Before I moved in with Neil, I lived in six apartments over five years. Several of my landlords used my rent to pay for ski trips instead of their mortgages. Because that’s a thing. Anyway, there was legal stuff that had nothing to do with me. Except I had to move a lot, and with each new place I unpacked less and less.
When Neil and I met, I was down to my cat and my bookshelves. He bought me a coffee machine, which rounded out the kitchen. But really, my last Christmas party in Glasgow was just us, some friends, the cat and some chicken wings.
We moved in together and the bus-stop downstairs provided a weird kind of opera every Friday night. The boiler stopped working a bunch of times which meant there was a hole in our bedroom floor. Which the plumber never got the chance to fix.
The old place was interesting. And truthfully, I miss it. It was where I set out pebbles and asked Neil to marry me, and then he turned around and asked me. It was where we landed after the honeymoon. It was where my husband told me I was pregnant.
It was Isla’s first home outside my body.
But when the opportunity arose and we moved to Skye, we were ready. OK, Neil was a little more ready than I was.
Even though we want Isla to grow up in the country with easy access to trees and y’know, other country stuff, I was afraid we were giving up too much to soon. Things like time with friends. And easy access to nachos.
But we did it.
Living with my Dad and Anne has been interesting. There’s been laughs and chocolate and episodes of Poirot. I have essentially moved my family in with my parents, and it’s been easier and harder than I thought it would be.
So we are on the move again. The three of us.
I’ve become good at moving. Home has always been more about people than walls for me. But I’m glad there’s a place for my people now.
I’ve never had a whole house to live in. I had a renter’s fear of holes in the walls, so I was careful about hanging the New York skyline that’s followed me through all my moves.
My furniture, including the bookshelves is flatpack, Ikea specials.
I left home at eighteen. The ceiling of my bedroom was purple. Every place since has been rented. And white.
As a twenty-something I would traipse around stores that aren’t Ikea, imagining what my ‘grown-up house’ would look like and the people and pieces that I would fill that home. I might have even cried a little.
And now, I have my people. And other people who are always welcome to visit. Our furniture might be ‘beachy and distressed’ as per my Google search last night. But our (maybe purple) door will always be open.