Wednesday 24 October 2007

Chez Crushed- Where the Heart Is

It's a strange fact that a sense of home is hard to come by.
Having a sense of a place which is yours, your cave, your castle, your domain, is perhaps one of the warmest, cosiest feelings you can have.

At home, you can just be you.
The varying acts you have to play day in, day out, can be put to rest. Here you can think what you like, say what you like, do what you like.

It's not as easy to get that as you think. You don't really have a home as a child- you occupy a room at your parents house, and you don't even have privacy there. I kind of had two homes, I had a room at my parents and one at my grandmothers and as a teenager, I often went to stay my grandmother. As soon as I left for University, the room I had occupied at my parents was transferred to my brother.

Our house at university DID feel like home- it was a house we shared as equals, and since the absence of a TV or stereo in the living room meant my room became the real living room, I felt at home in that house in a way I'd never felt before.

Other people went home in the holidays. I left home in the holidays to visit my parents.

As an adult, I've lived in several places. None of them felt like home. When I lived on my own, I never unpacked half the stuff, never purchased a lot of things homes tend to have, such as washing machines, coffee tables etc.
On the other hand, living with someone else never felt like home either. Sure, the place LOOKED like A home- just not mine.

I would be allowed half of the bedroom and the spare room as my playroom, whilst the living room was turned into something out of a Home Improvements show.
Never a room you felt was YOURS.

Yet now I guess, I've finally settled. This is MY home and it looks like a home. It IS a home. My castle, my cave, my grotto. Chez Crushed.

Our little comfort area. Against the wall is my CD collection, my pride and joy. The gaps are due to the tendency of CDs to form in towers on top of the stereo itself. I won't allow my flatmate to put hers on it- she can keep them in her room. I'm not having Meatloaf and Cascada sitting with my CDs. Period.
The ornaments are hers, though.

I do read a lot. There are two other bookcases in the flat as well, and I'm under a ban from my flatmate on buying any more- we don't have much more room on the shelves.
If you look closely, you will see Marx and Nietzche on the shelves- but also the Bible, the Koran and even the Complete works of Darwin. There is some Sci-fi/fantasy, but it's mainly non-fiction.

You can't see on this picture, because I couldn't fit it in, but there is a replica Icon of the Madonna and Child to the right above the fireplace.

This is Cedric, who I may have mentioned before. He's come pretty much everywhere with me. For some reason, every girlfriend I've ever had has hated him and he has ended up banished from display.
He has been called 'Manky Monkey', 'Scary Teddy', 'Freaky Hippo', to name but a few.

I am sorry to say I never stood his ground when he was banished to spare rooms, or the backs of cupboards.
But his loyalty has been unstinting, so I have decided now, any future Mrs Crushed is going to have to get along with Cedric.

But home can have wider meanings too, I guess. There will always be a place I can go, where everybody knows my name, where I have been a loyal customer for as long as anyone can remember.

Yeah, I feel at home here too!
My local (well it ISN'T that local really, it's not my nearest pub, but certainly my dearest), as good an old fashioned British spit and sawdust workingman's pub as you can get.
Here too, I can just be me.
(The landlord of the pub in the picture, not a happy chappie that day, West Bromwich Albion AND the bookies let him down again....)

I guess I don't ask for a lot, really.

But knowing you have a place where you belong is gold dust.


Anonymous said...

Comfy digs, Crushed, I've been thinking about sharing my homestead, since I've battened the hatches for winter (read that put up storm doors and windows and heavy drapes and moved our bedroom to the bedroom off the heated living room instead of the breezy back bedroom).

Anonymous said...

Much neater than my place!

I have never properly lived on my own but I'd like to - my current flatmate is a scruffy b*stard!

Anonymous said...

I agree. There is NO place like home. What does Cedric think of being banished everytime there is a woman in your life? He may be plotting to get his own back. The next one may pay for the previous ones. Beware of the mighty Cedric.

