In any case, soon here will be there. In 3 months or so we will move to Sweden and start all over again. Start again how? What makes home home? How do you feel at home in a country that isn’t yours? That morning after the night before got us thinking.
Perhaps home is the place in which you know your way around without really having to think about it. Where to go for the everyday basics, where buying a stamp doesn’t seem like a herculean task, where you know which tram gets you from A to B fastest.
It’s also the place about which you know a few little secrets. Knowledge of the locals, if you like, which is guaranteed to make you feel like you belong. Where to get the creamiest burrata or the richest hot chocolate. When to climb to the top of the Duomo to get the best sunset. What the trick is to getting a few extra strawberries lobbed into your shopping bag at the market.
It’s where bureaucratic palaver is still irritating but no longer terrifying. It can be tackled without help but with much swearing - in the local language, of course.
Home is the place of adopted habits, though without being able to pinpoint when or how this became so. When did I start thinking post-lunch macchiato was essential to my survival, and HOW did I become one of those people who interrupts others mid-spiel?
It’s where you’ve made memories, though you might not have realised that at the time either. Our first Italian Christmas, the grubby little playground around the corner where the Bean’s bum is practically imprinted on the slide, we go there so often. So often without giving it a thought at the time, but I’m certain I’ll remember that slide, those benches, the daisies he picked for me in that playground, long after we’ve left.