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I yearned for my mother, but I settled for the next best thing: her home

The family home isn’t typically something you quit. The leaving is brought upon you. It is a right of passage to make your own way in the world when the time comes – or when your parents kick you out.

Growing up, my parents never forced me and my older brother out of our bungalow in Hounslow, but we weren’t encouraged to live there for ever either. Accordingly, when my older brother turned 18, he went off to university and never moved back.

Yet, the family home always had a special pull for me. Our parents encouraged us to spend time together when we were there: mealtimes were eaten as a family, TV viewing was communal and doors were rarely closed. When I went to university at 18, I knew that my filthy and often isolated student digs were temporary – my real home was back in London and I was grateful that I could return whenever I wanted to.

Read the essay in the Guardian.

[This piece was published on 04/10/22]

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