No Sweet Home

On BBC Radio at the weekend they talked on the phone to a family who have taken in a young Ukrainian man. They sounded like one of those larger than life families who are so fascinating to we lesser mortals. The parents are both vicars ( one was in training ) and have five children and numerous pets. As Christians they have always used their spare room for whatever needy person has come into their lives, not for them the valid excuses of not enough room or too busy. The children love meeting new people and their new Ukrainian is having lots of fun and improving his English.

Meanwhile on the home front my younger son and daughter-in-law have just bought their own place and I am on my own again. Lots of their stuff is still here so I might not have room for any refugees just yet, especially as the rest of the family want to come and see the many improvements they have done – that’s for another blog.

But far from the terrible war in Ukraine and Chez Tidalscribe, two stories in the news caught my imagination, one local tiny tale and one big story on the other side of the world.

Before Christmas there was a fire in a block of flats in Bournemouth, luckily the elderly residents were safely evacuated and quickly transferred to the Premiere Inn next door. But a News South story the other day revealed they were still there; so close to home and yet so far. They are being well looked after, have their friends and neighbours close and don’t have to bother with cooking. But it’s not HOME. Premiere Inns are usually reliable ( all look exactly the same ) and comfortable as long as you like the colour purple. Very handy as stopovers on long journeys or to stay near relatives who have a full house, but you would not want to live there for months on end. Ensuite bathroom yes, but the furnishings are basically a few shelves, some coat hangers and a hard chair. A lady of 93 was shown sitting on the big bed knitting, much the same position you would find me on a short Premiere break. I prefer to avoid the hard chair, gathering all the pillows and lounging with my knitting, book or iPhone. With all that’s happened, the last place I actually stayed away from home was Margate Premiere Inn Christmas 2019, a handy location twixt railway station and beach, overlooking the shelter where TS Eliot wrote The Wasteland, which still lies languishing on my Kindle… you can read more about the delights of Margate in this blog…

The Wonder of Wetherspoons | Times and Tides of a Beachwriter (

A more chilling story came from China in the news one evening. Anyone testing positive for Covid was being forced into quarantine in the most basic facilities ( or lack of facilities ) but the people screaming and fighting ‘security forces’ were not being taken away for quarantine. They were being evicted from their flats, their homes, so the whole block could be taken over as a quarantine centre; perhaps an effort to improve accommodation for the quarantees! Where the residents were going to live was not clear, but there are so many ways to lose one’s home. Never take your home for granted, one day you may have No Sweet Home.

17 thoughts on “No Sweet Home

  1. Interesting but frightening, Janet. My home is my castle and although I so need to have a clear out and get rid of ‘stuff,’ the thought of what I would actually pack if I had to upsticks and leave tomorrow with just a small suitcase is scary beyond belief.

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  2. Loss of home can happen in so many ways now. War, as in Ukraine, and authoritarian government action as in China. Closer to my home, many people have been forced to evacuate by fires or floods. Some were able to return home eventually, but others lost their homes entirely. In British Columbia, an entire small town burned down last summer. And there are more and more people without homes at all, even in a first world country like Canada. I also can’t imagine having to pack up the essentials and leave, possibly forever.

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  3. The callousness of some toward the homeless is shocking. Many of us could become homeless given a set of unfortunate circumstances. Many have lost their homes as wildfires have ravaged California during the last few years.

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  4. I agree with Pete it seems those “in charge/power” can do what they like with no redress and they, in turn, have no qualms about the human cost and distress caused… its shocking…On a lighter note, I am sure the young Ukrainian lad is happy he has found such a caring family…

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  5. How do you feel about having your son and daughter-in-law gone and being alone again, Janet? Are they moving far away? I hope they’re close enough to see you often.

    I agree with Pete about the wildfire in California, Janet! It’s heartbreaking to watch the war in Ukraine. It makes me very angry. The weather in many states in the US is turned upside down. Some of them have snow and flood and tornado one after another for the entire year. Their homes got stroke to the ground and blown away in just just minutes. I don’t know if we’re too late to save our planet.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Yes Miriam it is quiet and I shall miss their sense of humours and chats and of course having someone to talk about my husband with. I am glad for them getting their own place, though it is not near!
    Yes the planet seems to have been pushed into the background with Covid and Ukraine and it is very worrying.


  7. HI Janet, lots of highs and lows in this post. I have lived in my current house for 18 years. Prior to that I lived in 25 different houses over 28 years. My dad moved for his work a great deal when I was young. Thanks for this interesting post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Robbie, I have also been in this house nearly eighteen years, the longest I have ever lived in any home, though not as many homes as you had! Your mother must have been a very busy lady with all those moves.

      Liked by 1 person

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