Not one person in the whole of the human race could survive without the help of that one special place where you can escape from the rest of the world and hide.
For some people it is simply “home sweet home.” For others it’s a favourite place in the park.
For me, it is home. But sometimes just home isn’t enough.
Growing up, as one of 6 children can take its toll. And I ain’t kidding. When I needed a place to hide, not even my bedroom was good enough. Over the last 15 years in this house I have managed to discover 5 secret places, which no-one else really knows about!
The first one, discovered from a very young age, was the wardrobe in my bedroom. Although these days it can be a struggle to fit and I have to clear out half of the stuff in it before I can clamber in, it was the only place as a child I felt safe from the world.
It was pitch dark. Warm. And the smell of old, fur coats and bridesmaid dresses from weddings gone by would bring back fond memories.
The best part about the wardrobe was that I could imagine it would lead me to Narnia. I could sit in the dark for hours imaging what would happen if the wall I was leaning on disappeared and I would suddenly be laying flat on the ground next to a big, fluffy lion who I would ride to school every day. Suffice to say that dream never came true.
The next place is “The Club Skittles Hide-Out.” Club Skittles was a high profile club. For … me and my two younger siblings. We originally created the club as a way to ensure that each weekend we could hold a meeting and decide which games we would play that weekend; Time was of the essence and we all knew how vital it was we made the most of our younger years.
When summers approached meetings moved from the dining room to the Hide-Out. This hide-out, discovered by our dog, was in a bush. The bush was very dense on the outside, but practically hollow within. We made a door, that could be opened by pushing a branch to one side and we even moved little plastic chairs in. I continued to go in there long after Club Skittles had died.
My most recent seat is the old deck chair next to the pool. This time of year (e.g. when it is freezing) I sit on it wrapped up in a big coat and look up at my house. This is the last winter I will ever spend in my house and I’d forgotten how special and magnificent it is.
The last two are my favourites.
One is… the toilet at the back of the house on the second floor, in my mum & dad’s bedroom. As odd as this sound’s… it’s the warmest place in the house. The curtains are orange and the walls are yellow. There are orange and brown tiles next to the sink and the towels are always pretty colours and my favourite thing about it is that it smells like almonds. It reminds me of being younger and going to my Mummy’s bed, just so she could get me a drink or so I got to go to the toilet in her one.
My final one is between 2 trees that mark the gateway from the vegetable patch into the secret garden where the fountain sits and the old, concrete urns. I like it here for one reason and one alone and that is: nobody can see me. Not if I sit perfectly between the trunks of the two trees. Somehow I become completely invisible. And I love it.
Obviously 15 years in one house means I have grown to know it better than the back of my hand. However, the recent threat of having to move house poses huge threat to me and havens. I think that’s a vital part of growing up, letting go of your childhood. It’s the part none of us want to do, some of us never do manage to do it. Some of us pretend we haven’t done it, but we really have. And some of us pretend we did it years ago, but deep down we’re still struggling.
I know, sometimes it doesn’t feel necessary to have to let go of your childhood, but if we didn’t move on, how would we ever find… love? Friends? A job? You just wouldn’t grow up!
It is sad. And just because you let things go, doesn’t mean you have to forget.
Summer times, Funner times,
Teddy bears and daisies.
Football games and choo choo trains,
Jam sandwiches and raisins.