Homeward Bound

Things have been quiet ’round these parts lately, and in all honesty I’ve needed the break. It’s reignited my need to write, as opposed to doing it because I felt I had to. It’s also- shamefully- been pushed to the bottom of the pile of Things I Have To Do. What else could be so important, you ask? Well, we’ve been busy adulting hard. We’ve been packing, cleaning, embroiling ourselves in mortgages and temporarily decamping to our respective parents. The reason?

WE BOUGHT A HOUSE!

Yeah, if ‘mortgage’ and ‘packing’ weren’t enough of a hint, we’re now officially homeowners. It’s taken two months from seeing it initially but we’re in. And we’re staying. It’s a whole new chapter and yet another massive change from where we were before. I still can’t believe that we have somewhere to call our own, after years of renting.

As exciting as it is, it’s also tinged with melancholy. I know these are super first world problems, and we’re lucky to have a roof over our heads regardless of where. I’m not complaining. It’s just that leaving our first flat was a little harder than I thought.

I’ve lived away from home, on and off, for ten years and always had a fondness for Glasgow’s south side. The west end was tired and pretentious, and I’d already lived way down east. The south side was new, uncharted territory. I knew bits and pockets but had never had any connection to it. When the chance of a flat came up, Ally and I leapt on it.

We’d been together for, at the time, two and a half years. We were ready to move in, although we hadn’t really looked. A flat came up at the perfect time, and we took it. Boom. It wasn’t in the most desirable area.  Mentioning a move there merited a sharp intake of breath. For us, that meant it was cheap and we weren’t complaining. It was busy, noisy, close to town and it was easier for work. We could walk into town as quickly as we could walk to the park and take in the views. It might not have been perfect, but it was perfect for us.

Our flat was the basis for a lot of firsts. As well as being our first place together, it was a new area for us to explore. It was the base from which we went on our first holiday together. We put up our first Christmas tree together there and carved our first Hallowe’en pumpkins. It was where I found out our first child was on the way. It was where we brought our son home from the hospital and it was Lucas’s first home. There were a lot of good memories in that flat. Friends could pop round, we could go out and not worry about getting transport home.

Don’t get me wrong, there was a lot I wish we could’ve done. The wallpaper peeled off of the bumpy corporation plastering, and we only had one bedroom. The single glazed windows rattled in their frames, icy tendrils of wind whipping through the cracks in the wood. When Lucas was born with jaundice, I couldn’t put him at the window to get some sunlight because of the draught. On numerous occasions, mice snuck their heads under the door or we caught a flash of them out of the corner of our eyes. We found ways around it, though. We’d wrap him up and walk him in the pram for hours, getting him sunlight and fresh air. It did us all good to get out, and we would talk for ages on everything and nothing. When we got home we put on the heater, piled the sofa high with blankets and cosied up in the living room. We painted the windows and Ally laid the flooring in the kitchen and we made it as homely as we could.

Having a son made us reassess what was important. We weren’t going out at all, our families and friends with kids lived far away. The noisy streets, dirty with rain and pollution, weren’t what we wanted our son to run around on when he was old enough to do so. We wanted space to live, a place where our little family could grow, that we could call our own. Buying our house happened so quickly that we didn’t really have time to think on the hugeness of it ’til the sale had gone through. It hit me a lot harder than I thought. I was ready to move on. I knew that what we were doing was for the best. However, there was still a bit of me that mourned the life we were leaving behind. I’d forged a routine for us. Lucas and I had our routes that we walked, and every time I went out I tried to find somewhere different for us to go. It was silly, sure, but as much as I was excited to move I was sad for the memories we would leave behind. Everyone kept saying “you must be so excited”. While I was, I felt like I couldn’t say that it was also tinged with sadness. Like I could only be looking ahead and wasn’t allowed to miss what I was leaving. That is, until one of our walks put it into perspective for me.

One day, I took Lucas around Queen’s Park when he woke up in the pram. I took him to the top of the flagpole to sit and feed him. As I did, I looked across the city skyline all the way to Ben Lomond. By that time he was asleep, nestled in my arms with no awareness of the world around him. It was then that I realised that, as much as I would remember that moment, he’d have no recollection at all. His memories were ahead of us. He needed a home where he could play, be safe, go out in the garden and run around with is friends. I wanted him to be able to walk to school without crossing any roads. I could still look back fondly on what we’d lived before, but that didn’t make the future any less exciting. Anyway so much had changed for us in the last year that it’d be nice to finally have a permanent base.

