I always knew I was home because of the china ducks on the wall.  I bought them in the mid-eighties, from a second hand shop in Wellington, near the Manners St Post Office. The first thing I did in a new flat was to nail them up – in the lounge, if the flatmates were amenable, or in my own room if they weren’t. 

 The next thing I did was reassemble my bed.  The wire base had to be reconnected with its solid wooden headboard and footboard by means of a spanner.  This made me feel like an independent woman.  A woman who could do anything.  I could, for example, move heavy furniture around the room by bracing my feet against the wall and pushing things with my back.

 And I would set up my record player and play ‘Colossal Youth’, the Young Marble Giants’ only album (though there have been CD reissues and live versions since). 

 Eventually, I gave the ducks away, but found I missed them.  When I bought my house, the place Peter and I live in now, I bought the house a present – three china seagulls.  They fly up the living room wall, telling me I’m home.

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