Old houses

I’m in our house climbing up to the top floor, only it’s not our house any more. Charlotte and Arthur French live there again with their son Edmund. Edmund is not in and I look around his space at the top of the house. I’m looking for stuff of mine to take with me. Stuff left here after we’d moved out. I find a couple of very small child dummies. Going downstairs with these, I see – or rather hear – Charlotte and Arthur. They are downstairs arguing. But when they see me, they stop and are suddenly all smiles.

Arthur looks the same but Charlotte has lots of grey hair piled high on top of her head like a dowager aunt. They are very friendly to me.

Now I’m in our old house on Pennard Road, Shepherd’s Bush. I’m in a room on the ground floor – but it’s a raised ground floor – and there are large windows open on to the street. I climb out and stand on a long covered store cupboard, a series of which are positioned beneath the windows like the bouquinistes’ stalls in Paris. I sense they are full of books. Behind me in the house are men I don’t know, perhaps book-dealers. I want to come and go via the open windows, but I know it’s not the right thing to do.

Back in the Manchester house, but is it now in Shepherd’s Bush? In the attic, a whole living space has been fashioned by adapting wooden struts and beams. Cutting and polishing spindly bits of wood. It doesn’t look terribly safe but on the other hand it’s an inventive use of space. (04/07/09)


2 Responses to “Old houses”

  1. Wendigo81 Says:

    Voila, la plume de ma Tante!

  2. nicholasroyle Says:


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