On this Page you will soon find some of the Writing Home pieces which were presented in the meetup on Saturday 6th October. More may follow. Other Bath Writers & Artists subscribers are also welcome to submit their own pieces ( 200 words max ) to be added to this Page on the blog. I’m starting with a piece I would love to have been ‘allowed’ to sneak into the concert!
Sue Boyle: from The Venice Book
Who but an exile can ever truly imagine the over-riding power of the homesickness? That longing for a place where the heart has felt at home; that place which can never be dislodged from the core of self; that garden of eden to which the exiled spirit knows it once belonged and in which it believes it would again find peace. I have met people who remember their childhoods in the lost cities of other continents. They speak of their longing as though nothing in life would ever reconcile them to their loss. You see them sometimes, framed in high rise windows, or lined up on desolate shorelines, as still as if they had been turned by the Medusa’s head of misery to stone, gazing in the direction where they imagine their cities must have been. We have all been moved by their poetry, their music, their melancholy songs. But how much more terrible to be an exile who has not known the homesickness – because such an exile would be a person for whom no place on earth had ever felt like a home.
39 LILLEY ROAD, LIVERPOOL 1972 –1980
Extract from a memoir in progress….
I still return to Lilley Road in dreams, to the big downstairs room we used for parties, afternoon sunlight streaming through long windows, dust golden-speckling the air, honey-coloured floorboards, high ceiling bordered with plaster lilies, the colours of the room – rose pink and pale orange singing in sweet discord resolved by grass-green tiles at the hearth, a marble fireplace we stripped of many coats of paint, a tall alcove with Blu-tacked Pre-Raphaelite print, a horsehair and goosefeather sofa we rescued by night from another garden. Despite much scrubbing it always smelled of cat.
My attic bedroom was a bower of green and yellow, the walls and low ceiling papered with Sanderson’s Laburnum I’d bought from the back of a lorry at Paddy’s Market. I dream the soft hiss of a gas fire and an old clock’s slow tick, a table where I sewed kaftans and wrote poems and letters, a barrel-vaulted dormer window with a balcony where I dozed under the sky on summer mornings before cycling through the smiling city to work.
The kitchen, with cool flagstone floor, blue-tiled black iron range and tall shuttered window – the kitchen where one of us, at the least excuse, made scones at any hour of day or night, where others played guitars and sang, or planned journeys to India or Peru or to the Picton Library, geography section, or fell deliciously in love over camomile tea at the bleached deal table where home-made wine was drunk before its time and batches of bread were pummelled, proved, baked and eaten in the course of an evening – the kitchen was our heart and focus, starting-place of all our journeys, returning-place of many dreams.