Been thinking about the place we call home and the question: is it where we were born ? Is it where you grew up ? Is the house you make your own ? My instant feeling  is -it’s my house now. I feel it is always there for me, is my silent, reliable supporter. Specially when I’m coming home from far away, I say ‘Hello house, and have it reply ‘Hello there’.  And meeting up with Max the dog again, my house mate. My partner used to quote the lines of an old song: ‘Home is where the heart is, where the heart is, that’s where home is’…. Memories of previous houses echo in my mind, a bit faded and remote, without the vivid colours of now. Yet the previous houses reside in my imagination, and make the shapes of what I like now in a house, so they haven’t really gone away. Reckon that the style I favour for my house is a direct inheritance from my childhood home – sort of ‘arty clutter’. I marvel at minimalist white interiors with one tasteful chair, for their spacious ambience. And can’t imagine living there, feeling cosy. Maxoncarpethouse1 I used to know a Czech couple, Ivana and Jeremy, who fled Czechoslovakia after the Russian invasion of their country. They lived first in Canada, then Germany, where I went to visit them. Together we watched an American film on t.v., dubbed into German, which Ivana translated in to English for me. As refugees, they needed to learn English and German, whereas I only speak English. They said how, after 20 years or so away from Czechoslovakia, they felt like strangers wherever they lived. ‘Foreign’ on return visits to ‘as was’ Czechoslovakia, ‘foreign’ in Canada and Germany. I think they found home in each other, a tightly knit world of two.
Onto backwards in time travel, via the film ‘Ginger Gingerclearand Rosa’, 2012, a film directed by Sally Potter. The story centres around two young women, who’ve known each other as babies and are best friends. Also around Ginger’s parents and their relationship. It is set in the late 60’s, and casts a cool eye on how Ginger’s parents behave, in terms of the ’60’s values’. Ginger and Rosa as older teenagers have freedom to party, experiment with sex, supported by Ginger’s father, challenged by Ginger’s mother. Ginger joins CND and Ginger’s father starts a sexual relationship with Rosa. I remember being in CND and caring a lot about the Bomb. I remember thinking that I ought to be less hung up about social rules, and believing that men and women were equal. Looking through contemporary eyes, you see a narrative in which men are dominant, women’s identity is defined by pleasing men, and parents act like children, leaving their children unprotected and having to find their own way, bleakly. Its an unnerving portrait of that time, powerful and compassionate.
Onto a quirky observation – beware of lemon meringue pie – overheard in the pharmacy the other day : ‘She’s allergic to lemon meringue pie. I could see that her cheeks were swelling up, she wouldn’t stop eating it. After twenty minutes she looked like a hamster’. The antidote apparently is a lemon sherbet sweet. I know allergies can be serious, but I could see this story as I heard it.. lemonpie 1 lemonpie2lemonpie3