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4 December, 2004


I live in Lancaster.  I've been here for eleven years.  I own my own house.

My mother lives in North Wales, just over the border from Chester. It's almost exactly 100 miles (161 km) or two hours of motorway driving from here.
My father lives in Norway.
My sister lives in Bristol, something like seven hours from Lancaster by motorway, though she's currently renting whilst selling her house in Taunton (Somerset) in order to buy another in Truro (Cornwall). That'll be an eight-hour drive for her to visit my mother; it'll be quicker to drive to Plymouth (Devon), fly to Liverpool and drive to Wales.

However, speaking to K. a few minutes ago, she asked me if I'll be "going home for christmas". That seemed, well, seems, an odd question. I am home; I live in Lancaster. I spend about eleven months of each year here. I tend to visit my mother's house annually, for less than a week; 'my' room there is now a conservatory with a sofa bed.

Yes, I'll be visiting Wales for christmas, then I'll be returning home.


Me and my friends at university had a discussion like this recently. We settled on the fact that 'home' was where we originally came from, or where our parents live, and the houses we were renting in Bradford were just 'houses'. Maybe that's the difference between a 'house' and a 'home' - like the "anyone can be a father but it takes someone special to be a dad" analogy.

Posted by Neil T. at December 5, 2004 10:49 AM

When I was a student, I'd have agreed entirely, as it's difficult to consider temporary accommodation, which one rents for 9-12 months before possibly moving on, as 'home'. However, at 33, having lived in the same city for a third of that time and having bought a house 15 months ago, there's more permanence, so 'home' fits rather better.
This might explain my sister's view, too. She's a surgeon, a career path requiring several relocations, so it's difficult to establish roots anywhere. I can understand her not having emotionally 'moved out' of our mother's house, even though she's 30 next month (not my mother...).

It's also a matter of inclination, of course - my life is in Lancaster, and apart from my mother, there's nothing for me in NE Wales. I couldn't envisage moving back.

Posted by NRT at December 5, 2004 01:20 PM
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