I arrived back in Lyttelton last week, after 11 weeks of travel in Europe and I'm so glad to be home. Nearly 3 months away was too much. That said, I went to places that are like second homes to me. I grew up in Dorset and going back there always feels like heading home, even if I can't spend as long there as I used to. Revisiting Hondarribia in the Basque Country in Spain was a kind of homecoming, as we left it a year ago. It is the only place other than New Zealand that Duncan and I considered living really long-term.
My travels made me wonder what makes a place home? For those of us who grew up in Britain and remember the pop star Paul Young, the answer might be wherever you lay your hat, but for me that's not the case. I've lost plenty of hats over the years and I'm sure some of them have ended up in landfill…
I feel at home when I can do most of these things:
• walk out of my front door and into the countryside,
• get to the sea easily,
• grow some of my own food,
• enjoy my day to day routines, including my work,
• go out and have a drink, or a nice meal once in a while,
• bump into people I know and meet up with friends,
• be with loved ones.
This is an extract of my Illustrated Epistle, which goes out in the middle of the month. It is a behind-the-scenes look at the life of a cartoonist (specifically, mine). I'd love it if you signed up at the bottom of this page, or here: