Tuesday, 12 November 2013


Day 12 BEDN and my topic is My Hometown - don't know how to interpret that?  Could either be where I was born and brought up or where I call home now.

I was born in Birmingham more years ago than I care to remember.  We lived in a three storey terraced house in Edgbaston and this was my home from 6 months to 23 years, even though I didn't live there for all those years (4 years at college).  All my childhood memories revolve around that house, the garden and the surrounding area.  I went to school within a short walk of the house and most of my friends, certainly until secondary school, lived within walking distance of my house.

As I got older and moved to secondary school, still within walking distance of my house, my horizons broadened.  My friends lived scattered across Birmingham and I started to venture into the city centre on my own.  There were still parts of Birmingham I didn't know, and still don't, but I saw more areas than my local few streets.

After I married we moved into a home in Halesowen, a town a few miles from Birmingham so I still had a similar frame of reference, popped into Birmingham fro my major shopping and worked in Birmingham.

In 1997 we moved to Abingdon as a result of my husband changing jobs.  This meant I moved to within a few miles of the village where my mother was born and it felt a little like a homecoming.  I had spent plenty of time in this part of Oxfordshire when I was a child as we visited our Oxfordshire relatives.  In a way it felt odd to be back here but now as a resident.  As I started to research my family tree I found some distant relatives had lived in Abingdon and I had some fun wandering around the town looking for the buildings they lived and worked in.

I'm now not sure where I would call my hometown.  I still consider myself to be a Brummie but my accent has faded, unless I'm cross when it returns!  But Abingdon is where I am now and it's where my son has his memories so maybe it's home for the time being.  As we get older we have been thinking more about where we want to live in our retirement.  A part of me wants to stay in Abingdon as it's where I'm familiar with now but part of me would like to return to Birmingham.  However, when I visit Birmingham it doesn't feel like home anymore - this saddens me but maybe that is the reality, I've been away too long and the friends I had back then have all moved away or I've lost contact with them.  So who knows what will happen.

There's an old clich√©, 'Home is where the heart is', which seems apposite here - my home is less a location and more a state of mind; wherever my loved ones are is where I call home. It's not really a town, is it?  

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