Home is because of what the ‘Outside’ is, and the ‘Inside’ is, at the TIME…

Leytonstone High Road station platform signage...

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Arguably, the concept and reality of ‘home’ for many people; makes an extremely big impact in their world, their identity and their very psyche. Not having one (the hell that is being homeless), signifies ‘a homes’ importance, even for the people for whom ‘Home’ means very little (in the conscious appreciation sense anyway). For me (amongst other things, both positive and negative), almost EVERY home I’ve had, has always provided; solace; normality; warmth; safety; belonging; and THE place to run to.

Now I’ve had many homes, and they have all varied in ‘quality’ with regards to the ‘other positive and negative things’ mentioned above. Upon wondering WHY they have ALL still provided such safety, normality, warmth, solace etc, I think can only be due to two things. 1. My environmental conditions outside of the home (IMMEDIATE AND non immediate surroundings, school, work, friends, money, love life yada yada yada…) and 2. My own timely experience and evolution…

It all goes back to my belief that we seem to do things, and go to certain places, in a certain ORDER, for a REASON.

Each home I have had, and my feelings surrounding it, have definitely evolved as I have.

My first home with sufficient memories was in a Tower Block in East London, now whilst my Mum made the inside beautiful; the outer pieces caused us some problems. It was pretty much a daily occurrence to find a human ‘turd’ in the lift, the lift buttons were generally covered in phlegm, the stairs in ‘piss piles’, our neighbours were not of the kind you find in documentaries of suburbia etc etc.

On a more weekly to fortnightly basis, my brother would be mugged by the same 6 boys at the bottom foot well of out stairs; my sister would inadvertently find herself witnessing some hideous crime or other; the windows of Mums car would be smashed in; someone loved torching the phone lines on the whole balcony (they ran OUTSIDE our doors!! For some reason). The maggots made’ house’ in the shoot room, cos only 1 in 17 families actually knew what the SHOOT was for, the rest liked to fill the ROUTE to the SHOOT with their rubbish instead.

Meanwhile, indoors, my dear beloved wondrous Brother and Sister would less often, hang me outa the window of the 7th floor on a sheet, bathe me in poo particles, and force items such as jellied ginger, and blue cheese down my throat for kicks 🙂 Sods!.

Now Vi, our next door neighbour, she ROCKED!, she was 70 odd but as I had no concept of age/mates rules,  I used to ask her if she was ‘playing out’ everyday, and the old bird used to get her deck chair out and get all excited with me, while I made ‘polo juice’ in my ‘Al a Cart Kitchen’. We weren’t allowed off the balcony (danger for my Mum)… but for Little ‘US’, this just rocked too… Donna, Big Batty Richard, The girl from the end who smelt the grub EVERYTIME, Me, Leigh and Theresa, Tony, Her, Him, Her and Him (the names fail me!). 432’s Lushes, Pam and Mick, SMASHED on ‘Special Brew ‘and screaming at each other, was PROPER funny when we were ickle…’Up yours Pam you old Wench’ are funny words to hear when your 7 🙂

Now I did have a dog leap on my head whilst I lived there, and it stayed on my head for quite some time. The dog was black, the night was black, I had no idea WTF landed on my head and after several screaming spins, I had to launch it full pelt. When it squealed, I had to deal with the realisation that it was a dog I had launched, then the guilt of launching said dog, then the shock that it was a dog!!!, and that it had leapt from the floor to the TOP of my head in one fail swoop! It was a bizarre unforgettable memory of living at 434, if somewhat irrelevant to this little reminisce 🙂

Me Leigh and Theresa used to love chucking objects off of the balcony, sometimes at people, and normally the chosen objects were potatoes (thank god we were bad shots!! ), Oh the beauty as they landed amongst the delightful soiled nappies. Mum was always so confused as to why her giant bags of spuds disappeared so quickly, the giant bags which the poor woman dragged all the way up Leytonstone High Road every Saturday :(. I dread to think what idea of ‘Home’ this whole experience conjured for her!

But for the ‘THEN’ me… Door number 434 (with ALL it’s ‘other good and bad things’), provided solace; normality; warmth; safety; belonging; and THE place to run to, (we had 6 steel bullet locks up the side of the door, re- reinforced glass panels, and the door was about 8 inches thick, and made of prison styleee stuff..No –one made it through while we lived there).

This home was all these things for me because of what went on outside AND because I had evolved and experienced an amount of life, where I was not mildly distressed by the smashed fortnightly car windows, or the pleghm, or the poo, as it was normal for me THEN. Now it would not be; I have evolved past 434 as a home that would provide me with all the things on my list. Now, my curent experience and evolution would leave me frightened when I looked at the ‘Safety features of the Door’, now I have a comparison…my ‘NORMAL’ front door. It’s far less safe, but my homes ‘outside positive and negative influences’ means it doesn’t have to be. Do you get me? I hope so.

I thank the saints of ‘ORDER’ for blessing me with so many places of solace, normality (Poo in the lift IS normal, if it’s normal for you), warmth, safety, belonging, and THE place to run to.

23…I love ya more than you could ever know, but experience and evolution tells me it might be time to make me a home some place new soon… I will of course always love you exactly like I love the others, because you have also fulfilled my entire list :)! But everything changes…I have again. Time for space, for just a few pots, my naughty speakers, and a reclining flowery chair, and some more of lifes new and shiny stuff :)… if the saints are AGAIN kind enough…

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