There was always only one home for me. The Glebe of course! I started associating my, quite dreary, halls with the word home throughout first year. I only realised when I mentioned on the phone to my younger sister that I would be ‘home in ten minutes’. It didn’t come so naturally to her!
I was looking forward to coming home for the summer. Although it came about very quickly. Too quickly. In fact I was totally, completely and entirely unprepared. So much so that I got the wrong time for my train. I realised half an hour before I needed to leave.
The panic began. I had two large bags to check into my Ryanair flight, as well as my carry on bag. Of course the amount of belongings that I had built up over the year was astronomical. In such a crisis situation an orderly tactic must be adopted. The most essential objects were chucked in first, followed down the scale by those of less worth until my pudgy bags exceeded their weights on the dreaded weighing scales. As you can imagine, that left a sizable mess in my bedroom- but that was the least of my worries.
The lovely Emma had her car running outside ready for me to fling my bags in. Quick goodbyes were exchanged with the close friends I had made over the previous few months. The thoughts that I wouldn’t see them for four months creeped into my mind but I didn’t let it linger. The chase had begun.
The first obstacle was to catch a train from Kemble in just ten minutes from Cirencester (this takes just over ten minutes). Emma put the foot down and off we flew through the beautiful Cotswold countryside. Just as we arrived, the train arrived. Tomás was traveling back with me and insisted we needed to print our train tickets before embarking. My stubbornness led me to grab my bags and jump onto the train. Tomás had no choice. No words were exchanged until we had to get off to change trains at Swindon (yes I just looked the route up).
Tomás was set on getting these train tickets printed so off I went, maneuvering through various barriers, and managed to get them printed. I came back to wait for the train and out of nowhere started to cry. Poor Tomás had a rough day that day. I didn’t really understand it myself, but I had grown such an attachment to my life in Cirencester. At that time it was my second home and I found it hard to depart so abruptly!
Eventually we managed to made it back to Shannon airport (my pedometer was on fire!). An accidental spill of hot chocolate over Tomás on that journey home nearly sent Tomás over the edge. At long last I was home. Only home wasn’t the same as before.
Before leaving I always had a purpose at home. Either school or a job. Being home for a period of time became difficult because I would get bored and my parents would get frustrated… a recipe for disaster! Luckily I started working at Martinstown stud that summer and came back for such holidays. Even with that, the dynamics of living back a home were so different to those in my student house with my friends. Even with the ease of life at home, I found it easier in my student house because I only had to think about myself- selfish I know!
My concept of home changed greatly in this time. At the start of my time in Cirencester it was a place where I longed to be, in Limerick. The more time I spent in Cirencester, and the more I put into my life there, the more I associated Cirencester with being ‘home’.