Monday, 15 June 2009


My brother has just blogged on what is home, and I have my bit to add. He was asked to write with regards to refugee week in Scotland. Now, I am not a refugee, far from it. I don't even think of myself as an expat. That's far too exotic. I chose to live in France, and when my children's father left, I decided to stay in France. I do not regret that.....but.....

But what? Well, Terres Gilet has been home for longer than any other place in my life, and it is home. The dwelling itself. And I am delighted that my children want to keep the house on, and have come up with a project where that should be possible. I myself am looking to moving to live with my partner of 8 years, not immediately, but when we are still both young enough to make a go of it.

Funnily enough I feel more at home up in his part of France, Haute Savoie, where even if there is neither sea not ocean, there is a lake and mountains,compared with this flat plain far from the sea and hills of my childhood. My house but his area....not possible, so I shall have to adapt.

We moved home a lot when we were children, my father's job obliged the family to up stakes quite often. The plus side of that is that we are adaptable. The minus, for me, is that I hate throwing things out, even when they are well past their sell by dates. That goes for relationships too.

Like my brother, the wee croft house is the place that I consider *home*, although I have never lived there, and could not live there full time. It says a lot that my sister and her family, and me and mine all want our ashes to be taken there. I think we need to buy the field to plant the trees that that represents!

Home? The Elvis song comes to where the heart is. My heart is with those I love, so I have more than one home. Here, it goes without saying, but also Edinburgh, with my parents and my siblings, the croft house, J's of course, and even the tent when we go camping in the Landes. Coldbackie with sun!

Yet I know that here I am not fully at home. The language is different, the culture, and during the last Gulf war, I felt "A stranger in a strange land". And for my children it is even more complicated. My elder daughter felt Scottish until she lived there for a year. She now realises that she is probably more French than anything.

Home? A luxery that we take for granted.

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