After weeks of living between our parents’ homes, we finally got our keys last week. The place is still stacked high with boxes but it’s coming along nicely. Just as when he was born, our new routine is a mystery. Our new memories are unknown. The good news is that this time around, we’ve got all the time in the world to make them.

 

14 Comments

  1. May 2, 2017 / 6:55 pm

    I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again I’m sure: you are a beautiful writer, Ada. And, while Lucas will have no memories of his first few months, I can imagine him reading this really evocative post somewhere down the line and it almost being as good as the actual memory.

    Happy new home my darling. Proud of you, and canny wait to hear what comes next for your wee family.

    Lis / last year’s girl

    • adriannecalgie
      May 2, 2017 / 7:24 pm

      Thank you lovely. I really do appreciate the feedback! I’m just a little sad he won’t remember his first few months as a weegie when he grows up with a shite Cumbernauld accent.
      I’m still only a 20 minute drive from town though so I’m not resigning myself to the ‘burbs for ever!

  2. May 11, 2017 / 12:24 pm

    Homes hold memories don’t they! My son was born in our home in the uk and all my memories are in those surroundings, at 10 months old we moved to Paris and 6 months later my daughter was born here. All birthdays have been celebrated here too. All too soon we will move somewhere new and that house and its memories will be our past. It’s sad and happy. Take LOADS of photos!!!!! Kate x

    • adriannecalgie
      May 15, 2017 / 2:33 pm

      They really do. Living in Paris sounds wonderful though, I’m so jealous! Although if our move has taught me anything, it’s that it’s not necessarily the place itself that’s important. Good luck with your next move, wherever it takes you!

  3. May 11, 2017 / 12:26 pm

    Oh I really enjoyed reading this! You’re such a good writer 🙂 congratulations on your new house! Exciting times 🙂

    • adriannecalgie
      May 15, 2017 / 2:31 pm

      Thank you so much! 🙂 It sure is- although for the time being I’m happy to take our time settling in x

  4. May 11, 2017 / 4:47 pm

    Congratulations on the new home and have fun exploring the new area! Change is hard but also exciting!!! We have been on the property but are now back to renting so we could be back in our home town… unaffordable to buy here!

    • adriannecalgie
      May 15, 2017 / 2:30 pm

      We’re the opposite- we moved back to our hometown because we couldn’t afford to buy in the city! It’s been a scary step and there’s lots to do but we’ve got plenty of time to do it, which is a nice change x

  5. May 11, 2017 / 9:15 pm

    Congratulations on your new home! So exciting! We’ve been in our house for nearly 2 years and it felt like home immediately, also lovely to be free from my parents after 34 years (they felt the same!)

    • adriannecalgie
      May 15, 2017 / 12:37 pm

      It’s an awesome feeling, huh? Although we were back at my mum and dad’s for three weeks and it was nice having babysitters on hand… I even managed coffee, breakfast AND a shower most mornings!

  6. May 12, 2017 / 6:56 pm

    I am in awe of your DVD collection!
    You new house will be amazing! because you can make it a home! and truly out your mark on it.

    • adriannecalgie
      May 15, 2017 / 12:36 pm

      That’s just mine- my partner’s takes up another two book cases full! (we did get rid of some before the move though, even in a house we were pushing it!).

  7. May 12, 2017 / 8:43 pm

    How have I actually not come across your blog until now, your writing is astounding! But honestly, I’m so happy for you for the new house, for creating new memories and having a lovely new home to share them in. It’s the perfect thing for your family and sounds like you guys have done amazingly in such dire situations but you’ve always had a smile on your face & powered on through for your family. Congratulations lovely! Xx

    • adriannecalgie
      May 15, 2017 / 2:35 pm

      Wow, thank you so much for the lovely comment! It’s been a pretty hectic year and not all plain sailing, but we’re in our own home now and that’s what matters. There’s something exciting about having a new place to fill with memories and there are so many things to look forward to. My little man will never know his old life, but that’s why we have plenty of pictures 🙂 x

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