why are we called bunnyhomes?

When I was small, every single night my Mum would sit on the side of my bed and read to me. She would put on special voices for each of the key characters in the book. Bringing it all alive. The best thing of all was that special, quiet closeness of being loved.

Ultimately I’m a home bunny. I always have been. Looking back, I’ve been into creating homes from a very young age. The first house I built was for my sister and I. My Dad had been down the dump and brought me back a large heavy A-frame with sprung hinges in the apex that would snap like a vice (it was always a challenge to get it to stay open). He knew I’d do something inventive with it. I talked Mum into giving me the last dribble in the bottom of a tin of paint. It was a thick, sticky white gloss and had the benefit of helping to glue the flakes of rust down. Perfect. I even managed to persuade my sister to come and sleep in it, once I had roofed it in with the picnic rug. I guess that’s where it all started.

A few years ago I went to Harrogate for a weekend with my sister. We came across a picture of a family of bunnies that I liked for no reason at all except that it made me think of family.

A year later I was still thinking of that picture but I couldn’t remember the name of the shop. So I called a shop in the town and described what I could remember of the shop and the bunny painting. Incredibly, the shopkeepers of Harrogate did a ring round and eventually the gentleman with the picture called me. Serendipitously the day we spoke he had just taken the painting off the wall and rested it on the floor to remove it, so I bought it there and then over the phone.

I thought about how connected the community of Harrogate were. Of the funny time I had enjoyed there with my sister. Of the painting by Frank Paton of some bunnies that depicted another kind of family: The Daddy, the Mummy and the babies.

And that’s why we’re called bunnyhomes. Because to me, what we do is all about homeliness and family, whatever your tribe looks like. The people who make you feel safe and at home, who tell you ‘no’ when you need to hear it and still love you through life’s ups and downs.

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