Sunday, July 13, 2014

Where I Grew Up

Specifics aside, Dublin is and always has been my home. When I was a toddler, we lived in a tiny little house on a hill in a suburb, the road diving off to the right as you left the garden, the driveway a nightmare. We shared a bedroom, myself and my two brothers, and it stayed that way for a long time, even after we moved into a new house.

This new house - the one I'm living in now, until I really begin to Adult it up a bit and move out - gave us a bigger bedroom, with lots of extra room to play with our toys. They were simpler days. Eventually, my older brother moved to the boxroom, and later to the attic, and rooms in the house switched around, to the point that I'm the only person to have lived in all four bedrooms in the house since we moved in.

How's that for a fun fact?

Residents to what my parents described as a "main road" - really just the busiest road in the area until you reached the real "main road" - we were suddenly surrounded by families with children. By the time we were old enough to be allowed cross the road by ourselves - that was a thing in the 90s, that you weren't allowed to cross the road by yourself until you were older - there were at least thirty kids prowling the streets, coming from our road and one of two cul de sacs in the area.

We were loud, some of the mass of children were troublemakers, but all in all we were just living the suburban life of playing with a football on the road and watching out for cars. We rode our bikes, played football, hung around on swing sets in back gardens and ran away from dogs together.

A far cry from the city we live so close to, everything in my childhood was quiet and restrained and peaceful. With the odd exception of Halloween and New Years, there was barely any trouble worth mentioning that didn't boil down to neighbours just not understanding that kids will be kids.

(Side note: one Halloween, some of the teenagers in the area, when I was only about twelve, build a bazooka to shoot fireworks from. Wasn't that a fun discovery, when one of their rockets exploded on the other side of a window I was walking past!)

This little suburban life is probably what led to me wanting to travel a lot as I grew older. It can feel too small sometimes, especially when the option suddenly presents itself to leave the suburb, for the big park a few minutes down the road, for the city that's just a short bus ride away, to either one of two shopping centres on a single bus route, or three swimming pools, or any number of newsagents in walking distance (we had our favourites, back in the days of ten pence crisps and penny jellies).

It was a small world to grow up in, but it was safe, and it was homely.

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