Wednesday 2 January 2013

Happy DayZ

There's quite a lot of ground here, but you wouldn't call much of it a garden because it's so bitty.  The front garden and the small lawn are separated by the drive and another part of the drive separates the lawn from the kitchen garden.  Then there are various outbuildings, quite a lot of gravel and a fair bit of rough grass.  The Sage's parents had always had a gardener, usually someone who'd retired from full-time work and wanted to work half days.  Kenny came to work for Ma the year after Pa died, he stayed on after her death to keep an eye on the place and he carried on with us until he was well in his 80s.  But he was still in his late 60s when we moved in but very tough and he never gave up on a job.  Nor do I, so we made a good team.

We did have help to lay the paths though and to erect the greenhouses as well.  In those days it was one of the highlights of my year (I know, loves, but it was before the days of blogging) to read through seed catalogues and I spent hours comparing varieties and prices and writing out my wish list, which was hardly cut down before I carefully filled out all the forms and sent off my orders.   I started sowing seeds as early as possible in those days, and it took a lot of care to keep everything alive and growing through the winter.  Nowadays, I reckon it'll all catch up and I don't sow anything in the propagator before March.

But I'm jumping ahead of myself, because we moved in late July.  After consideration, I decided to grow vegetables as normal at my old house and leave them for our buyers.  They were appreciative: we knew them quite well and Ro was about the same age as their daughter.  Actually, she was dismayed when they moved in and she found that we'd taken his swing, which we kept in the hall and she had loved playing in.  Ro wasn't that fond of it, because he was an independent little boy and didn't like having to be lifted in and out, so we took it back for Rebecca as a moving in present.

They asked us round when they'd been there a few months and showed us the changes they'd made.  Um...sorry, we didn't like them much. A lot of rather elaborate paint effects and gilding and tiling all over the place.  Not that it didn't need updating, we'd lived there ten years and, having done a lot to start with, hadn't changed much since - but it wasn't to our taste.  Still, it was a lovely house and you couldn't take that away.

I was still very close to my mother when we moved and it did me good to be out of our previous social circle.  Still only half an hour away, we saw each other often, not least because Al was still at his prep school in Southwold and he stayed with her and her husband, my lovely stepfather, a couple of nights a week to save a lot of travelling.  But I started to grow into my own skin, I made friends - making the effort to go out and do that did not come naturally to me - and I didn't hanker after the life I'd enjoyed in Lowestoft.


Pat said...

I can't imagine what it would be like to visit my old house where the children were brought up. I've seen the outside and its been painted and burnished within an inch of its life. I imagine the interior will have lost much of its Victorian charm.

Z said...

Yes, I revisited my childhood home once and it was quite startling.

mig bardsley said...

We used to drive past our last house quite often and every time it seemed to get a bit bigger. Eventually the hedge got so high we couldn't see the changes any more and it was quite a relief.

janerowena said...

We frequently drive past the old Wrecktory we owned in Lincolnshire until eight years ago. It's now dark and gloomy, the woodwork has been replaced by dark pretend wood/leaded lights double glazing, and the weather boarding has been replaced by 40s-style hanging rounded tiles. It looks like a 40s monstrosity. The lovely gravel drive has been replaced by tarmac. The front orchard no longer exists. I could weep. As could my old neighbours,who stil give me updates on the latest carbuncle to be added to the back, not visible from the road. I wish they wouldn't.