Wherever I Lay My Hat

Some people live in mansions: others live in a bed-sit above a chip shop on a busy city street. I think it’s reasonable to say that the vast majority of our fellow country folk live in so-called affordable flats or semi, perhaps detached houses in rows of streets, closes or avenues in every example and variation of designed living space and size one can possibly imagine. It’s the place we like to call home. ‘Home sweet home’. ‘Home is where the heart is’. ‘An Englishman’s home is his castle’: though I do think that this may need amending somewhat to accommodate the sensitivities of others. I’ve lived in five homes throughout my 60 years, all of which have been in the Corby borough. Some people I know have moved home many more times than that for many and varying reasons, whether it be work related or a change in family circumstance, many even move to live abroad, following the sun: the dream of the ideal retirement. Whoever we are there are two certainties. We all begin our lives under one roof and we all need a roof under which we live out our final years. It’s the latter that can cause tremendous anxiety the older one becomes and the individual circumstances of our dotage. The classic scenario is that of an elderly person, surrounded by a loving and caring family that will cater for their every comfort and need in their final years, and without doubt this happens. Yet there are millions of others for whom the picture is quite different. Those without a family who will place their being: their very existence entirely into the hands of strangers who will make decisions on their behalf. The homes they once cherished are often sold off to help cover such expenses. Then there’s the lottery of where one might end up living. What is it they say? ‘Be kind to ones children for they may one day choose ones care home’.

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