Fires & Tigers
Every Summer in England throughout my early childhood we would drive to a tiny village, Warbleton, Sussex and stay in a 500 year old cottage for a couple of weeks and pretend it was ours. The smell of wood smoke and creak of old floors knitted itself into my young bones. My parents allowed me the run of the top attic floor to sleep, read, dream, adventure every day. The tiger skin rug, complete with full head (no judgements please, it was the early 70's) was part of my adventure. Tiger would look after my slippers in his mouth while I went off playing. The small window looked out from so high to a scene that in the eyes of a 6 year old could promise only untold promise. Swathes of land, beautifully kept and with fought for raggedy history lines traversing sections, a patchwork memory bank for me.
e built the fire in the cottage religiously despite the heat of August. It was a necessary evening ritual bringing the three of us together with our books or games and slippers. It warmed away the chill of the stories of ghosts from the 800 year old church that stood slightly uphill just a few yards away across the lane.
The back of the cottage was inspiringly modern with large windows, a white spiral staircase and glass block. Light flooded in to the kitchen, upstairs bathroom and landing. Whilst I looked out from my tiny window in the attic I also viewed the landscape more openly, less privately from here.
I never thought I would own a house or building of any kind that would inspire these same feelings yet here I am feeling nostalgic. But Parchment House is not nostalgia, it's real. I have something I feel my childhood had. It's a bit overwhelming and wonderful all at the same time.