There's No Place Like Home

Everyone went into the lockdown in March 2020 from a different place, but we probably all went into it in a state of shock in one way or another. I went into it already dealing with a particularly difficult bout of depression and also helping my children trying to deal with a number of challenges of their own, none of which were helped by this unknown and unprecedented situation.

I was having a particularly bad day and had switched off social media because whilst I was struggling to get out of bed and make my children food, there were all these people posting their children’s timetables and how wonderful it was to spend time together creating wonderful and amazing projects. As a good friend of mine put it, “If I see one more Mum who’s created the Terracotta Army out of plant pots with a 5 year old, I’ll scream”, because when you feel you are failing badly, everyone else’s ‘perfect lives’ are hard to take, even when you know nothing is that perfect in reality.

The lockdown was really hard for my children.  They are teenagers and their parents are the last people they want to spend all their time with right now, but all of a sudden, they were stuck with us.  Or rather, they were stuck in their rooms gaming, watching Netflix, and FaceTiming mostly, so apart from dinner, I wanted to find something that gave us a moment of humour and some bonding time; Something we could collaborate on and maybe make us smile, even for 5 minutes. I was trying to find touch points with my teenagers that they will remember and enjoy... hopefully. It’s also about nostalgia for that innocence of toddlers playing hide and seek, who believe you can’t see them, if they can’t see you, this is the most fun.

The series name was taken from the line in the Wizard of Oz – because on one hand it champions the love and security that you can only find at home, and yet if you really look at it, it’s much more ambiguous than that.

In the words of Salman Rushdie: “So Oz finally became home; the imagined world became the actual world, as it does for us all, because the truth is that once we have left our childhood places and started out to make our own lives, armed only with what we have and are, we understand that the real secret of the ruby slippers is not that "there's no place like home," but rather that there is no longer such a place as home: except, of course, for the homes we make, or the homes that are made for us, in Oz, which is anywhere and everywhere, except the place from which we began...

…now it is my fate to be unable to satisfy the longings of a child. This is the last and most terrible lesson of the film: that there is one final, unexpected rite of passage. In the end, ceasing to be children, we all become magicians without magic, exposed conjurers, with only our simply humanity to get us through.”