Sunday, 1 August 2010


(The M1 north, in the rain. Taken by me.)

This weekend, I went to visit my parents at home. It was a regular visit; a trip out, a family meal. Spot of shopping with my Mum. Pork chops for dinner.

My old room has just been redecorated, almost a decade after I left to go to university. I returned at holidays, and for a few months afterwards, but the room stayed the same until a few months ago.

Now my brother has left home too, his room is a sort of mixture of half of his things, with my Mum and Dad's stuff slowly encroaching (I noticed sewing books, where once was an over-sized stereo).

His notice board, once filled with homework to-do lists and missives from ex-girlfriends is still there. The only thing on it now is pinned in the bottom corner: a photo of my Dad, aged 20-something, laughing at something and looking for all the world exactly like my brother.

Before I left, I went upstairs and wandered in absent mindedly. I stood there for a while, looking at that photo and his pictures still on the walls and thinking about the baby he's having with his partner. Philip Larkin kept going round in my head:

Home is so sad. It stays as it was left,
Shaped to the comfort of the last to go
As if to win them back.


  1. It is amazing how parents just seem to spread out when children leave the nest. They never had that much stuff when you lived there but since you've left their wardrobes seem to shrink. My sisters and I have been booted out of all of our bedrooms but I, at least, clung on for practically 10 years to my room.

  2. Oh, I envy you so much. My parents have moved FIVE times in the 6 years since I moved home. Crazy parents! It's still home because it's where my family are, but I crave the surroundings of my teenage years and my beautiful attic bedroom.