Today, tell us about the home you lived in when you were twelve. For your twist, pay attention to – and vary – your sentence lengths.
Cluttered, but full of love – this is what the home of my youth was. I only have fond memories of it, because this is where I spent twenty happy years of my life. Those years that formed who I am as a person.
My parents moved to their ‘new’ flat when I was nine. I don’t really remember the flat they lived in before that, so in my mind their home is sweetly related to my childhood and the freedom of my youth.
This is where my dad still lives. Everything is still the way it used to be. Exactly. No change at all. As if his kids still live there. My posters on the wall. All my books. Framed photos of my favourite writer, and next to them – a plush devil wearing basketball shoes (a present from my first boyfriend). Empty CD shells from music I have taken with me to my own home, thousands of miles away. The CD player I bought for myself as soon as I started earning my own money – my most valuable possession as a young rock fan. The 3-D paper model of a pirate ship: a hobby my brother had when he was a kid. His guitar. All my lecture notes from when I was a student at uni, so many years ago.
My parents didn’t throw anything away. I am the one who was desperate to have some sort of a clearout, and, still, all I managed to get rid of was my old clothes and shoes. Everything else still carries its sentimental value, not only to my parents, but to me, too. A couple of pictures which meant a lot to me and I will never have the heart to part with -although I have moved on in life.
Everything I remember from my youth is related to that flat. To those dusty shelves behind the glass cabinet window in the living room, where hundreds of little souvenirs keep memories from whatever you could possibly think of. To the huge built-in wardrobe in the corridor, stacked with vinyl records – my dad’s extensive collection of classical music (that I never took heart to, what a shame…). This is where my love for music started – on the shelf holding my very own vinyls.
All my memories are kept in this large box called ‘my parents’ flat’.
It is on the fifth floor in a big block of flats in the city of Plovdiv, Bulgaria. Located just outside the city centre, it is on one of the busiest boulevards. Whoever the architect of that block was, he must have been cursed so many times that if curses did kill, he would have been dead the moment everyone moved into their flats! How could you possibly design a block of flats with all bedrooms facing a busy city artery? No idea. Funny, isn’t it. If it wasn’t actually stupid. And ridiculous. But at least we learnt a useful skill – to be able to sleep regardless of what happened outside. I could sleep through just about anything, apart from the odd drunken summer night when singing youth were enthusiastically shouting just underneath my bedroom window.
My own home is completely different. My husband doesn’t like clutter, so no souvenirs, photos, pictures, or any sentimental crap can be seen around the house. Not that I necessarily like clutter, but when all bits and pieces have a story behind them, that gives the place some coziness. Makes it a home. I do sometimes wonder how my kids will feel about our home when they grow up. I just hope that they will love it as much as Ioved mine, and that it will mean the world to them. Just like mine did.