Thursday, 10 January 2013
Dear Number 66...
Dear Number 66,
You were our first house. Our first proper home. You weren't exactly beautiful upon first impressions, but people would come and visit and go: "She's got potential." And you did.
It just took a while to find.
You were hard work. You kept us on our toes. Not content with a single layer of wallpaper, you liked to have two or three hidden away for us to strip bare. I think you liked the attention. You weren't very loved before. Your old owner couldn't care for you anymore and you had more cobwebs than I could handle and an alarming attraction to woodlice. We uncovered your beauty eventually though - like your original wooden floorboards and period features. You beaut.
When we first moved in and made you home, I lay awake next to Stephen, on a blow-up bed, surrounded by towers of boxes, and listened to your noises. You weren't much of a creaker, you were a solid girl, but with your age, I think you kept a lot of secrets. I wish you would tell me who the little girl in the watercolour painting is? The one we found in your cellar? We brought her with us. So we'll always have a part of your history here. And I am determined to find out who she is, as you won't tell me!
You were built in 1840. You are so old! And I love thinking about how many families have graced your floors in your lifetime. I think you have, and always will be, a great family home.
You were where our family began. I don't know the specifics, but you probably averted your gaze while we conceived our son! That's embarrassing and weird to think of, but I kind of see you as being a Mrs Potts, from Beauty and the Beast, sort of character. Yes, that role suits you quite well.
I remember sitting in your yard in the height of summer, where you would just exude charm. Your gardens would always be lush and green and everything was so pretty. Me and Stephen would joke about teaching Max how to stand on his hind legs and brings us Bacardi and Cokes, and we'd just sit in our little bubble and laugh our heads off. It was lovely.
I remember saying goodbye to you, before I went to the hospital to have William. I remember stroking the door and looking at you for a last time, before we cluttered your space with baby toys and hung tiny baby clothes from your radiators. You were pretty patient with us.
I had to say goodbye again though. And it was for good. I'm sorry. It wasn't you. You were wonderful, if we could have moved to you to our village now, we would have done. I'm in the place I call home now. It meant a lot for me to get back here. And I'm happy.
I didn't want you just before we moved house. We wanted out. We wanted our new house. And a new start. And we didn't see what we were leaving behind until the night before we moved.
I saw the ghosts of us all, walking through the rooms, laughing, crying, chatting. I saw myself, with my mum, giggling over surprising Stephen with your finished dining room. I saw our little family of four, curled up in our bed, while me and Stephen watched our tiny newborn son and the dog stared on in jealous confusion. I saw William sitting up for the first time and crying with glee and pride.
I cried when we left you. You represent so much to us. Growing up. Making plans. Becoming parents. Learning. Improving.
Thank you for keeping us safe in your four walls.
Please keep our memories safe too.
Lots of love,
Charlotte - the one that hoovered you a lot.