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Close to home

So you’re flying the nest; ut should you still consider having your parents as neighbours, asks Veronica Stivala.

Meet the neighbours

Miriam CallejaMiriam Calleja

At first, pharmacist Miriam Calleja wasn’t looking for a property in the St Julian’s and Kappara area, which is where her parents live. Her aim was to find a place that was not too far from her workplace and from her family at the same time. She also enjoyed living in a central area and since she worked shop hours and would often go home during her lunch break, this would help her avoid long commutes.

“I wanted to be in an area that is not too busy or noisy. I viewed a lot of properties, but the moment I walked into the apartment I now live in, I immediately fell in love with it,” she says.

Eventually, she changed jobs and also her working hours, which were two main considerations when she was property hunting. However, it still turned out to be a good spot.

If sitcoms or stories I hear are anything to go by, I seem to be one of the lucky ones

“Living so close to my parents was a happy coincidence,” she says of the apartment she has been living in for almost five years.

The most obvious advantage is the peace of mind that if something ever comes up, it is likely that parents and children would be able to reach and help each other relatively quickly and easily. Admittedly, in Malta we don’t ever need to commute for hours to get somewhere – still, being close is comforting.

One incident that Miriam recalls is when she locked herself out of her apartment.

“Actually, it wasn’t just one incident,” Miriam admits. “It happened morethan once.”

Miriam says that she has not experienced any disadvantages in living near her parents.

“However, if sitcoms or stories I hear are anything to go by, I seem to be one of the lucky ones.”

Because Miriam and her parents naturally respect each other’s space, neither felt the need to set any rules for each other.

When asked for advice on what factors to consider when looking for a place close to your parents, Miriam says that it all depends on the type of relationship you have withyour parents.

“If either of you is likely to be nosy or to invade each other’s personal space, I think the best thing would be to create some distance to decrease the chance of conflict.”

Can you hear me?

Clare GhigoClare Ghigo

Soprano Clare Ghigo currently lives in Cardiff, Wales, where she is in her second year reading for a Masters in Opera Performance at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. However, she has been living in various parts of the UK for just under eight years.

Clare initially left Malta because she was offered a place to study for a music degree at Edinburgh Napier University. She lived and studied in Edinburgh for three years and after that she moved to London to further her musical studies at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

Speaking about the advantages of living far from her parents, Clare says this has made her more responsible, more independent and has also made her value the important things in life.

Biggest disadvantage is knowing a relative is sick and feeling so helpless and far away

The disadvantages are having to make all the decisions yourself, dealing with numerous amounts of daily nuisances such as bills and renting applications, and also not having daily fresh clothes or a home-cooked meal every evening. “However, the biggest disadvantage is knowing that a relative is sick and feeling so helpless and so far away,” she says.

Clare has not had to set any rules for herself or her parents, although the main rule she had to create for herself and follow was the practising rule since her daily routine includes long hours of singing practice.

“When I lived with other musicians we made sure we would tell the neighbours our practising schedule and to come and speak to us if there was ever a problem.”

Clare’s advice for living far away from home is to plan ahead.

“Make sure you budget well. Know the whereabouts and try to get to know the locals. Smile at neighbours and get to know them as much as possible.”

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