The prompt I am taking inspiration from today asks me to write about the home I lived in when I was twelve, and to pay particular attention to sentence lengths whilst doing so.
When I moved to Bath to go to university it was the first time I’d lived anywhere that wasn’t my childhood home. Since then I’ve moved a couple more times. One of those times was all the way to Finland. But for the entirety of my childhood I lived in the same house.
Driving along the road our house stood out. Not because it is the biggest house. It is big, sure. Bigger than all my friend’s houses. The house opposite is far bigger though. But with its gables, red brick and large front window (partially visible in the above photo) it makes an instant impression.
The reason my childhood home has such a large front window is because it used to be a jewellers and watchmakers. It’s the shop window. Originally the window was divided with a door in the centre, but the previous owners had the front door moved. They also made some other changes inside and apparently found gold dust under the floorboards.
When I was little the front door was red. Actually as I remember it the red was slightly faded by the sun and took on a more purplish hue. I can’t say whether it was still red when I was twelve as I don’t remember when it was repainted. Nowadays it is a happy, vibrant green. It’s a good strong door. I don’t think I’ve encountered one like it anywhere else. On one occasion the door was kicked. Presumably by some youngster trying to be tough. The shoe mark on the door remained for weeks, but the door was so strong that even such a hard kick barely rattled it.
Our house has five bedrooms. That meant one each for my brothers and I, one for my parents, and a spare bedroom that was both a guest bedroom and a junk storage room. There is one bathroom on the second floor, and a small lavatory on the ground floor. The lavatory is built into the utility room, as we called it, which used to be the store room for the shop from what I’ve been told.
The other rooms are the living room with its shop front window, the dining room and playroom/study, and of course the kitchen which seems to have been built slightly more recently than the rest of the house. We didn’t use the dining room much. It was mostly used for special occasions or when we had guests. It had a beautiful table in it which my parents bought in Thailand when they were there for their honeymoon.
The house has no garden to speak of. A small courtyard area that, back then, was entirely paved. It had three levels. Some of the stones wobbled, and once we lifted one to discover a huge (disgusting!) larvae underneath. I remember my older brother somehow falling down one level to the next once. He skinned his shin quite badly from what I recall.
The garden had an old pear tree (the same brother injured himself sliding down its trunk at some point) and a grape vine as well as a couple of flower beds. We would also sometimes get apples – the neighbour’s tree leant over the wall slightly and would occasionally deposit its fruit on our side. The pear tree died a few years back when there was a very hot summer. The grape vine is still going strong, or was the last time I heard.
The garden actually has grass now. A couple of years ago my mum decided to take the slabs up from the top layer and grassed it. I think it makes the garden look much friendlier. It’s definitely better for the dog!
The house has recently been sold and my mum is in the process of moving out. It took a while to get it sold. It’s a lovely old house, but it is old and though habitable it could benefit from a bit of sprucing up. It sold twice (or was it three times?) before now, but each time the buyers had problems that meant the sale fell through. Whilst we’re all glad that it has finally sold for real (I hope I don’t jinx it!) we’ll be sad to see it go.
We all have lots of memories from the house. Mostly good, or at least I think so. The village is nice enough, and though it’s been years since I’ve lived there it will be strange to not go back when I’m next in England.
Did you live in one place throughout your childhood, or move about a lot? What do you remember most about your childhood home?
Apologies for the lack of post yesterday, I was rather busy. Possibly more information on this in the future. Watch this space.