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Gordon's D-Zone Arcive (2006-2014)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

What's in a House?

As some of you know, every summer, I move to our summer house together with my family. It’s been a tradition for some years, although there were a few summers we didn’t make the trip. This summer house, let’s call it ‘Norse’, is not the place I would like to spend the summer break. True, it’s located not far from the sea in the picturesque village of Marsaxlokk but this brochure-like description still doesn’t convince me.

For starters, when we began coming here again around 2006 I was almost a full-time wheelchair user. That meant that there were plenty of access issues to sort out. We had to build a ramp to the main door. It wasn’t that difficult since there wasn’t a very high step to begin with. Next, we had to find a way for me to use the bath and we got a bath chair. So, except for the stairs, which I still can manage with my walking stick, we had everything sorted out. Ah, just to be clear when I write ‘we’, it usually means that my dad did it - there! So don’t imagine me drenched in cement fixing the ramp or anything to that effect…

Yet, if you thought access issues were my only concern… well, you’re wrong. Our summer house is located where traffic, dogs, cats and people are going and coming. It used to be a silent street when I was younger but I guess it’s the price of progress… Anyhow, the activity appears to get worse during the night. Just last Thursday I couldn’t get to sleep due to a cat fight. It was a real cat against cat struggle, so there aren’t any juicy details to report I’m afraid. And if you ever heard the shrieks of cats, it becomes a little bit more terrifying at night. Then, at about 4is when I almost got to sleep… there come the cars of people parking or leaving for work. Thank God the tea helped me get back to my senses in time for work.

This summer house has so many facets and brings back a lot of memories. I admit, they’re not all bad. But, I always remember, as a child that it was one of the first places I realised people were talking about me in a strange way. The first and only time I can say I was bullied because of my impairment. It happened here as well. At least I had some good neighbourhood friends who could defend me then. The place I would have one of my first little crushes (nuff of that here).

This is also the house my late brother David died, months after I was born. So, I do feel a sense of loss and perhaps longing to know the brother I never got to know. Life, of course, goes on and I had resolved to do my best to honour (as best I can) his memory. It’s surprising how a house can evoke so much…

I don’t want to end this post on a sad note. The truth is that with all the good and bad things there is about Norse, it was still a place that taught me things about me that I wouldn’t have come to know otherwise. For instance, the experience of wading in the salty sea looking with awe at the horizon and the blue sky. Beautiful! Wondering, at night, at the starry sky about the reasons we are here and on where we are going. The mystery…

It also taught me about the hard reality of life - How some people could not accept the fact I was different and judged me for that. How, for a few, I wasn’t supposed to be out with other children but rather kept in a safe place. But I found good friends too, so I cannot really complain…

Alas, such a long post and I guess it’s time to wrap it up. I have now almost finished packing as we’re leaving tomorrow. I have waited for this time to come, I admit. But now that it’s come there is a little bit of nostalgia creeping up. We are a creature of habit and I was getting used to living here. But, alas, given that it gets very cold in winter, I better make sure I’ve packed everything and forget the nostalgia. I can always come here next summer …

Bye for now!!!

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