Saturday, 31 December 2011
Happy old year
The photo was taken in winter, normally there was virginia creeper all over the house. My bedroom, which I shared with Wink as a child, was the one on the top right and was above our parents' room and the drawing room was below that. The study was in the middle and the dining room on the left. The conservatory led off that. I remember it always being warm and steamy, with a plumbago and a nectarine against the back wall. The building to the left was the garage, a huge two-storeyed one (there was a work bench upstairs, darlings, it wasn't a multi-storey car park). I'm not sure whether that was converted to a house or pulled down and rebuilt.
The people who lived in the right-hand part invited us over about ten years ago. Very strange to go back again after so many years. They wanted to meet my mother, but I didn't feel able to tell her about it. She so loved that house and would never return to the road after she sold it.
Alex was born here, not in a room you can see from here but at the back of the house, in my father's childhood night nursery. Only a week or two later, the Sage suggested I go with him to look at a house that his firm was auctioning the next day. It was, like this, a large Edwardian family home, and also a former Rectory. I walked in the door, turned left into the drawing room and, momentarily, staggered and gasped. "Can we buy it?"
And so we did. We hadn't been planning to sell our own home, a nice four-bedroomed detached house half a mile away, but plans can change in a moment.
Dears, thank you for your friendship over the past year. I hope you have fun tonight, whether partying or curling up in bed early or anything in between. We're having a family get-together and I'm just going out to buy ingredients and will spend most of the day cooking.
See you next year.
love from Z xx