1 EAGLETON NOTES: Homesickness

.

.

Friday, 2 February 2018

Homesickness

If there is a way of making someone homesick it is sending them lots of food and goodies that are unique to 'home'.  I recall my Uncle who had emigrated to Canada in the '50s saying the same. 

'Home', though, is a very strange concept in my mind. I was born in Liverpool and have a certain nostalgia for that great city which once rivalled New York for the size of its international trade and had docks larger than those of London. However the day I moved away was the last day I felt that it was 'home'. 

I came to Lewis for two years in the '70s and never left. Wherever I am now, Lewis is 'home'. I think that it always will be.

However I'm a Hebridean Kiwi at heart having lived a half-life there for a decade. Every time I flew into Lewis or flew into New Zealand or every time I left either, my heart would give a jump and my eyes would well up with tears of emotion.

So when The Family in New Zealand sent me a goody-box for Christmas I was overwhelmed. I'm still opening packets and eating memories.


34 comments:

  1. When my ex-fiancee,(who later was to become my husband, and then ex-husband.....keep up...it's not too hard to follow :)) was living and working in New York I used to send him over "care" packages of jars of Vegemite and pairs of Bonds men's jockey-jockette underpants because the only type of underpants he could buy in the US back then in the late 60s-to mid-70s were the loose, boxer-type shorts...which he hated wearing. And, of course, Vegemite was unavailable in the States....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lee I remember that in the late 50s early 60s my parents sent Cadbury's chocolate to my uncle in Canada because Canadian chocolate was, to him, not at all enjoyable.

      Delete
  2. My mum is from Hawkes Bay area, one day I might even get there to see it!

    I hope you are not welling up while eating the memories, that could be a choking risk :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hawkes Bay is my favourite part of New Zealand for many reasons. I'm sure, Kylie, that you'd love it if you visited. I hope you manage it one day. I'll try not to choke although I'm definitely capable of welling up at any time!

      Delete
  3. Nice touch with this gift. I've lived in this town for 49 years and it's definitely home but it took many years for that to happen.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oddly, Red, I fell in love with New Zealand from Day 1 and as soon as The Cottage was built I was at home.

      Delete
  4. I've had Tim Tams; I think mine came via Oz.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Actually Cro, although they are very Kiwi they are made in Oz (but don't tell a Kiwi).

      Delete
  5. I consider myself lucky in that circumstances have allowed me to live most of my life in the town where I was born, Ludwigsburg. It is home, first and foremost. Until I was almost 6, though, my family moved on average every two years and so I had other homes, always returning to Ludwigsburg because my grandparents were there.
    Through Steve and his family, I made Ripon my second home. Although I have never lived there and return every year only for a relatively short period, it is almost as familiar as Ludwigsburg, and I feel I could live there for good.
    When I met O.K. two years ago, his village became my third home, last but not least because I was so quickly and so fully welcomed by his family and friends.
    It is unfair, isn't it? I have three homes while so many are completely homeless.

    The Tim Tams look nice; I hope they are not the "chewy" kind?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Meike Tim Tams are chewy. They were derived from the British Penguin biscuit. You are fortunate to be able to feel at home in three places and that those three places are readily accessible to you. I really miss New Zealand because I can't go there at the moment (for medical reasons) or generally (because of distance).

      Delete
  6. You must have missed Derek Hatton by a year or two. Liverpool is a conundrum. Arty and sophisticated on one hand but it's historical wealth built on slavery out, tobacco and cotton in. I suspect Lewis is a much nicer place to live.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Adrian I got out just before Derek Hatton. Which was fortunate because the independence of the officers was severely compromised: if you didn't fall in the the Militant viewpoint then you were got rid of.

      Delete
    2. Derek is a property developer now so must have grown up. What goes around comes around; Momentum is the current equivalent of Militant and it will end much the same way.

      Delete
  7. Wonderful post, touches my heart
    I wish relatives could send me a bouquet of the Atlantic Ocean. I miss the salty air.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maywyn I'm sure you could ask them to bottle some.

      Delete
  8. What a lovely, thoughtful gift from your New Zealand family. You must be a smashing bloke Graham!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. YP I'm fortunate in having a smashing Family.

      Delete
    2. They should be more careful with glassware.

      Delete
  9. Ahh, that Kiwi family of yours must miss you so much. I confess I'm surprised by the Tim Tams. Didn't know you were a Tim Tam guy. I remember trying to explain to the Customs man in Santiago what lemon honey was as that was top of Bernie's Wish List from home - home made by mum, of course.


