House

Here is a house, it’s pretty ordinary looking, just off an arterial road with a car dealership at the end. It’s not a through road there’s just a small pathway that leads you either to a school or a park. It’s painted pink, a pale pink and it has a porch. Inside the carpets are brown perhaps, or a greyish blue and up the stairs you will find yourself in one of three bedrooms or a bathroom in the typical pink and grey style of the 80s. The childrens’ room has a buttery yellow glow and an artex ceiling in which the shapes of dragons and princesses can be found. Outside, the garden is long with a tree, a patio with crazy paving and a shed at the end and there is a fabric wendy house with a bright red roof and black cat painted set up gently swaying in the breeze.

On moving day Madonna and Prince play on the bulky black stereo that takes up most of the lounge and a small ginger dog gets lost somewhere in the mess of it all. Half a mile away a new red brick building waits to be filled again with voices. The kitchen there will always be too small but the lounge will be warm in the winter and cool in the summer. The summer house with its creaky floorboards, rough factory carpet and stenciled walls will be a party room, an artists studio, a place to hide when you think noone can hear you and eventually a place where boxes are kept. Boxes full of the things that someone has collected during three years away.

On floor 9, room 11 of a listed building tower block there is a squeaky single bed. One of 14 rooms it’s never quiet. It’s a temporary shelter with a view of a river and a town some 40 miles away from home.

Now a 1930s build on a quiet leafy street, a set of light rooms that fulfil the dreams of those who live there. It marks 30 years of a family, holidays, Birthdays, Christmases and parties. They are not mansions or palaces, they are homes that have been there to shelter us from storms, afforded us friendships and made a life. They are places that you always come back to because it doesn’t matter where you go it’s where you come back to that counts.