Corners of my mind: Childhood Homes

Whenever I am having trouble sleeping and all else has failed in resetting my brain to stop thinking and start sleeping, I try and walk through the childhood homes of my best friends and the homes that we have lived in. I am always amazed at how I can recall each room, down the hallway, the things we could or couldn’t do in this room or that, the pieces of furniture, paintings on the walls. It’s amazing how our minds work. I mean I can’t remember why I walked into the garage on any given day but this stuff (and 90’s RnB I am all over).

My best friend growing up was Sophie. We spent a lot of time together. Probably because her siblings were the same age as mine, probably because our parents got along so well, I can’t count the number of sleep overs, or even weeks where I stayed when my parents were overseas. I remember so much about her home, our times spent happily playing together as young girls, hours and hours of games of dolls or jumping off the rose trellis and onto the trampoline we had soaped up. Walking around the edges of garden beds, going to Wednesday art classes together, Christmas breakfasts after Mass, holidays together, my love of putting salt on everything started there, the joy of a pancake with lemon & sugar cooked perfectly and of course mayo with roast potatoes.  I recall being sat up on top of the door by her Dad where we had to balance until we stopped being naughty (now that scared the shit out of me) and then even though we went off to different high schools we still caught up, well into our adulthood and not as often now as she lives in Tasmania. When I saw a few months ago that it was her birthday, I had those same thoughts I had over 30 years ago…that means it will be my birthday soon too. We both have daughters called Maggie (albeit it 8 years apart) and her friendship makes up so many of the happiest of my childhood memories as she is in all the best ones.

I recently bought a painting off her as she has started painting again and has had a few exhibitions locally. Being so far away I was excited that she had started an Instagram account so I could have a look at her stuff and when one came up called Chesterfield Rd, the road of her childhood home, I knew I had to have it. It arrived last week on my birthday even though I had baggsed it some months ago. Serendipitous timing!

The other night as I laid down before sleep came I started wandering the rooms of Chesterfield Rd in my mind and was amazed to look around and see as much detail as I did. I can do the same for many other friends and of course our own childhood home where we lived for 18 years or so before Mum & Dad got divorced and we sold the house. How amazing our minds are when we empty them and have a wander to the past.

Who was your best friend growing up?
Can you remember bits of their house too?
Ever use this trick for sleeplessness?


  1. You have great friends. Sooo artistic Beth!

  2. Alison Mantell says

    My best friend is Tania. We lived across the road from each other when we were babies and we are still best friends now in our 40’s. Her parents still live in the same house, so I just adore going over there as it is filled with so many happy memories for me. Many people who first meet us think we are sisters, as we have the same mannerisms and I think we talk the same. I don’t know where I would be without her.

  3. That’s a great method which I’ll have a go at when trying to get to sleep. I often try to recall hotel rooms of where we stayed, a nice little holiday to help me drift off. Sweet dreams x

  4. Linda Jenkins says

    One of my Happy places growing up was my Grandmother’s big old home where I had many sleep overs in the big beds with thick white linen sheets, hot milk and honey at bed time and special breakfasts cooked for me in the morning before going to the park and feeding the ducks. I can walk through the rooms in my mind still and feel comforted and relaxed. Grandma lived until she was 100 and had several homes after the one in my memories but that was the most special one to me.

  5. What a lovely post, you have just helped conjure some lovely childhood memories. My bestie had a Mum that worked at Country Road, with a house to match. I’ll never forget their salmon pink velvet couch, which we weren’t allowed to sit on. Just so damned glamorous. This was the 80s and my parents still had their burnt orange bucket seats from the 70s – there were six of those, but nine in our family, so there was always a few left on the floor. My bestie house was a place where just four people lived, and everything was beautiful. Except the dog – which used to hump your leg! But no one had to sit on the floor. Thanks for this little trip down memory lane. xx

  6. Emma Magill says

    Chesterfield Rd was a special place and I’d say warms the hearts of many of us thanks to the hospitality of Sophie, her siblings and parents x

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