Home Town


I was born in Nottingham and lived there until I was about 10, after which my family moved around quite a bit because of my dad’s work. We still visited Nottingham a lot because of family, and when I was at College my parents moved back, although I my studies and then a job in Birmingham, meant it remained somewhere I visited rather than being somewhere I spent long periods of time. After a few years working in Birmingham I moved back to Nottingham, partly because of ill health, but also because I was in need of a change. 

Once my health improved after an operation (gall bladder problems, which at 24 I was apparently very young to have, but boy, was it painful!) I got reacquainted with my home town, and even bought my first house in the area, and got a job in a local school that I have fond memories of. After living back in Nottingham for a few years I met my husband to be and off I went on my travels again, this time to live in London, where I spent the next eleven years, loving the fast pace of London life. 

As much of my life has been spent moving around I often get a bit restless - it seems to work out around every 7 years! In London I managed to combat this with a major redecoration of our flat but eventually we moved to Hinckley (for 7 years) and then to Shepshed (you guessed it, for 7 years). Throughout all of these years Nottingham remained the constant, and eventually we decided to take the plunge and move here, although the decision was more to do with it being convenient for work rather than it being a conscious desire to move back to my home town.

Although I sort of ended up back in Nottingham by accident it’s something we’ve never regretted. One of the things we love is the sense of community, something we experienced before but not quite to the same level as where we currently live. In particular, the fact that we are very close to a big town means there’s lots going on which we particularly like. Ironically, there’s more happens in Nottingham than when we were in  London, simply because the size of London means things are often quite a way away or a bit of a pain to get to (no just popping into town in your car!). 

Although I love living in Nottingham for personal reasons, one of the big differences is the impact it’s had on my work. I’m self employed and often have to travel so it’s central position makes this easier. In between travelling I also work a lot from home, and perhaps this has been one of the reasons why the sense of community and being close to what is happening is important to me. I also find there’s a lot to inspire me in the creative work I do, despite the fact that London has lots more galleries and places to visit. Maybe it’s because things are more accessible because I can just pop in the car, or even walk into town because we live just under 2 miles from the city. Getting ideas and being inspired is an important part of my job and I consider my workplace to be both my home office and the city and streets around me. On a bad day a quick walk to some of the places on my doorstep can really clear the cobwebs and help me come up with ideas to move a current problem forward. 

Night light

A ‘Night Light’ event reminded me of how much this easy access to community events means to me both personally and from a work perspective. In particular, Sneinton Market, an area I remember well from my childhood, has been redeveloped as a area where lots of creative things take place, after many years of looking very much worse for wear. Although the Night Light celebrations were relatively small I came away have enjoyed the event personally and feeling inspired with ideas for work. 

night light 2

As someone who is self employed the definition of my place of work is different to what it has been in the past, and to what it is for many other people. I consider myself fortunate that I have both a home office I enjoy working in, as well as a wider local area that inspires me and supports the work I do. Who knows if we will stay in Nottingham or if I’ll get the 7 year itch again (it’s 6 years as I write!) but for now I love my inside-outside office! 

What area, town or city inspires you?

This month's free photo download to prompt reflection:

L Doll 0070

How can the image be used as a metaphor for something that is happening in your life (good or bad)? What does it spark inside you in terms of seeing a new way forward you had not previously considered? 

Save the image to your downloads folder.

Let me know how you used the photo julie@julieboyd.co.uk

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