The dream house I hankered after became like a prison and I learned there really is no place like home /Sue Plunkett column

Is there anything quite as exciting than moving into your own first home?
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My daughter, Jenny, is moving into hers soon and the sheer thrill of buying new items, including everything from lamps, kettles and toasters to cushions, throws and those little wooden plaques emblazoned with sentimental quotes, has got us running round like excited children looking forward to Christmas.

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And helping Jenny to create her own safe space takes me right back to when I moved into my first home as a newly wed almost 30 years ago.

Reporter Sue Plunkett talks about the excitement of how helping her daughter move into her new house sparked memories of her own first homeReporter Sue Plunkett talks about the excitement of how helping her daughter move into her new house sparked memories of her own first home
Reporter Sue Plunkett talks about the excitement of how helping her daughter move into her new house sparked memories of her own first home
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We felt so lucky to be buying a brand new house that we watched being built and how I loved that little home. In fact I have a recurring dream that I have moved back to that house. Sometimes it is exactly the same as I left it and in other dreams it has been extended and I run around it all excited to discover new rooms.

And sometimes my husband, now my ex husband, is there to greet me!

But in all these dreams I feel a sense of relief to be back in the home I loved creating from a bare shell. It was a safe haven and I always feel that, given the opportunity, I would move back there in a flash.

So why did you move? You may well ask.

I got my head turned by a bigger house that was just round the corner. I had always eyed it thinking 'wouldn't it be nice to live in a big house like that?' It was considered to be the next step up, even though we didn't actually need a bigger house.

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So when the opportunity came we sold up and bought the big house and lived happily ever after? Not quite.

The day I moved in I stood in the kitchen and cried. My husband looked at me in disbelief, he couldn't understand why I was so upset and neither could I if I'm honest

"I want to go home," I said. "But you are home,' he told me. I should have been so happy that day but all I could see was everything that needed replacing in the new house, like old carpets and a tired looking kitchen.

That new house never really felt like home to me. I had hankered after something I thought I wanted. The old adage' Be careful what you wish for, could not have been more apt.

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A bit like Dorothy in the iconic film The Wizard of Oz I had left the home I loved and cherished and it was only when it has gone that I realised what it meant to me and I would have done anything for those red shoes of hers!

My husband agreed to the move because it was what I wanted and he did his best to make me happy but the strain it put on our already failing marriage was too much and within 10 months of moving we had separated.

That house I believed I wanted became almost like a prison as I navigated my way through the divorce while looking after my six year old daughter who had no understanding of what was happening and just kept asking when her daddy was coming home to live with us again.

Ironically I had the opportunity to buy my first house again when it went back on the market but I decided against it thinking it would be a backwards step.

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I have lived in two more houses since then and neither have offered me that same feeling of finally 'coming home.'

I grew up in Cliviger and have always felt I would love to move back there so a couple of weeks ago I went to look at a property that went up for sale on the avenue where I grew up. The house was not suitable for me but I spent some time wandering down 'Memory Lane,' recalling my time growing up on that street.

It looked the same yet different. like meeting up with a friend you haven't seen for years and you notice the signs of ageing (in both of you).

I drove away feeling content inside, like I had laid a ghost to rest almost and that feeling that I am somehow 'missing out' disappeared. And I returned to the home where I am now to a cheery greeting from a good neighbour and I thought 'it's not so bad living here you know.'

Don't get me wrong, I still hanker after the first home that was truly mine, it will always have a place in my heart.

But I am excited about another house move now, but this time for my daughter.