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pauline I love Tim Tams although these days my chocolate biscuit input is limited. I do miss The Family hugely although Wendy, Martin and Catriona are coming to stay in the summer so that will be good.

      Delete
  10. Tim Tams! They sold them at my local Kroger's and when I saw they came from Australia, I had to try them.
    Good stuff!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, Kay, Tim Tams are exported to the US. They stole a march on the Brits on that one.

      Delete
  11. Yes I feel the same about Sydney and Brisbane. Even though I was born in Yorkshire and lived in London, I don't feel that is home. I was too young when I left. But I grew up in Sydney and my parents lived there for ever, o that is where my roots are but I have lived in Brisbane for 47 years so it is 'home' for me now. That package must have been exciting to receive.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Diane that's an interesting background you have. It's interesting that you've mentioned roots. I'm really not sure where my roots are. I spent the first26 years of my life on Merseyside but I don't consciously think of there as my roots. However when anyone mentions Liverpool or The Wirral I do prick up my ears so perhaps subconsciously they are.

      Delete
  12. oh nice! what a lovely goody box, I recognize alot of the items from my work where we sell them. But I do understand what you mean about feeling a place is home, to me home is Northland where I lived for 20 years, I still miss it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love parts of Northland and could happily stay there but some parts I feel are decidedly, how can I put it, not where I could feel at home anyway.

      Delete
  13. Taste and smell do tend to stir up memories, don't they. :) I know what you mean about the place where you were born and grew up not necessarily remaining "home" for the rest of your life. I moved away from there when I was 20 and still feel more bonds with the town where I then lived between 20-30 (and where I still have my brother + some friends). But ended up moving to, and still living in, the town/area where my parents grew up - and they came back here too when retired. Having lived here more than half my life now, and childhood memories from here too (visiting grandparents), I guess this is Home, and is likely to remain so. But who knows.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "But who knows?" The eternal question, Monica.

      Delete
  14. I grew up all over the world but always felt London was "home" because it was the only place I kept visiting - to see my grandmother and her sisters. I suspect I might have loved London anyway, even if it hadn't been home. It certainly is now - it is such a fascinating city and full of life and energy. I've lived here for decades now. Having spent formative years in Germany and Northern Ireland, these places also have elements of "home"

    I also feel a bond with Suffolk, we have some agricultural land there which is very beautiful and interesting and so have also developed links with the local community.

    Thank you very much for the beautiful card. It was such a lovely surprise! When I saw the Cheshire cat sticker I thought it must be from one of my Japanese "Alice in Wonderland" friends but then turned over the envelope and didn't instantly recognise the writing - it's different from the kind of English writing that Japanese people are taught to do.
    The card is really lovely, and it is up on the mantelpiece now. I THINK it is working, although this bug seems to be quite something else. I hope it doesn't wend its way up to Lewis!

    By the way, I was reading about the old seers who used to live in remote parts of Scotland and there was a famous one on Lewis. The book was written in the 1940s and at the time, the old tales of "second sight" were still told. I imagine it's changed a lot now and folks don't tell the old tales any more?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jenny, I'm not sure how I'd feel if I'd moved around a lot. You have made me wonder whether one actually has to have a place called 'home'. I have friends who do have a house in Scotland but constantly live all over the place. Indeed they lived in my house for 6 months on my first trip to New Zealand because the house they were buying fell through. I do hope that your bug goes . You've had it quite long enough now. Send it off to somewhere else. The Braham Seer is supposed to have come from Uig on Lewis. It always seemed to me that he was a bit dim to have used his talents to tell the world that the Lord and owner of Lewis at the time was away in Paris having various dalliances. It put Lady Seaforth in a very embarrassing situation. She had him put in a tar barrel and had it set on fire. That is if he ever lived at all!

      Delete
    2. I am glad to say that the bug seems (dare I say it) to have gone. You little anecdote about the Braham Seer confirms my view that it is not always the best thing to tell people what you know!

      Delete
    3. I'm glad to hear that you are well again Jenny.

      Delete
  15. What a wonderful bundle of goodies to receive. Lucky you!! Tim Tams are a bit Aussie but I guess we can share them with the Kiwis... and the rest of the world!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lynda, Tim Tams are actually made in Australia but Kiwis have taken them into their heart. They were originally an intentional copy of the Brit's Penguin biscuit.

      Delete