Home is the only place where we can be ourselves.

Anonymous said...

So can i borrow your book?
Coz you have a lot of books dude.

Anonymous said...

hey this was a cool post. Yep, we have to have a place of sanctuary where we can throw the mask on the table and put our feet up on the couch.

I'm a big believer in sticking photos up around the house first thing. Once the photos are up - it feels like home.

Anonymous said...

Interesting post Crushed, rather a surprise in some ways. You have made your own nest there. Maybe when you find "the One" you'll have to buy next door so you each can have your own retreat. "The One" will also think that Cedric is just part of who you are, although she might roll her eyes indulgently about him.

As one who has her books two or even three rows deep in the bookshelves I'd say there is quite a bit of room there for more books.

Anonymous said...

Helen- I prefer sharing, because I don't like being on my own at all. But I also like to feel at home in my own home.

My flatmate has started to ask about when the heating can go on...

Ed- Which is why I recommend against sharing with other males. A home needs balance- two males just accrue empty cans.

Alexys- He is very forgiving, he's a wise sort. Vengeance is beneath him, I think. He rarely says anything anyway, just sits looking wise.

Twins- It depends which one you want. there are some I always keep near me, in case I need to refer to them. Though in those cases, the full texts ARE online also.

Betty- I have a few antique maps around the place- my flatmate's bedroom is the place to for the photo gallery.

Sanctuary is a good term- yes, that's what it is.

jmb- The flat opposite is home to an exotic dancer...
But yes, you do kind of think on the lines I guess would work best.

There probably is room for more books. I think she gets annoyed at their piling up under the coffee table.

Anonymous said...

I am in my eleventh dwelling place in the last 15 years....been here about a year...

Anonymous said...

Great post..home is where ever your heart heart is not often where i live but else where

Anonymous said...

I Have to admit that I has a few misgivings about coming to this place. Scary Monster left me a note with the names of a few bloggers who he thought I might like and next to your name was written "He thinks He's English" This put me off and I didn't know what to make of it until now. The pen probably didn't take to the paper well and what he must have written was "He thinks. He's English"
That little dot makes all the difference and I agree with the monster's opinion.STOMP.

Anonymous said...

Very good post. It's nice to see your home. Cedric has an interesting expression; it's sort of saying to me, "It's not my fault... I dunno.." or 'Not again'... ;- )

Anonymous said...

looks like a cozy place. I have been out on my own since I was 18 years old! I love my house. I bought it 13 years ago.

Anonymous said...

Totally agree, Crushed. The hardest few weeks I spent here were at the beginning when I was waiting for all my possessions to arrive by sea. I felt strangely adrift. I love Cedric and am glad you are going to stand up for him now!

Anonymous said...

Mutley- I just re-signed the lease here, I'm cosy here, really. Nice little location, just the right size really.
I'm sick of always moving around.

Sally- I think it IS important to have territory where you really feel completely at ease, and has your stamp on it.

Punny- I'm actually not that English, in blood terms. I tend to opt for Irish as a descrption of my ethnicity, but my mother is actually Swedish.
Thee are those who say I think too much...

Eve- I think it is the expression that puts people off him. Sideways on, it look quite accusing- as if he's watching you and weighing you up.

Poody- It is a cozy place. It's quite compact, but that's good, weekly cleaning takes the pair of us 45 minutes. We have a shop nextdoor and two pubs within a two minute walk. What more can you ask for?

Welshcakes- When me moved in here, it was quite nervewracking, because we actually got a mate with a van and we pretty much just dumped most of the furniture in the living room. I remember sitting on the sofa amidst the junk, wondering where it would all go, and then my phone rang. I couldn't get to it, the amount of stuff in the way.
That kind of motivated me into starting on the task, even though I was supposed to wait for my flatmate to get back.

In fact, I did most of it in an hour.

Anonymous said...

What do you think of West Brom?