Bringing up his young family on the outskirts of the city, Jon Day rediscovers his old love of pigeons – and learns new lessons about love and life
A few years ago my girlfriend Natalya and I moved house, from near the centre of London to the suburbs. Natalya was pregnant with our first child, and we were tired of the grotty house-shares and precariously rented flats we’d spent the last decade living in together. We were looking for stability and space, and eventually we found somewhere that felt as if it could become a home.
Our daughter Dora was born a few months after we moved. It was a difficult birth. She was readmitted to hospital and we spent weeks worrying about her weight and the fact that she wouldn’t feed. When we got her back home we tried to learn how to be a family together, but the idyll we’d been expecting, or hoping for, took a long time to arrive. We thought we were prepared for domesticity – we had done our research, read the right books – but we didn’t fully realise then that homes are ideas as much as they are places: psychological as well as physical structures.