What makes home Home? ©
By Michael Casey
Somebody I know is going off on an adventure, he is going to work abroad. So it set me thinking, what would I miss and what would I take with me if I went to work abroad. To start with I don’t think I would want to work abroad, I’d miss the comfort of my own bed, foreigners and foreign countries have harder beds much harder beds than we have here in England. I’m older now with children so I’d want them to stay at their schools and not miss their friends. I know people have gap years and do a lot of travelling, but that’s just a holiday really, they know they’ll be back home.
Yes I’d enjoy say 2 months somewhere different, but home is home, home is where the heart it. So what makes home home? It’s knowing I can get up from my chair in front of the computer and make a drink of something nice and hot or ice cold. It’s nice to know I can drink water straight from the tap and not worry about possible infections, here in Birmingham we have the best water in the world, it’s Welsh water we steal from Wales, there’s a pipeline. Home is where I can not shave for a week if I’m feeling lazy, being somewhere else I’d have to shave, you can be a tramp at home but not abroad.
Yes I can speak a little French and Spanish, so in those places I wouldn’t be lost, and when in Shanghai I am looked after by the family. Yet being able to switch on the radio to hear the news or dip into tv news with BBC and Sky and Fox too that’s what keeps me happy. In 2007 we were in Shanghai when the Navy lads were kidnapped by the Iranians, all I had was CNN on the hotel tv, this was torture because CNN s just a travelogue, next to rubbish. At home I’d have 3 other news stations at least, for me being at home means following the news, I am a news junkie. I read the Daily Telegraph constantly too, the web edition, so if I cannot get to a computer I would not be at home.
Home is being nagged to go to the corner shop to get some strange vegetables my Shanghai wife wants, two or three times till I get the right one. Home is watching films with the kids, watching horror films with the wife, slipping out to the corner shop to get fizzy pop for me and the kids to drink during the film. Home is just being relaxed in ones’ own space, being off duty, being able to go outdoors and have a breath of fresh air in the garden, it may be a scruffy little garden or a show garden but it is your garden, you can scratch your bum and throw a fart to the wind. In a hotel it can be very very nice and you can have fresh sheets on your bed every day, but it’s still not home. I know hotels can be great, I worked at a 4star for 3 years but not unless you have a big suite can you compare it to home in some small way.
Shoes scattered, shoes on a rack, an old pair of shoes converted into slippers, simple things that turn a house into a home. You cannot bring everything with you if you lived abroad. The right type of toilet paper, the right kind of soap and tooth paste. All of these simple things turn a house into a home, a smile a nod a joke with the postman or the corner shop man these too make home. Understanding the priest on a Sunday this is a little thing that makes us feel at home, even if you don’t really like that priest very much. Yes do have adventures, but make sure you come on back home, the priest is always waiting to hear your confession.