beneath which we’d spend long summer nights chatting with the neighbours. It’s where family gathered to celebrate the good times and mourned our losses, it is my home away from home.
The vegetable patch is long gone, the greenhouses dismantled, the silver birch is now taller than the house and the neighbours are no longer with us. The rotary phone is long gone, so too are the random knickknacks my nana collected; the windowsills are clear from award winning seedlings being grown by granddad. The wireless no longer sits on the kitchen table, for that too is gone.
A lot about that house has changed, but the memories which bombarded me were a reminder that there really is no place like home, wherever that may be.