Since arriving back in the UK and when asked about my trips, I’ve said to people that I will be going home shortly, meaning back to the Falklands. When we started this adventure I never thought we would both begin to regard Kent Road as our home but thats where I find myself today. I miss my yellow home with its amazing views. I miss my friends and I miss the lack of traffic jams!
So, where’s home now? When I arrived back to London I met three of my neighbours who all chatted and we shared some interesting moments. With one I had a tear, the other two an absurd conversation, but the thing that will always stand out for me is the laughter and warmth I experienced. It was like them putting their arms around me and embracing me back into the Crescent. An amazing feeling that I’m privileged to experience.
In the Falklands many of the people I know are incomers; there to do a particular task or to complete a contract term. Some like me, are trailing spouses and have plenty of time to do new and interesting things. We’ve tended to gravitate to each other as we form clubs and groups. I love the ‘Stitch and Bitch’ group which meets every week. Its a lot less about bitching and more about friendship and community. I’ve met some amazing women. We meet ostensibly to do some crafting but mostly its to drink coffee, chat, share and support each other.
Another group is the quilters. I have been granted temporary membership mainly because I won’t be in the islands for too long and because I joined when most people are out of the country enjoying the sun. Its unknown if I will be allowed to stay on into October and November but I don’t mind as I’ve now met these fabulous women who otherwise I wouldn’t have met. This group includes a number of people who are living more permanently on the islands. In this group we meet to do quilting and to help each other with projects. They are truly awesome sewers and I’ve been inspired and learnt loads.
I was never really a group person always favouring one to one conversations rather than a party or larger meeting. Whilst most people laugh at this, I am shy, yes really shy and find groups intimidating. But, these groups help me to step out into a new way of interacting and I love it. I love the stories, friendship, support and kindness of people who were initially strangers to me.
I feel very privileged and know these groups will continue long after I’ve left the islands. So is home something we carry inside us? Is it somewhere we have our things surrounding us? A place we can keep untidy if we feel like it? Somewhere we find aesthetically pleasing? Somewhere we can be creative? Is it just anyplace me and John can be together? Or, is home a place I can be myself?