Regular readers and followers will have noticed that I do not write as much as before. This is a conscious decision because I do not want to write just for the sake of writing, and because I have suffered a little with writers block. However, this week I had an overwhelming urge to write about a childhood memory in my paper journal. When I thought about the date, I realised that the event happened exactly forty years ago. I know that at least one person (hello Mum!) likes reading my childhood memories, so I decided to blog about it too.
I was eight years old and we were moving house. We had moved house before but this was the first time I can remember. The things that I can’t recall clearly are the preparations. The packing up happened mostly as if by magic, but I do know we used some old tea chests, not the cardboard boxes of today. If you wanted a tea chest in these modern times they would cost you a fortune on Etsy.
On the morning of the move, I was disgruntled because I didn’t want to go to school. I was worried I was going to miss something exciting; a condition known these days as FOMO.
FOMO ~ fear of missing out
Despite my protests, I was not allowed to stay home. I suspect this wasn’t just to do with me getting an education, but trying to keep me out from under the feet of the removal men. At eight years old I doubt anything vital to my future was happening at school, but I had no choice in the matter!
It was usual for me to walk to school with my friends, so before I set off to meet them, I had one last look round and I touched the wall saying “goodbye house” or something equally dramatic, and that was that.
As I got to the corner of the road, the brown and cream removal van drove past. I still remember the name – it was a well known local firm. I felt a pang of something – a catch in my breath. It was so strange to be going to school from that house for the last time, and thinking about going ‘home’ to the unknown later on.
The walk to school was along the appropriately named School Lane; a traffic free footpath that took us directly to school and the village beyond. Part of the route went along the end of the back gardens of our street. At the end of our garden I paused to peer through the hedge in the hopes of catching a glimpse of the mysterious activity. My eight year old self knew nothing yet my older self can imagine it clearly. The ant like procession of up-ended furniture and heavy crates as item by item a home is loaded with Tetris like precision into the back of a lorry, until the home is an empty shell, ready for the next family to make their memories. Eight year old me saw none of this as it was all happening at the front of the house, out of my sight.
My walk that morning had been the end of an era, as the new house was about a mile away from school and not really walkable anymore. I wouldn’t have known how to get to our new address straightaway of course. After an uneventful day at school, Dad collected me in the car and we went back home, where the unpacking seemed to have happened as if by magic too. All our belongings had been deposited in this new place, and the only item of mine that I never found was my poster of a tiger.
Over the years, I have moved house a lot. I could write a whole new series about it. I could tell you how I carefully transported a box containing one piece of frozen fish, putting it back into the freezer immediately at my new home, only to discover later on that the boxes had been switched and I had actually frozen my whole collection of mix tapes! Or that on another occasion I somehow left behind all my mixing bowls, including one of those retro brown Mason and Cash style bowls, which I have never managed to replace.
If you have any stories about moving home, funny or otherwise, please do share in the comments below if you wish. I hope you have enjoyed reading this post today. I am so very grateful for visitors to my space on the internet and it would be lovely if you could just leave me a hello so I can say hello back!