Today’s assignment: publish a post based on your own, personalized take on a blogging prompt.
This blogging prompt encouraged me to make a list of all the places I’ve ever lived. I must have used these forms of transport to move between the locations, and one of my earliest memories is travelling by plane between UK Singapore when I was four years old. That wasn’t my first flight though, I was born in Malta, and flew back from there, via Nice when I was one year old. I’ve also lived in Aden, Cyprus and Greece, plus other overseas locations for shorter periods of time. By the time I was 16 I’d lived in 16 different homes and almost as many schools!
I’m from a Forces family – my father was in the RAF all his life, so every couple of years we would pack up our belongings and move to a new home near s different RAF base, in the UK or abroad. As a child, as we’d always done this, it was no big deal. All our friends and neighbours did it too. The same black wooden packing boxes of different shapes and sizes would duly arrive, and they’d be filled with all our worldly goods. I remember my mother painting out the previous address on the crates with black paint, and adding our next one by painting neat white letters with a small thin brush. If they were going overseas they went by boat and you wouldn’t see them for six weeks. I remember when I was 4 in Singapore, it was like Christmas in July when I once again received my precious dolls, teddy bears and games.
Looking back, I feel sorry for my mother – she never had a permanent home, she never owned any large pieces of furniture as we always lived in furnished accommodation. She never had her own garden to tend, and she could never have kept in contact easily with friends she made. As this was in the 1960s and 70s, it wasn’t even easy to use a telephone abroad, and I remember one of my aunts telling me that our family used up the most space in her address book, as she was forever crossing out our old address and writing a new one. I wish I could have talked to my mother about all these things, but sadly we were largely estranged from when I reached the age of 17 – she clearly had enough of this itinerant lifestyle, met someone else and emigrated to Australia! I only saw her 4 times after this, still, that’s another story…..
When I got married had children of my own, we still didn’t settle in one place, as my then-husband wanted to further his career, and to do this he applied for jobs in different parts of the country. We did own a house, but moved many times. I didn’t mind this, I was used to it, I’m good at packing up, having a clear out, rationalising our belongings, it doesn’t faze me.
Now my children are grown up and I’m a granny four times over, I’m still behaving in a gypsy-like fashion. Although this time, I’m a floating gypsy – my new husband and I bought a yacht, renovated it, and sailed it to Greece. So far we’ve visited 42 Greek islands. Am I ever going to settle down and live in a country cottage with a log fire and cat on my lap? Who knows……