Houses I Could Live In
When I was a little girl, we used to go on a lot of long car journeys. The adults were not as sympathetic as I felt perhaps they should be and my attempts to make conversation (“Where are we going again?” “Are we almost there yet?”) were largely scorned. I learned to occupy myself by staring out the window and imagining stories the neighbourhoods that we were driving past. I would make up entire histories for the people that we passed and intersect my life with theirs.
“That man walking the dog is named Walter. He is a repair man and last month he came by the house to repair our refrigerator. He told me about his wife, Zelda, who goes to the gym three times a week.”
I’m a grown up now and it shows. Sometimes when Cliff is flying, I stare out of the window of the Saratoga as we fly over some of the most beautiful neighbourhoods that I’ve ever seen. But these days when I look at the houses, I don’t make stories for the occupants.
These days I rewrite my own history and imagine myself living in those wonderful houses – complete with arguments with the neighbours about the damn cement mixer right at my back fence.
As we fly over the Cotswolds, I find the most amazing houses that must be a joy to live in although I wouldn’t like to think about the upkeep of the gardens. Still, if you can afford a house like that, you can afford a gardener, right?
And I do feel that a wide selection of barns and sheds and guest houses would increase my quality of living. I don’t play tennis myself but my good friends inform me that there is no such thing as too many tennis courts.
I probably don’t have the right mindset for living in a mansion like one of these, though I sure would like to give it a try. When I was a kid, we had car engines lying around the back yard. Splintered motorcycles leaned against oak trees, just in case there were any useful parts yet to be harvested. A bright orange VW beetle rusted away in the long grass.
If I got a big house like this, I’d probably end up in the same state:
If by some miracle, anyone actually recognises a house in this series, do let me know and I’ll forward a full-size photograph to the owners as a thank you for some exceedingly nice daydreams.