Home! Part 1…
Watching ‘A House Through Time’ on television last night, thoughts about the houses I have lived in were running through my mind. Flats, houses, dormitories, a cottage, a caravan and a boat have all been home to me. I would struggle to say which I prefer so I thought I’d jot down some memories from each abode and see how they compare!
I was born in what is known as a ‘Gregory Flat’ to Redditch born-and-bred folk. Incomers to the town often refer to these flats as maisonettes; they look like semi-detached houses but the ground floor and first floor are individual flats – both have their own separate entrance. I only lived here for a few months as a baby so don’t remember it but…I have strong feelings of ‘home’ when I drive past the ‘Gregory Flats’ in Poplar Road. One of the flats came up for sale recently. I was ever so tempted to go and view it – just for old times sake! I do wonder where they got their name from?
Note to self: must do a bit of research.
From here we moved to Hawthorn Road – a three bedroom house on Batchley Estate in Redditch which was built post-war (second). It was a council house with a separate dining room. Unlike some families, our dining room was used purely for eating…and sewing; my elder sister was an excellent seamstress by the age of about 13, and made me some fab dresses for school dances. There was actually a third use for the dining room. The carpet wasn’t wall to wall – and shiny brown tiles lay under the carpet. Before mum arrived home from work, my elder sister and I would move the table and chairs, roll up the carpet and ice-skate in our bobby-socks around the room and into the kitchen.
I have many happy memories of my Hawthorn Road home: a mouse jumping out of the Ready Brek box as Mum took it off the pantry shelf, aunts, uncles and cousins coming to visit, my second dog arriving in an apple box (yes, I named him Apple), making plays up with other children from the road and acting them out in the garden, playing sevensy against the wall, and making dens and traps in the field behind our house with children from the houses at the other end of the field. In my teenage years I had friends round to play records and was even allowed parties – as long as elder sis and her boyfriend were there to ‘supervise’!
I left Hawthorn Road at 17 to join the Royal Navy – not knowing that my parents would separate and I would never live back there again. I am not terribly sad about that – I only have happy memories. Mum married again eventually, but is now widowed. Dad lived life as a single (very independent) man, with a couple of lovely lady-friends who would have married him in an instant if he had asked…but he didn’t.
I will continue this blog over the next few days, but, for now, I am enjoying a lazy Sunday morning on the sofa with my best friends! Cuddles, reminiscing, and a nice bowl of porridge on a Sunday? It’s a Girl Thing!