I’ve never been to sentimental about places that I’ve lived. Given that I tend to start feeling at home in a hotel room after a few days on holiday it’s difficult to feel anything that does so little to earn its place in my affections could be missed.
But now I have a child I am overly sentimental about everything, to the point of stomach churning annoyance. And this is the first place he called home, this is the place he was a tiny baby. And let’s not make anyone sick at the thought of it, but I’m pretty sure he was made in the flat.
I did live here for a long time. I’ve averaged (modal average speaking) about a year at most of my residences since leaving home. Whether it be a poor choice of girlfriend, a poor choice of flat or parole – not many places have stuck. And then I’ve gone lived here for four-and-a-half years.
But, no, no, no: I don’t feel that sad about leaving. Main reason: I can’t watch one channel and record another on Sky because it’s a flat.
That said I will miss having two bathrooms. Maybe I will miss it.
I won’t miss the fucking neighbours from the upstairs flat loudly having a night in (once a month, I know). I won’t miss the fucking alarm at Fallowfield Library going off for hours. I won’t miss the scrotes on their quad bikes tearing around in the summer. I won’t miss the wifi barely getting to the bedroom because of all the metal in the walls.
I will miss the first place that was a home since I was a child. I will miss having my own bathroom and never having to wait for the toilet. I will miss having a balcony outside my living room. I will miss knowing I am in the same building where my son’s first smile happened, where his first laughs lightened my existence and where he started to make large terrifyingly stinky poohs rather than baby ones.
I won’t miss people never being able to find it or the address not being in half of the internet things where it looks addresses up for you.
I will miss being able to be in the room where I first held him tightly when he cried and sang Elbow songs (rather a grandiose description of repeatedly doing the wooooooaaaaahhhh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-o-ohhhhhhh fromt the beginning of Grounds for Divorce) to get him to sleep.
I will miss the backdrop to about 5000 photos I have taken of him.
And as much as I will miss all of these things, and did a little tear emit when I was spending my last moments in the flat thinking about them, they are all about Woody and me and his mum – not about this flat. But it was an alright stage for a while.
For I’m the type of boy who is always on the roam
Wherever I lay my hat that’s my home
I’m telling you that’s my home
(Gaye, Strong, Whitfield)