I've lived in Walthamstow all my life, apart from when I was away at university and the year after I was at university, and actually I spent quite a lot of that year at home which with having one car after another (I lived back at home in-between cars, and somehow during the course of the year went from my first car to my third car, but that's another story)
We've also always lived in the same house. I've had the same bedroom all my life, at various points I've shared it with either Bekki or HP, but I don't think I've ever had the boxroom as my bedroom. Sure, I've slept in it, think I've slept in most of the rooms in the house, but that's not the point. Actually I've forgotten what the point was, lets start a new paragraph and see what happens.
Walthamstow is famous for a number of reasons (or should that be infamous?). Apparently the market is the longest street market in Europe. I love wandering down the market, feeling the atmosphere and being surrounded by people from many different countries and cities across the world.
Walthamstow has the post code E17 (the E stands for east) and as such is the origins of the band East 17. I'm not sure people know who they are if you talk about them now, but they were famous enough when I was growing up that people in my class at school would be excited if they'd seen them out and about (I might have got excited had I had a clue of what they looked like and therefore able to identify if I had seen them).
When we went on holiday to a tiny little town\village\hamlet (can't remember what it called itself) people knew exactly where we were from because we could tell them 'yes, we live just round the corner from one of the terrorist's houses that was raided at the weekend' - those were there raids that are now known as the failed London bombings and would have come a year after the London bombings on the tube. I'm not saying I'm proud of living round the corner from a potential terrorist, I'm just saying that although that's what Walthamstow can be like, it's also the place that is home for me.
I guess as I'm looking to move to another country, another city, another world, I'm looking around me and realising again just what makes London home for me. My parents moved to London when they were married as that's where my Dad was working at the time. I don't think they ever envisioned staying in London this long, yet here we are still, and they've raised three Londoners! I think Bekki is happy to live other places (at the moment she's in Cambridge) and I have been for certain periods of time, but somehow I've always wanted to come home. Growing up in London creates certain expectations of things like public transport -I know when I was living in a little village (GC) and my car died, I actually felt trapped, not able to escape easily if I had wanted to.
It'll be interesting to see what going to the States does to my sense of being a Londoner and belonging here. Watch this space...
(Now that I've clicked publish I realise there are so many things about Walthamstow that I haven't talked about. maybe I'll write some more about it in another post. In the meantime what do you feel about where you live? Is it just for a season, or is it home? How does somewhere begin to feel like home? Let me know what you think, pretty please :-) )