I was half listening to the radio and there was an item about moving house. Two people were interviewed, one had lived in the same place for over thirty years, the other had moved house thirty times. The person who had stayed put said the house move had been so traumatic that she never wanted to repeat the experience. She had been in hospital recovering from a minor operation when suddenly after a very long and frustrating time of difficulties with buying a new house they were due to move within a few days. Needless to say her husband bore the brunt of the relocation, but it was such a terrible experience for her that she has stayed put ever since. The other person had a mother who was forever moving the family from place to place; I’m not sure why, it may have been that she liked the renovating and decorating and creating a new home for the family. The woman herself found it stressful s a child, however, she followed a similar pattern when she was an adult. Some of the moves were for the expected reasons – she got married, she divorced, she got married again, she divorced (she may have married a third time I can’t quite remember. However the number of other house moves she put down to a dreadful, frightening and horrific experience she had been subjected to, and for that reason she kept moving to start over with a clean slate.
I got to thinking about house moving. We know that at some point we need to down size and the thought fills me with utter horror as we have so much stuff. There are reasons for that – we both had our own place and furniture household goods and other possessions when we got together so although we did try and be sensible inevitably we did have more stuff than many people setting up house together. We had two children – more stuff, my dad died and we moved into his house before moving into the place we are at present, so all his stuff plus what I would call family things which I didn’t want to get rid of. My mother-in-law died and again we inherited a lots of things from her. We both have hobbies which involve things – books, cameras and equipment, drums (we/he has three kits plus an electronic kit) art stuff as he’s an artist, more cookery equipment and cookery books than some people because we love food and cooking, etc., etc., etc.
So… my house moves:
- I was brought home from the hospital where I was born to live with mum and dad in a flat
- when I was fourteen we moved from the flat we lived in in Cambridge to a semi-detached house a couple of miles away
- when i was sixteen we moved from Cambridge to Weston-super-Mare
- when I was eighteen I moved to Manchester; first to lodging with a landlady – for various reasons it didn’t work out; then to a squalid ‘flat’, actually a freezing attic at the top of a three story house; then to a ground floor flat consisting of a sitting room and bedroom and a shared bathroom; then to single room bedsit; then to a ‘flat’ in another old Edwardian house; then to another flat, the bottom floor of a large semi; at some point I moved into a friend’s bedsit for a while; and there may have been more places while I was a student, but it has all rather blurred
- a friend bought a house in Chorlton in Manchester and I moved in – if you want to find out more about this wonderful house and its story, then have a look at my friend Andrew’s blog: https://chorltonhistory.blogspot.com/
- I moved to teach in London in a bedsit, but that didn’t work out and after eight months I moved back to Manchester and me and my chum lived with Andrew again in a small terraced house, still in Chorlton in Manchester, before moving to the house I mentioned above
- My chum and I bought a modern flat in Chorlton and I lived ther for about three years
- I moved up to Oldham and bought my first place on my own, a semi-detached house on the unusually named Waterworks Road
- After five years I moved from there to the lovely area of Lees, still in Oldham. It is where my novel Flipside is set, the only book I’ve written about a real location. It will shortly be published as a paperback, but it is already available as an eBook
- I stayed in the beautiful bungalow in Lees for twelve years, during which time I married and we had two children
- we moved back to Weston-super-Mare and lived in my dad’s bungalow for a while
- we moved to our present home where we have been happily for nearly twenty years
I reckon that is about nineteen or twenty moves, at least – as I can’t properly remember my student accommodation! Some places I remember vividly, some I remember very fondly, a couple I don’t have happy memories of. Luckily now I am very happy where I live and the house I live in!
My featured image is of the wonderful house of which I have so many happy memories. This little black and white photo was taken while it was still being renovated, many many years ago before it became Andrew’s home.