This is Wyndham Hill, Yeovil. I was born only a few hundred yards away, and I felt a close connection with it throughout my childhood. As representing ‘nature’ or the countryside, it felt safe when I was little and reassuring later on. It hasn’t changed much, and I am still reassured.
Above is the house I grew up in – the grey one. It was a pharmacy when I lived there, though it ceased to be that in 1973, three years after I left home at the age of 21. Its value as a retail site and community resource had long been weakened by a movement of people away from the old town and the building of a ring road within the modern town rather than around it. I don’t know about the later history of the house that brought about its dereliction. Clearly the house doesn’t now evoke the sense of safety and reassurance that it once did.
By a happy chance I read some these words in a novel today, a few hours after taking the pictures. “Home is a feeling. The memory of a warm bed. The voice of your parents calling you to breakfast. Home isn’t a roof or four walls. It’s not a place at all. Maybe that’s why it’s so hard to find again once you’ve been gone too long. “*
I could end by recollecting my own inquiry insights about ‘at-homeness in the present moment ‘. But in the moment – this one – I need to find room, within that very at-homeness, for heartache and sadness about the fate of my childhood home.
* Sebastien de Castell Spellslinger 6: Crownbreaker Hot Key Books, 2019
Such a shame. It looks like such a nice little place.
Thanks Julie. It was, in it’s day.
I think many of us have fond memories of places from our childhood. I was brought up in Forest Gate, East London, a short distance from Wanstead Flats. I recall it having 4 ponds. If you were a bit more adventurous you could explore Wanstead Park, with more ponds and the River Roding.
I often find it’s the small and less famous places that are most evocative: a little copse, an old style apple orchard or brook maybe, rather than the big ones, that are more frequently visited
Thanks Keith. Hearing you say ‘a little copse’ reminds me instantly of one I used to love!