January 13, 2013

Little Pieces of Home

Ok so before you read this article, you really ought to read the one below to gain a little context. Context is a very useful thing. If you really haven't got the time, let me set some for you... I haven't had my own room now for almost five months and in the last three years I have moved eight times. No big deal to some I suppose however, the idea of home for me is a rather grand deal. I positively thrive on making a space my own. You might wonder how, if I am so fastidiously fixated on the idea of home, I have continued to drag my little suitcase around and set up camp all over the show. WELL, that's what this article is about, isn't it? So read on my dear...

The trouble with moving about so much is finding consistency or continuity. Things that you can hold on to that make up this aura of 'belonging' to somewhere. Little fragments of something that make you feel at peace with yourself. Perhaps we all differ and perhaps I am the only person who does this, or at least fully acknowledges that I do this, but I grab onto these little things for dear life to keep me afloat, to survive passages of uncertainty.

A cup of coffee
For me, while the taste is very pleasant and the extra kick it gives you is sometimes necessary,  coffee is something that creates a sense of home for me. It has to be exactly the way I like it, or I feel disjointed, misplaced and totally off-keel. Where you find good coffee, you will usually find me. The extra pleasure, I find, is that within this routine can come interesting exchanges. Be it with the coffee maker who asks how you are, that girl with the curly hair who likes your shoes or the handsome man smiling at you over his paper.
The majestic quality of a good coffee place, is the ability that it has to morph into a social space for a number of customers each and every day- creating mini havens. Coffee brings people together.
Picture from the lovely Lauren @ Sobremesa in Spain
Walks
When I'm feeling particularly lost, treading familiar paths can bring me back to spirits again. The windows of certain places, the ambiance of a particular nook or the steady flow of water all help to centre a sorry soul.
When I lived in Zamora and felt really rather lost indeed, my Sunday walk was the remedy to pull me out of my stupor. I would linger in the window of the bakery, talk to the cats at the cathedral and stare at the river until I felt like myself again.
Old photos
Looking at old photos is a wonderfully bittersweet way to remind you of what you once were and what you now are. The permanent, frozen stamp of that moment can capture such a lot and without a single word, so many emotions can be felt just by looking at an image captured in time.

This photo always makes me feel at home.
In fact, you can read an article about this picture here.

These are just a few of the ways I make myself feel at home when I don't have one. There are many more ways in which I do this and I'm starting to realise that perhaps home isn't a concrete entity but the way in which we live and the routines and habits that we follow to make our lives our distinct own. What do you think?

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