In a troubled world the freedom to walk home & know it will be there is not to be taken lightly.
It will soon be Christmas Day and many people are thinking of home. Walking home, sailing home, even flying home. Getting home come what may. So I’d already decided that for my Sunday walk this week I’d get on a random bus, get off miles away from here and then walk home. Simple and always a joy to do.
Then just as I’m about to walk round to the bus stop Cerys Matthews plays a song on her BBC6 programme that’s so beautiful it stays with me all day on my walk. It’s called ‘Bound for Lampedusa’ by The Gentle Good and is about being driven out of your home and setting off for a new one you may never find. It’s for everyone waiting to walk out of Aleppo into uncertainty, through the meltdown of human decency and kindness that is Syria this Christmas. Maybe you’d like to listen to the song as you read the rest of this walking meditation about home:
The bus I get on is the 68. At the stop by our house it was either going to be that or the 62. So not that random then.
I’ve spent a good amount of time around here recently with my Coming Home partner Jayne Lawless looking at empty places we might turn back into homes again.
We’ve seen a good many houses left empty so long they’re going to cost a lot more to do up decently than we’ve yet raised the investment for. We will though. We can see how much our idea and these homes are needed.
Both of these places now the property of Liverpool Football Club (Though Beautiful Ideas now have another community car park along where Notre Dame school used to be.)
Why isn’t the Vernon Sangster being replaced? Home is more than just a house. Home is a whole place. With places to go, places to play, places for sport. So come on LFC. Sort it.
Home is walking around a place 60 years on and remembering tiny details seen from your pram.
In the 1950s we lived in two shared houses along here. I can’t remember the first one though I’m told he bred dogs.
Though I could be wrong. It was certainly along this end, close to Goodison.
Home is standing in the front window every other Saturday afternoon watching 70,000 people pounding along the street to watch Everton.
Home is the street you play in and the corner you nose around to see where the world begins.
Along here we are now on site with our first Coming Home house.
We are so happy about this. For the family, for the owners, for the house itself and for our idea. Just an idea until now. But now it’s a real place, and before many more weeks people will be walking home to it.
Home is the first place you call your own. With the first person you love so much you want to live with. Gathering your furniture. Learning how to cook and get on with each other.
Home is places to gather, places of freedom to worship, places for reflection and sanctuary.
This one, The Glebe, is being done up as a hotel by my friend Terry May, part of the Coming Home support team.
‘Good time collectables’ is great for second hand LPs and CDs. And ‘Off Your Cake?’ Maybe the cakes have a lot of alcohol in them?
Are they a Walton thing then?
Home is also pride of place, making it your own. So it rocks?
And home is your own stories of what’s happened to you in a place.
In an argument with a bus.
But now it’s time for that al-fresco lunch I’ve promised myself.
Several of these are my friends still. And Miranda is part of the Coming Home support team.
Home is a network of friendships and memories. Like standing outside Christopher Street today and hearing all of their voices and their laughter and their determination. This was one of the greatest teams of housing workers ever assembled.
Starting to think of my route home. When suddenly…
Home is being surrounded by people you know, somehow.
So I wait here for the next 26 bus. Which drives me through Anfield and Kensington and drops me off at the top end of Smithdown.
Home is somewhere you know your way around.
By war, politics, intolerance and cruelty in Aleppo. And by short-sighted political and academic theories and stupidities here.
Home is not your housing market, not your public policy, not yours to take.
Home is having an opinion. Home is being old enough to know and say that this was just wrong.
And home is my freedom to do all of this. To choose to walk home in the place that I’m from. To lose that freedom would have seemed unimaginable to me. But my Liverpool is your Aleppo. Is your so many places where people have been driven from their homes.
Well this year I have walked home. To a place where all the work I will now do is about home. Home as a human right.
Home as a human right, the final thought of this walking home meditation. A place to be. Somewhere secure for you and your love. For your children to grow. For your life to be.
For your books, for your records, for your recipes and memories. We are all walking home.