Lost then found again. First we had it within our grasp. The little stone house. Not the prettiest, but it called to us and I imagined some kind of Agatha Christie character had lived there before. She was beckoning us to be the new custodians. Everything just as she’d left it. The dark wood furniture and the standard lamp, settled on the gallery landing. The exposed blackened beams, like sentinels guarding her belongings.
I imagined my desk ensconced there, pages I’d write, images that I would draw and wash with colour. Dreamed of long summer evenings curled on a daybed on that same gallery. Book in hand, soaking up the pages, window ajar and honeysuckle perfume percolating from the garden below. All the while, keeping her light burning.
I kept asking, but no one seemed to know when this little dwelling began life. We waited for prognosis of the scary building survey. What skeletons would be revealed, rotten beams or slipped foundations. We deciphered the document. The stone building was just a façade for the medieval core. It was ancient, with ancient problems. Like an old lady's broken bones.
Expensive treatment was required. We went away to do our sums, not good. Then crossed another border to see a vast old farmhouse, an elegant Georgian town house and a massive three-story inn with copious rooms and fireplaces to boot. We made the mental images in each dwelling. The spare bedrooms for visitors. Imaged the parties we could have. Or me by the kitchen sink, ‘A’ chopping wood. Or visa versa.
Driving back home along windy country roads, a magnet much stronger than the pull of our purse strings, took us back to the little stone house. We sat in the garden of the adjacent pub and ate our homemade sandwiches. We looked at each other and then at the house. In that instant we both felt that we had come home.
So Corner House may need expensive surgery and lots of tender love and care. It will be a long convalescence before she can compete with her elderly neighbours. But a little bit of financial negotiating helped; and can you see what it says on the burgundy board planted by the old stone wall?
Yes…soon we will be home…
…I’ve even ordered a surprise chicken coop and run for A for his longed for chickens…