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I’m sat in a room at a philosophy conference, in a strange place, with all my loved ones miles away. There is a strange feeling of liminality here, a beautiful conference hall in acres of land to wander in, trees rustling as the sun sets, and students gathered to perform philosophy. A place away from home, but still familiar, home to an event dedicated to an activity I love.

I can hear people through the walls, and yet I’m sat alone. We are here already, and yet the conference has not yet begun. I find myself waiting…

I look around me, this year I have properly unpacked, I have put my things in spaces, temporarily designated as their proper places.

I open up my laptop on the desk and start it up, feeling like some modern writer opening a new version of the old writing kits, laying out the pieces, putting everything where it should be.

The wallpaper, my familiar icons, it all puts me at ease, and I realise that I’ve carried something very familiar with me, a little piece of home.

My laptop is many things: writing tool, connection, art-medium, games console, TV, entertainment station.

It is also familiar, set up how I want it, messy and disorganised, icons everywhere, files in multiple places at once, cluttered… and also homey, indicative of my life, comforting.

Its funny how the things we use become parts of us, however temporarily, extensions of our selves, expressions of our personalities.

Its funny how, so far from home, such a strangely unnatural-seeming object can be the most natural to use, the most comforting, a little piece of home.