All posts tagged: home

London Haunts | Harrow on the Hill

I’ve been visiting Harrow on the Hill for my entire life. In fact, it’s such a seamless part of my everyday landscape that I don’t know if ‘visiting’ is quite the word. My aunt and uncle live in a gorgeous house teetering on the edge of the hill and my grandmother grew up here, first in a flat above the newspaper shop her father owned and later packed into a terraced house with her four sisters beside the green. I still like to stroll by whenever I find myself nearby. My great-grandparents Claude and Alice are commemorated in small, chalky plaques in the graveyard at the crest of the hill and I like to visit them sometimes although they died before I was born. It’s funny how you can feel a sincere connection to those who share your blood and bone, isn’t it? Even when you never laid eyes upon each other, never heard the sound of their voice, never experienced the smell of their embrace or knew how they liked to spend a Sunday afternoon. I digress. Harrow on the …

Home Sweet Home

Lately, I have been thinking a fair amount about home. Sitting on the tube – homewards, homebound – I hold the word on my tongue, roll its four letters over and over until its edges are smoothed, like a pebble, its gradients familiar and known. I’ve been thinking about the notion of it, the way the word represents both an abstract concept and a wholly tangible and concrete preoccupation – something easily translated into feelings and objects we can see and touch and use. When I think of home, I think of the white banister curling its way up the stairs. I think of my mother’s coffee cakes washed down with steaming mugs of tea, aubergine auflauf baking in the oven, the cream-coloured roses that overrun the pagoda in summertime. I think of the way it feels to lie in the garden, face down in the grass, sealed off from the outside world – the only reminder, the buzz of the lawnmower from a neighbouring garden and the low rumble of tube trains clattering down …