This photo means a lot to me. I took it from the back door of our home in Attleborough, Norfolk, in May 2009. I remember the morning very clearly. It was a beautiful spring day.
Our home was a small, one and a half bedroom, starter home. We moved there in 2003 with Samuel, Joshua was born the following year, then we left in 2010 when we migrated to Australia. The house was so tiny but very cozy and we were extremely happy there. We shared the home with Micky, the collie in the foreground who was the most wonderful and devoted pet for thirteen years. Gina, just in front of him, was an independently minded cat that we had as a kitten. We re-homed her before we left because the area of Australia that we now reside in has a ban on cats being outside. It would have been intolerable for her to be a house cat, not to mention completely confined during quarantine so sadly we had to leave her. Micky survived his flight and 30-day quarantine, and lived the last five years of his life here in Australia, enjoying trips to the beach and local walks. He was truly a wonderful dog.
The Yukka tree in the pot and the Eucalyptus behind the play house were my wife’s way of having bits of Australia in her British life. The Eucalypt was free but later cost me money to have cut down when it grew taller than the house and somewhat more fragile. The climbing frame, playhouse and sandpit (under cover) kept the children entertained for many years and in some ways I still miss them. We did dismantle the climbing frame and transport it with us, but it never went back together as intended, stood in our garden for year unsafe to be used and has finally been dispatched.
The house is still ours. When we check it on return visits, we wonder how we managed in such a tiny place, but equally part of me hankers for the simplicity of a small house and a more minimalist lifestyle, the like of which is probably not possible with teenagers.