First of all I have to start by telling you that this isn't an ordinary house in the middle of an ordinary street. This is the best house in the middle of the best street in the entire universe. With a touch of Wisteria Lane (Desperate Housewives) where everyone knows everything about everyone and a sprinkling of the Brady Bunch, we really are like one big family. Everyone actually cares for each other. We walk to Church together on Christmas day. We have a group Italian class held at each other's house each week, fuelled by alcohol of course. My parents hold an annual Christmas Eve charades party. We go on New Years Day walks together without fail. We even have street parties at every opportunity possible. It is incredibly rare to find a community like this, especially on the outskirts of London.
My parents have lived in this house since I was two years old. I lived at home during my university years. I totally blame my parents for my serious case of attachment. Our home life was idyllic, why would I want to be anywhere else. Growing up all of my friends wanted to live in our street, my husband practically moved in when we first started dating. The street is like a magnet drawing in every mortal.
As a child, I used to think grown ups were very weird crying at anything and everything. I found it baffling that my mum and auntie would cry during happy scenes in a film and at weddings. With age, I finally get it. Our brains are peculiar little creatures. It has been three months of constant tears for my mum and I. My dad and brother don't seem to care quite so much, or they are hiding it very well. They are preoccupied with making sure there is wifi and phone reception at the new house before the exchange.
As moving day hit us I spent a while walking around the empty house and I couldn't help but feel heartbroken to leave behind the larder door with my family and friends heights scrawled all over the inside of it. The memories came flooding back and boom...more tears. Am I ridiculous to be crying about a house that I haven't lived in for 8 years?
With Christmas around the corner I can tell that it is going to be the hardest time of all. To not have our annual Christmas Eve party at mum and dad's house with the whole street is going to be tough for everyone. It literally feels as if there has been a loss in the family. It may seem ridiculous to some but the "feels" are real. It's the memories, the change and the upheaval we have watched our parents go through. Literally three full days of removal men...my goodness!
Eight years ago when I first left home I only moved five doors down from my parents house. I have had eight years of homing bliss. If I need a lift to the station, "Of course, when?". If I needed my dog to be looked after, "Lovely, shall I come and get her?". If I had run out of quinoa, "Your brother will be over with some in a minute". They would even swing by with a cocktail every so often. My life was pretty cushy up until last week. In reality I think my tears are primarily symbolising the fear of losing my Princess lifestyle rather than losing my childhood home.
...by the way, my parents have actually only moved a five minutes walk away.
Top Tips For Dealing With The Move:
•Take lots of photos but don't look at the them until the wounds have healed.
•Take a guided tour of your house and film it...again, wait for those wounds to heal before watching.
•Keep busy so you have no time to be sad.
•Allow yourself to have a BIG cry. Mum and I spent a solid hour crying one afternoon.
To read more of Megan's work head on over to her blog.