Since I lost my Mum in December 2010, and soon after my childhood home, the idea of 'home' has been a moveable one.
My eldest son F has lived in seven houses, in Scotland, England and China in his 5 years so my own little family has moved a lot. This has never been a big problem for us, lots of upheaval for sure, but we have a fairly flexible attitude towards our living spaces and we enjoy change.
My Mum's house always seemed like an anchor though, unchangeable and always warm and comforting. Full of people, music and good conversation. Her house now belongs to my Dad and sits empty, unloved and for sale. I wish there was another family dancing and laughing there.
I found being around that area very hard, as I wrote about last year here, but I think I'm ready to go back to these much loved places again.
So where is home now? I instinctively say we're going 'home' to Edinburgh but that's not where I grew up. As a couple we lived there for 4 years while we were studying, we got married there and there's no city we like better. My husband grew up in England but when we lived there and returned to Scotland to visit, we both instantly felt relieved as we crossed the border. It's always been Scotland for us.
There's another reason that makes the pull of 'home' so strong though, Edinburgh is home to not just one but both of my beautiful, kind, funny younger sisters. The super-aunts, the confidants, the greatest sisters a girl could ask for. For the first time since we all left home, they are living in the same place so like a magnet I am drawn to be there too.
When we told my youngest sister H that we were returning she was very excited and said to my son, "Oh F I can see you every day". F replied patiently, "Not every day Auntie H, sometimes we might be busy".
My sisters are busy girls with their own lives, jobs and friends but having them back in our own regular, normal life is immensely exciting. It's a cliché but one not without meaning, I think home really is where the heart is. Girls, this cheesy old song is for you. See you soon!