They say that home is where the heart is but I wonder if that’s entirely true. There are five places other than where I’ve lived for the past 60 years that still have a special place in my heart for very different reasons but with one common denominator: I’d loved to have lived there and may still. I even think of them in order of preference: 1. Vancouver in British Columbia, Canada 2. Bournemouth 3. The Isle of Mull off the west coast of Scotland 4. Almost anywhere in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, France, and finally 5. New York City. This is not to say that I’m disenchanted with my childhood borough, it’s just that there’s still a wondering spirit inside that wants to make it happen.
Though of course not everyone freely admits to feeling this way, for some perhaps there’s a kind of secret hankering: a yearning maybe for what might have been. There are others that are free spirits for whom anywhere is home at a moments notice. The proximity of family and lifelong friendships often dictates the places where the majority of people feel secure and most at home. It’s true to say that the grass on the other side is not always greener as one might suspect. There have been many examples of folk moving simply to follow the sun: live the life of ever long holidays on some Spanish or Greek island, only to find that the dream didn’t live up to expectations. Perhaps there should be such a thing as the ‘the second coming of the male menopause’, (my sports car was in the first), but if it doesn’t already exist, then not only have I just invented it, I’m seriously considering living it. Therefore if you see a sixty year old in a 60’s camper van heading out of Corby via Gretton with ‘Vancouver here we come via Bournemouth, Mull, Nice and NYC’ on the back bumper then you’ll know who it is.