Speaking to a friend this week who is at a similar point in her life to me, we found it amusing that we knew exactly what the other meant by “home” and “home-home”. It is quite the landmark for someone in their twenties who has moved away from their parents, to eventually find somewhere which they consider to be a home. As exciting as it is, you still feel that your childhood home is your original home, your home which will always be there. And so, it becomes home-home: the principal home on which you will always rely, while others will simply come and go as life unfolds.
With all of this discussion about home-home, it dawned on me that I had not been to Aberystwyth for five months. It had not felt like such a long time, because my parents had been to visit me in Cardiff so frequently since I had moved. In addition this flat, my fourth pied-a-terre since flying the nest in 2013, is the first one that I consider to be a home and I haven’t been deprived of creature comforts here like I was in the past three places. Consequently I haven’t been counting down to the next time I could return to the comfort of my home-home. Regardless of this, five months is far too long especially when I am only a two and a half hour drive away. And so, I scuttled up the M4, contended with Mid Wales’ notoriously windy roads until I found myself at home-home, suitcase in hand.
Usually when I go home-home I avoid town, wanting to spend as much time in the house with my family as possible. This time, with so much having changed in town since I had last visited I was really keen to have a nosy at what developments and changes had taken place. The brief visit to town inevitably led to a stroll up and down the promenade and a cocktail in a bar looking over the sea. Quickly, I remembered quite why so many people love this town and never choose to leave.
Back on the farm, spending time with the horses is by far the most therapeutic form of relaxation. While winter draws closer and the temperature gradually falls, their coats are becoming fluffier and their appearance so much cuter. Due to the lack of grass in the field, they are however always a lot hungrier when they come in, and by extension a lot grumpier! That irritation quickly turns to contentedness when they hear their dinner being made up in the tack room.
Sunday night means leaving home-home to go back…home. I certainly will not be leaving it five months again before I return.