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Our current home is the longest I have ever lived ever in one house. 10 years in fact. It is also the 18th home I have ever lived in including bedsits, and shared flats.

Mum and Dad moved frequently when we were very young and they themselves rarely stayed in one house for more than 8 years. I don’t know why we have always been so restless as a family. Our Grandparents tended to stay in the same area for a longer period of time but would move house. Mum has currently been in her home for more than 25years, so perhaps it was Dad’s side of the family who were more inclined to wander.

I love our home, it’s position, the changes we have made, and yet I feel restless. It has to be said this is not a decision we are coming to easily but has more to do with the thoughtless behaviour of our neighbours at times – in fact too often. Admittedly the converted house we share was never designed to be turned into flats, and as much as we have tried to soundproof some of the rooms, there are too many occasions when we are subjected to shouting and swearing, thumping, banging and dogs barking.

I am loathe to move but I’m not sure I can stay.

However I am thankful to have a roof over my head that is unlikely to flood or to be bombed. I can’t honestly imagine how awful it must be to suddenly lose everything.

And I must remember this when I get irritated that the toilet flush upstairs gets stuck and resonates in our kitchen and bedroom with a Thump (pause) thump thump thump thump. I should be grateful that I can’t use one of our parking spaces because of inconsiderate parking. I mustn’t grumble that they do absolutely nothing to reduce reuse or recycle, and insist on playing video games too loud and for too long.

Modern living is stressful. The sudden influx of homes in our home town is extraordinary, and I am trying to welcome change. I only hope we can all live harmoniously and recognise the need for some privacy and solitude at times. It doesn’t take much to ‘love thy neighbour’ – patience, respect, understanding and a smile.

Home – a poem

Home is where the heart is

isn’t that what they say?

But now my heart is breaking

since you’ve gone away.

You said that we could be as one

My heart was in your hands,

The roof has caved since you’ve been gone

Foundations lost in sands.

I’ll make my home where’er I go

No matter where I stop

You will not hold me to your soul

Such pain’s not worth the cost.

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