A Beautiful Memory
Er...the loveliest house that I've ever lived in was one that I lived in with my grandparents when I was a child. And the name of the house was Crosslands. And I have some very happy memories of Crosslands. It was, it seemed, so huge to me as a child. And it had a lovely living room with a piano in it and a lovely sort of hall with lots of carpets and chests and antiques and so on. And there was a mysterious room, it was the drawing room, and we only used it on Sundays, or when the vicar came for tea, or Christmas Day or Easter Day, and I was used to be amazed about this room because it had the best furniture in it but it was covered up with sheets- it was as if all the furniture was wearing clothes- and it seemed to me ridiculous that we couldn't enjoy this beautiful furniture all the week through really.
And probably my favorite room was the kitchen. It had a lovely red flagstone floor, which was always highly polished,and an Aga, you know, one of those big cookers that heats the whole room so it was always warm there, and there was a kind of clothes horse above it that we used to hang all our clothes on, and it was just lovely. It was a very warm room with baked bread and my grandmother used to make ice cream and we'd eat it in there and... there was a vegetable garden leading from thereso I spent a lot of time in the vegetable garden picking peas and eating them—my grandmother used to get really cross with me because I used to pick all the vegetables and the fruit for our meals and then I'd eat half of them, because they tasted so delicious coming fresh from the garden.
Now, I went back to it a few years ago and it was a big mistake. They've modernized it inside, they've got rid of those lovely old fire-places...have just gone. And they've knocked a wall down so the drawing room and the living room have become one big modern plastic kind of room.
But I think what upset me most about it was the feeling that the house had shrunk, it had become smaller and that my memory of this lovely large warm comfortable house had turned into an old house with modernized rooms inside it. And it taught me a lesson really, that you can't go back on the past and recapture it. But there's a beautiful memory there.