As many of you know, I am a military kid. Which basically means I’ve spent my entire life moving every 2-3 years. I’m not kidding – my first move was at 3 months. Despite this, it has always been my parents mission for us to have somewhere to call home in the UK and that place has been Melton Mowbray – a quaint market town set deep in the heart of Leicestershire. It is there that they bought a 4 bedroom house on a corner plot complete with 60s brown hexagonal carpet that was perfect to play hopscotch on, named it Poet’s Place and turned it into a home.
In reality, I have lived in that house for a small amount of time – only about 4 years all told – yet it has always been home. It’s the place where my brother and I would run up and down the street, in and out of friends houses. Where we could freewheel to the bottom of the street and cycle to the playing fields and rolling hills beyond. Where we set up a makeshift tree house in a field by the stream and spent long summer days being free before dragging ourselves to bed as the sun set.
We all moved out of that home for the final time in 2004, which I swear was just yesterday but according to Google was actually 13 years ago! But my parents kept it in the hopes that maybe, one day, it would become our family home once more. However, as has become apparent in the last few years, that is not to be the case. My parents now live on the South Coast, my brother is strolling down the High in Oxford and I am, currently, sweltering my way through the last days of an Australian summer. And so, today, they put that house up for sale.
And so, dear friend, this is goodbye. Thank you for the laughter and the tears. For letting me paint your walls pink, then yellow and whitewash your wardrobe doors. Thank you letting us stick glow-in-the-dark stars to your ceilings and paint Thomas The Tank Engine murals on your walls. Thank you for letting us strip you off the ivy that was choking your side elevation and spend an entire summer digging up a patch of garden so we could create a hexagonal patio for summer evenings. Thank you for the impromptu picnics, the cartwheels and running races. Thank you for it all. May your new family love you as much as we have and may the sun always set through your conifer hedges.
We love you