Tuesday, 3 July 2007


I feel in a bit of a whirl at the moment. Keep forgetting important things (best friend's birthday present being the worst) but also not feeling on top of emails, bills, letters, blogging... I need a day to go through paperwork, filing, all that sort of stuff that makes you feel in control. No time for that now, sadly, I am just going to have to get through the move and hope to mop it all up afterwards, famous last words...

It's my son's 5th birthday tomorrow. Of course, being a sentimental old fool, I am thinking a lot about the day he was born, in 2002. It was the most perfect birth, quick and easy, right in the middle of our bed. I was listening to Moon Safari by Air (yes - just like Sadie in Any Way You Want Me) and every time I hear that album now, I get the shivers. I felt so in control the whole time, really primitive and powerful, if that doesn't sound too loopy. And then there he was, my son, all eight and a half pounds of him, so gorgeous and perfect and... Sorry. Getting carried away. But ooh, I'm dead proud of him.

In between packing boxes and writing our school appeal letter (gaahhhh) I am reading this - Home by Julie Myerson. It's about her house in Clapham, and her researching everyone who ever lived there. It is absolutely perfect reading for me right now - tuning into all those home-feelings I'm having. It starts with her coming back from the library and telling her daughter how she's just found out the names of the people who first lived in the house. There's this great scene where her daughter ponders about how long it's been since anyone called their names in the house - "Florence! Tea!" etc - and the two of them stand in the house calling out the original residents' names. I just love that idea. She also writes about how the way that an old house has echoes of all those who have lived in it. She describes pacing up and down with a baby, "knees caving in with exhaustion", trying to soothe it back to sleep - and thinking about the countless other people who have done the same thing within those walls, paced the same rooms, murmured the same things to grizzling babies, how everything you do in a house like that has been done before... Oh, I'm just drinking it in, I love thinking about that!


Kate.Kingsley said...

Sound exactly like me the last time I moved house ~ the brain can only cope with so much I reckon!

Thanks for the heads up on "Home", sounds facinating & I really fancy reading it. I am currently living in the house which my grandparents lived in, and where my mother was born. Shortly after we moved in we got an unexpected bundle of documents from the solicitors going right back to the original owners, and I had a similar idea for a book exploring the history of all the previous inhabitants ~ maybe one day!

Hope your son has a wonderful birthday, I'm sure he will!

JJ said...

I've got "Home" in my to be read pile so maybe that'll be next. I love Julie Myerson's books.

It's odd how on children's birthdays we think mostly of them. On my son's first birthday my Mum sent ME a bouquet of flowers with a little note saying 'I'm thinking of you and what you did a year ago today' and I was so touched because I had a traumatic birth with him, and that was all I was thinking about. It made me feel hugged for my achievement.

Keris said...

I *adored* Home. I didn't want it to end.

Good luck with the move! :)

(JJ, that's so nice - I had a traumatic birth too and on my son's 3rd birthday last week, my MIL said she didn't know what I was going on about because having teeth out was worse than giving birth. Gah.)

Lucy Diamond said...

Hi Kate - wow, how brilliant about your house. So nice that your mum was born there - I love that sort of a connection with a place.

Hi JJ - how thoughtful of your mum. (Everyone should be hugged for the achievement of giving birth. Such a monumental thing to do!)

Hello Keris - I'm glad you liked Home too. There are some really sniffy reviews on Amazon, I was dead surprised. We know better though...!

Caroline said...

Home is now on my Amazon wish list. I'm off on holiday next week, so I may well order it early.

I understand the having a child and thinking back. I don't want the memories to fade and I think recall brings them back into focus. When I hear of people giving birth I shiver and I remember.


Clare said...

Ooh ooh ooh, I wanna read that too!

Our house as 130 years old and I've done similar research and had similar thoughts. There's also a great story about finding love letters in a fireplace which I've been meaning to blog for ages...