These Four Walls

I have let time lapse between posts. That’s a good thing and a bad thing. The good news is I had a great friend come and stay from London and I was able to bridge my two worlds during her 10 day stay. ‘ A week in the life of’, she wanted. Day one had her sitting next to famous celeb singing a kum-ba-ya song with my little one practically in her lap and by the end of the week – after wine tasting in the St Ynez valley in Santa Barbara and filling our minds and bellies with delicious Californian grapes, she was having lunch on Abbott Kinney, mani/pedi in Santa Monica, dinner at the Soho House in Beverly Hills and of course 3-2-1 basketball knock out game with my boys.

We got scrubbed Korean style at a spa in Hollywood that leaves you slightly out of body, having bore every inch of skin to Korean therapists wearing black lace panties and bras. Nothing I could have prepared her for…the first look on her face along with the first gasp of ‘Oh’ as they began scrubbing was a priceless giggle for me. Her stay reminded me of the differences between my two worlds. I spend my time holding onto how they are my two equal halves that make me whole, never favouring one over the other as if I’d end up feeling like a guilty, cheating lover. So to just share the best of the West was a complete pleasure.

It was an exceptional trip which left me wanting the circle to remain complete. Bringing both worlds together is something that rarely happens for me, which is why when she arrived I burst into tears for the reality of the trip she had chosen to make, for me. Girlfriends, and sisters, are powerful people in one’s life. I am blessed for sure, and I think I nurture my relationships so much because these women are always my emotional touchstones.

This past week Husband has been gone and we got an offer of rental for our English house…for two years. Clear everything out and rent it for the asking price, an offer that sounds fantastic to a rational, business mind. But my house is my home and although we only stay there for holidays at this point, those weeks are sacred and not for sale! And yet, financial security and logic dictated the other argument made against my emotional plea of ‘I don’t want to’. What am I holding onto?? We can stay in a flat, or a hotel, or with friends. We can still spend holidays there, just not in our house.

I am holding onto the four walls; the life inside those walls that hold our English memories. My boys love their rooms, their rhythm and routine around that house and their identity there. Yes we could all find an identity elsewhere, I know that whatever I present to them they will accept if I do. But I don’t feel ready to shift into another gear and take our family home and turn it into a rental. Not yet. Not now.

The other side of the argument stares at me with disbelief and even a little disdain as I dig my heels in harder. I think I’m scared. I am scared of losing too much of our English identity at a time when the boys need fueling and consistency in their British lives. I am scared to let go of a house that has weathered all of my ups and downs and helped me remain calm, peaceful and present when I am there. It’s more than this rental opportunity, it’s what is will translate to mean. Maybe nothing; but maybe just that slightest bit more disconnected when I am desperate for all of us to remain connected. I have spent their life times going back and forth and round and round and have made maintaining their dual cultural lives, and mine, the uppermost priority, above all other expenses and desires. I’m scared of losing that, any of that.

Not sure if the tenant’s offer still stands, considering our counter. And if it does, I will readjust my mind, sell the story to my boys like it’s a great idea and use the money wisely. We will find ourselves our own rental and have a different type of English holiday. And it will all be fine. It’s just perspective. Holding onto these two lives isn’t always easy, I could write the book on it. I suppose these blog entries are the words on how confusing it can be and the reality behind what and why we hold things so dear. My wish for myself is that I can always really feel a part of both; like a full circle.

About Jennifer

Jennifer is from Beverly Hills and has lived between London and LA since 1994. She's been a writer for over 20 years in the world of film, tv, travel and magazines and has been a class rep eight times and counting...
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One Response to These Four Walls

  1. Gail @ the Gatehouse says:

    Nnooo – don’t leave the lane. Petersham will be a sadder, quieter, less sunny place with out the bi-annual Hamm arrival. We miss you all too much!! xxx

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