There are two conflicting arguments about the notion of ‘Home’. In one camp is the school of thought that says ‘There’s no place like home’. This would suggest that regardless of where you are in the world, there’s always a place that feels like home. It could be a location or environment that has a special meaning in your heart due to pleasant memories or important relationships.
However, in the other camp, an alternative proverb states that ‘Home is where you hang your hat.’ This would suggest that as humans we have the ability to create the feeling of home wherever we find ourselves at whatever stage of life. This would not require a nostalgic reference or fun-filled childhood. It would require just a hat, so it seems.
Of course there are no right or wrong answers between these proverbs. It’s a matter of preference. And though many bloggers tend to sit on the fence when it comes to these cultural debates, I’m going to pin my colours to the mast. For me, there is a definite place where I call home. In fact, there’s a specific chair as well!
I know I’m ‘home’ when I walk into my grandfather’s bungalow in South Wales, sit in the armchair beside the fire and look out over the Valley. It’s the smell of the pipe tobacco and the beautiful oil paintings reminding me of the love my family has for all things colourful. Oh, and cheese on toast. (Yes it’s true, cheese on toast is a culinary delight in South Wales.)
But let’s be honest, these are just things; smells, sights and memories. What is it about this particular place that cements the unique homely taste in my mouth? I think I know. For me, it’s the knowledge that I don’t have to stress, worry or over-think in that place. In that chair, my mind seems to become more like a calm lake than a rough sea. When my grandfather asks if I’d like a ‘Drop of sherry’ I know I’m home.
(Tune into ITV’s ‘Off the Beaten Track’ on Friday at 8PM sponsored by Best Western to watch Christine Bleakley visit her homeland.)