At our recent AGM we asked four people from different parts of the world to talk about their experience of 'Re-thinking ideas of home' in Carlisle. Here is one of the talks. It's a beautiful piece which comes across as very positive. Worth sharing!
When I was little I never considered the possibility of living in other countries. I didn't know anybody who had moved anywhere else. I did a degree in education at university and on finishing my studies I was very lucky to get a job straight away as a primary school teacher at the British school in the capital city. It was there where I met my husband - he had just arrived from England to work at the school. In the three years he was there, we got married, travelled the length of the country and we had our first daughter. I know, it was all pretty quick! We also visited England for an Easter holiday - his sister had moved to Cumbria many years ago and that first visit to this area was amazing. I fell in love with it straight away and I knew I would be OK when we moved here. The three of us arrived in 2001 and our second daughter was born on Christmas Day in 2004 at the Cumberland Infirmary. From the moment we arrived I found myself at home. People still now ask me why I left my country and the sunshine for Cumbria. I know it does sound strange. The thing is that my country isn't the UK but with sunshine. Life, normal everyday life is very different there. In the 15 years since we left my country, we have also lived in the Middle East, we worked there for a few years and it was there that I realised that England, and in particular, Cumbria was my home. I would find very difficult to condense in a short list the reasons why I love living here because in reality it is the simple, little every day experiences that make my life happy. From the absolutely breath-taking landscape of the Lake District to the red squirrels that we see in our garden. Form the way another driver stops for you to get out of a road to the best programmes on BBC Radio 4. From the freedom we all enjoy to speak our mind in broad day light to the way everyone queues for their turn. The little things we take for granted that make life so very easy. I lived for 27 years in one of the biggest cities in the world and now I live very near Carlisle, almost in the middle of nowhere as my friends say, and I couldn't be happier. Cumbria has given me and my family the opportunity to live and do the things we enjoy the most and feel safe. My husband has a secure job and loves running in the country side, my daughters attend local schools and play in the river at the bottom of our garden and they are safe to do so. I just got a job and I have a small business. I have the best friends in the world who have become my family, friends from all over the globe. I would never change that for all the sunshine in the world. I know there's absolutely no perfect place in the world. Very recently in this country we have witnessed some really radical views and there are still problems to solve but I wish once in a while that British born people could see the country the way I see it. When you have a frame of comparison it is slightly easy to appreciate the things we enjoy every day, the little things. My country of birth will always be my motherland but England, Cumbria, Carlisle is my home now and I'm very proud of both. ... See MoreSee Less
The portraits exhibition Re-thinking Ideas of Home will be on display for another 3 days only at the Vallum Gallery, University of Cumbria, Brampton Road. Visit if you can! We'll have smaller versions at the Unity Festival on the 6th August in the Old Town Hall but this is your last chance to see the large prints for a while! ... See MoreSee Less