Friday, 3 March 2017

A House

(This house is one of Seven Answers).

We moved a lot when I was young and I have patches of memory from some places, but the house where my first memories were really formed was a Victorian semi on the outskirts of a village.  The memories are still patchy and I don't remember clearly all the rooms, but they still form a map of the house.  The memories are centred around events but inconsequential ones; walking along a roll of lino in the front room, walking into my parents' east-facing bedroom in the morning and seeing the dust floating in the light; the metal framed doors in the back room that led out onto the patio and the stained glass windows in the front door.

The house was big and quite empty.  I'm not sure if a lot of my memories were of when we had first moved in or because my parents didn't have enough furniture to fill it.  The rooms seemed dark and oppressive.  The attic room on the third floor was completely empty so we played up there, and we had some giant cardboard cut-outs of pantomime characters that acted as props for numerous plays.  I can't picture the furniture in the rooms, I remember the layout of our bedroom and eating gingerbread in bed.  We had Disney character toothbrushes and Matey bubble bath mixture in the bathroom.  We had smelly gas fires in the fireplaces and I remember eating baby food out of a tin and watching TV, that can't be right though, I can't imagine my mother letting me eat out of a tin!

I have strange memories from that time about a bizarre incident on the upstairs landing in the middle of the night where marbles are rolling around on the floor.  I have a rather sinister, unsettled feeling.  I'm not sure if it was part of a dream I have always remembered, or if I woke up in the night and got disorientated wandering around.  It has just remained one of those abstract memories in my head that I can't quantify or fully explain.  Most of my memories of that house are quite abstract.  We have a lot of photos from that time and I think my memories are mixed up with images from photos, memories and things that I was told that have all formed and woven together and are now inseparable.

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