So only four days to go and here is my final push!!
I realised a while ago I was putting off one of my challenges ( that should have been relatively easy to achieve ) and that challenge was this one! I always knew that in doing this I would dredge up a cornucopia of emotions but in the spirit of many of my other challenges I also wanted to do this so I could celebrate/put to rest what came up. The act of blogging itself is very cathartic as it makes you think and then articulate what you are experiencing… Thus giving them form and a whole new dimension; I think I now understand why people keep diaries. Bearing that all in mind, come and join me in an indulgent trip down my memory lane….
Leicester Road, Shepway, Maidstone (birth-11). I was born in the room at the front, top right ( in the photo) on August 15th 1966. I absolutely loved living here and my happiest childhood memories all come from here. We Celebrated the Queens Silver Jubilee with a street party, the neighbours were lovely, hoards of children with obscure nicknames played for hours in the road or over the field behind us, we went en masse to discos in the sausage hut on Shepway Green and I spent my pocket money on mix-ups ( this one cost 50p…scandalous). Our garden was ALL vegetables at the front with a formal rose garden at the side and filled with dahlias and chrysanthemums in the summer, we had pets galore (whippet, rabbits, polecats and ferrets). When I visited here, I won’t lie..I cried with joy and felt blessed at what an amazing childhood I had…..associated song = Bye Bye Baby…the amazing Bay City Rollers
Sycamore Crescent, Allington, Maidstone (11-15) Conversely this was the unhappiest house I ever lived in. Whilst the house itself was lovely, full of original features and the garden was double the size it is now, due to another house being squeezed in, our home life mirrored my teenage years….full of angst, awkward and emotionally volatile. Allington was snobby and boring and I remember feeling just so terribly lonely. I cried for a different reason when I revisited here. Associated song = Israelites….Desmond Dekker
Cranborne Avenue, Maidstone (15-21) This was a beautiful house and I was devasted that when Mum moved out the new owners instantly ripped out the windows and original features which in my view ruined the house. I loved life here as I joined the YMCA ( where I spent a ridiculous amount of time and luckily for me met Chris), became a local at The Mottley Hall pub, enjoyed being with Mum and Dad who had retired and partied 1980’s style, which included my rather messy 18th birthday and mum very kindly redecorating my bedroom as a result 😝..associated song = Careless Whispers…Wham
Hartnup Street, Maidstone (21-25) HAPPY, HAPPY, HAPPY. Mine and Chris’ first home ❤️. The first night we slept here together was our wedding night…..how old fashioned is that?? But it was so special. The house had dreadful decor but we just did not care…great parties ensued, we had lovely neighbours, Matt was born and at last my own garden to dabble in….It was wonderful to come back as it still looked fairly similar….although they have ruined the road by putting ugly and innapropriate apartments in. Also happy to find The Fox pub still there and open…(I needed some sustenance by this stage)…. Associated song = Simply the Best…Tina Turner
Greenside, Maidstone (25-30) Probably the best family home you could wish for. The garden was amazing, it had a pond ( we turned into a sandpit and back again), trees to climb on, room for a large climbing frame….how we loved and used that garden. Kate was born whilst we were her and the house was full of love, laughter and joy. It was also so close to Mote Park and the Mote Squash Club we we were fortunate to have more good neighbours. We even considered buying it back a few years ago ( hoping they had decorated as we certainly did not!!) The saddest day was the day we left. Associated song = Rosie and Jim TV theme music LOL!!
St Luke’s Avenue, Maidstone (30-44) I have such mixed feeling about this house as whilst it was a great family home and we made amazing friends; it was also however a problem house structurally and together with the years of concern over the dodgy neighbour and the children’s personal safety….in the end I was over ready to leave. On balance though it suited our needs at the time and I was so pleased to find that the new owners had kept all the trees…it was like a wildlife oasis in the middle of the county town of Kent. So many milestones took place there; it was Quella’s home (and a menagerie of other pets too), we celebrated the turn of the century, my graduation, both Matt and Kate’s 18th birthdays, summer parties, the beginnings of the gatherings of the Davis clan, toasted marshmallows on the fire and awoke elated on numerous Christmas mornings, boyfriends and girlfriends a house always full…to name a few. Plus it had a garden I simply adored. These are the memories I now choose to focus on. Associated song = Spice up Your Life……Spice Girls
Bethersden Road, Woodchurch (44-present) We so love living in Woodchurch and being more rural ( but I will always have an affinity with Maidstone, My birthplace). This is such a happy and sociable home. We particularly love it that when Iyla comes to stay she tells us it is her home too…no grandparents could wish for more. We hope that Lara and future grandchildren feel the same too, and can’t wait to fill our stay here with as many joyful memories as is possible with all our friends and family….AND ‘maybe’ plant more trees (if Chris will let me…..he says a friend told him planting trees is an optimists game….so I keep on planting 😄) associated song = Dakota….Stereophonics
Well done if you have lasted this long as I think this might be my longest blog….it certainly was a tiring and emotionally draining challenge for me. Yet I feel I have put things in order, reflected and can let go of some problems that were niggling me and rejoice in the knowledge that the journey I took today reflects the one that got me to where I am and who I am now.
I realised these keys things….that the outdoor space has been by far the more important and memorable part of every house I have lived in and …… it’s not the size or condition of a house that matters but the home and memories you make within it…..profound huh?