A diverse offering twixt the interesting, the unusual, and the amusing.
Wednesday, 10 March 2010
Where is HOME?
As an ex-pat I tend to meet with people who have travelled extensively in their lives, and one of the questions I often ask is 'Where do you call home?'
I suppose Mrs Magnon is a good example. She was very nearly born in Katmandu (but a sudden outbreak of Yellow Fever forced her mother return to England; even though she herself was Swedish). She then went to Moscow, then to Washington, then to Caracas, then to Puerto Rico (I may have the order wrong). And when her father eventually retired, she settled in Sussex, S E England. So where does she call 'home'?
The first 14 years of MY life were spent in a small Surrey village, just south of London, called Lingfield. A pretty village with a central duck pond, a liberal sprinkling of beautiful old houses, and an atmosphere of relaxed gentility. Life was good, everyone knew each other, and we all felt safe in our pleasant rural environment. In the centre of the village was/is an ancient Oak tree, and the village 'lock-up' (built around 1770) which is known as 'The Cage'. The village spreads outwards from this point.
There is no question that I still think of Lingfield as my HOME. It's where my parents were married, where my father ran his first business, and where most of my friends lived (even though I was away at school for long periods). Lingfield was, without doubt, very much a major part of my life.
I've been back a couple of times in the last ten years, and sadly it's no longer the same. It's proximity to Gatwick Airport (the world's second busiest, after Heathrow) means that the constant noise of aircraft has ruined the peace that I remember from my childhood. In better circumstances I would liked to have returned to my village for my retirement, but now there's no chance. The noise is simply too all-invasive; even if the village itself is still stunningly beautiful.
The difference between an optimist and a pessimist, is that the optimist enjoys himself whilst waiting for the inevitable! I AM that optimist!
This is a daily, optimistic, 'photos and comments' blog. I make no judgements (only occasionally), just notes. If you wish to comment in any way at all, please feel free. Everything and everyone (except the obdurate and dictatorial) is very welcome.
I was born just south of London, but for the past 50 years I've lived in S W France. I am a painter by profession, and writer by desire. Lady Magnon and I live between an ancient cottage in a tiny village in perfectly tranquil French countryside, and a bijou townhouse in Brighton UK. In France we have plenty of fruit trees, all situated amongst a view that takes the breath away, in the UK we have a handkerchief sized patio. We also have a Border Collie called Billy. I try to treat our planet with respect, and encourage others to do likewise (without preaching).
Contentment is a glass of red, a plate of charcuterie, and a slice of good country bread. Perfect!