Absolutely nothing to do with this post but I would build a staircase to nowhere just for the mice.
I was reading an article by Clem Barstow, a blogger from the good old days when writing a post was an art and comments articulate. She was recalling all the things from her youth that she wanted in her house when she eventually bought one.
I looked around my House of Havisham and decided that I had everything I ever wished for when young except for a huge all around the house verandah.
My life started in a tackroom/bungalow, moved to a house in Ferntree Gully complete with rats and snakes in the year it snowed close to Melbourne. Then it was back to Mentone to a converted part of a garage complete with rats. In 1950 something we moved to Ma's dream house. Half bush, half swamp with no drainage and a backyard dunnie. These properties are now selling up near the million dollar mark.
Now comes the start of my wish list.
Floor coverings. With swampy bits under the house, lino doesn't cut it for warmth and I never was a human that could do without warm. When the first carpet went down, I found mother lying flat on her back just enjoying the feeling. I did the same when I moved into my home.
Heating. Open fires never reach more than two feet in any direction. So we lashed out and bought a briquette heater. My father loved mod. cons. and would have been in heaven these days. But what a pest it was trying to work out how many bricks one would need to get through the midnight spook movie on Fridays. Believe me there was no way I was going out in the dark and up the side of the house to fill the bucket. Then came the gas heater. I was warm in winter.
Cooling. Fans, open windows, sometimes a block of ice in a tub in front of the fan. That was it.
As much as I hated the cold, I hated the hot heat of what seemed an unending summer. We did have a swimming pool made of canvas, the Christmas we got it, the rain fell for two weeks. The trouble was the water was too cold and I was forever putting in a jug of hot water to warm it up. Talk about the Princess and the Pea. I only liked the beach in the mornings or night, any other time and I burnt like a sausage on a bbq, had blistering headaches and usually nosebleeds.
Now I have indoor air-conditioning, lovely, tick that off the list.
I have an indoor toilet. I feel sorry for every tree cut down for making toilet paper but I so appreciate their sacrifice for my comfort. I still have the memories of banging the toilet seat to scare away the wildlife that lived underneath. The slightest whiff of Phenol opens a Pandora's box of horrors that was an outdoor dunny.
But I do still wish for an all round verandah. I'd still get the north wind up my nose but I'd be in shade, in a swing or a chaise lounge with pillows and maybe a few pot plants that I'd actually water.
And out the back, a simple clothes line strung up so I didn't have to stagger down the yard to wrestle with the Hills Hoist.
And could I please win Tattslotto so I can employ a housekeeper.
Clem also wanted chandeliers. I have chandeliers, I love my chandeliers and I'll love them better when the housekeeper is here to polish them.