Ok, Ok, I’ll hold my hands up and admit it. I love the X-Factor. In fact scratch that, I love most trashy talent TV shows that grace our TV screens on a Saturday night, and that is not limited to Britain’s Got Talent and Got to Dance. I’m not going to lie though, the X-Factor just tips them all. Maybe it’s because I’m a sucker for a sob story, or a bit of Gary Barlow, but deep down I think it’s because some of my earliest routines and family traditions involve watching the likes of Pop Idol and Popstars with my family on a Saturday night.
My Saturday evenings when I’m at home have not really changed since I was a young child. I still love sitting on the sofa next to my mum in my pyjamas with a mug of hot chocolate (now changed to a glass of wine) and flicking between BBC 1 and ITV watching any trash that catches our eye. If we’re lucky one of my younger brothers will join us, but this is getting increasingly less likely as they both have ‘I’m not spending my Saturday night with you’ syndrome. Admittedly when I hit 18 I was slightly more eager to make use of my newly legal right to enjoy a night out on the town, but after a few months that also a got a bit tiring and I retreated back to the sofa where my mum was still waiting. Whenever I leave Southport I know that when I come back that I will be curling up on the sofa, even when a night out is in order with friends I haven’t seen for months I will try and postpone leaving the house for as long as possible so I get that extra few minutes at home on the sofa watching Louis Walsh.
It always surprises me how easy it is to slip back into a ‘home routine’ after being away for a long period of time. Nothing ever changes, everything is exactly where I left it (in a heap on my bedroom floor). My bedroom is perhaps a little dustier, my brothers a little taller and due to them being ‘growing boys’ the fridge now seems to get emptier quicker, but in essence there is no difference.
I’ve never been a home bird. Wherever I am settled around the world I will frequently call home. I love going to new places, discovering new things and putting myself in nerve-wracking but exciting situations – and it’s rare I miss anything here. I speak to my family enough to seldom have the urge to go home, but when I’m back it takes a while until I’m ready to leave, especially if there’s another scary adventure on the way. I convince myself that I need a few more days to relax, or a bit more time with my parents, to have a proper catch up with my brothers or (sometimes) that a night in the town is necessary. It never is, and if I stay longer than a fortnight then I’m ready to run out the door.
It’s the memories, the routines that you remember from when you were a child that will always make home, well, home. It’s knowing what time everyone is leaving for school and work in the morning, laughing with your brothers over ridiculous little things, being shouted at for watching trashy american television instead of ‘come dine with me’ (which in my opinion could now be argued to be trashy English television) and always having someone to talk to and give you solid, experienced advice whether you want to hear it or not.
Tomorrow I move to London, which aside from Nottingham, is the nearest place I will be living to home in over four years after many months abroad. Am I excited? Unbelievably. It’s new, it’s an adventure, and it’s the complete polar opposite to Southport – what’s not to love? What’s giving me the courage to do this though, and what always gives me the courage to do anything I do, is that I know that it will all still be here. I know that no matter what I do, where I go, whether good or bad things happen, home will still be here and although it won’t be my physical home for the foreseeable future, it will definitely be where my heart is.