this is my bedroom window
and this is the sideboard below it.
i bought it on ebay with a matching desk. i borrowed my uncles van and i drove it down small lanes which scared the crap out of me. we got there to realise i’d forgotten my cash, so i had to navigate the small lanes in the massive van to find an atm. the desk was so large that it spent some time in my hallway before i could come up with a way to get it through my bedroom door. i had to pull it apart and reconstruct it again in my room. the drawers stick a little bit now. i think i did it wrong.
these are some shadows on the wall opposite the window.
This little house was built sometime around the 1860’s and is one of three in a row of near identical Worker’s Cottages. It originally would have had an outdoor toilet, with only three rooms and a hallway inside. The current living room would have been an all purpose room, probably with an open fireplace or Argar for cooking (a heater now wedged in its place). It was extended approximately 40 years ago when a bathroom and small kitchen were tacked on. The house is showing a great deal of age and is soon to be rebuilt.
My poor little house is falling apart.
Just the other day, a small piece of our lounge room roof fell in.
They repaired it. With a patch.
A board nailed in place with three planks of wood. Resembling a bandaid.
As though the house might heal itself like you might.
Like I could take it off next week to give it some air
to find the faintest scar and say to myself, “Gosh, you’ve healed quickly”.
Not my little house. It’s getting quite a few of these ‘patches’.
Two winters ago, some of the kitchen roof fell in.
Too much rain you see.
And despite what the owner says, it is not due to the leaves in the gutter.
Which he collects sometimes from up his ladder.
All 80 years of him.
When they tacked the kitchen onto the original structure, they left the gutter running slightly downhill into our kitchen and just plastered over it.
As though it never really had a purpose.
We noticed this when the roof fell in.
Our tiny tiny kitchen.
So small in fact that our fridge is in the bathroom.
You may think this odd but it can be quite practical sometimes…
Times when you need a beer in the shower.
Or that one time, when I was in a hurry and I had breakfast…in the shower.
I found this house on a bookshop wall.
A girl looking for someone older.
She was an air hostess that looked like a fairy.
The prettiest girl I have ever seen.
I laughed at her house. It wasn’t what I was looking for.
But it was funny. It was cute.
And she said I could move in.
So I did.
We would drink wine at midnight and dance to David Bowie.
Little by little the small house showed itself.
I got a boyfriend.
A patch of newspaper beneath peeling paint.
We broke up.
Pulling it back it showed me used car adds from when phone numbers were six digits.
We got back together again.
And behind the couch, floral wallpaper peeks through.
It was amazing.
Three summers ago I set fire to the lounge.
He helped me put it out.
They pulled up the carpet and we found four different types of linoleum.
It didn’t work out.
Four summers ago a father and son came to install a fan in the bathroom.
Because it was mouldy.
They said the ceiling was full of bones.
Thousands of them. “Maybe possum”, they said.
I found this hard to imagine.
My little house is one of three in a row.
All identical. All very old.
My little house and its brothers are going to be knocked down.
Rebuilt with something shiny.
I will need to find somewhere new.
A home that will start with no stories. No life.
A home with no character.
A home that is cold.
For now little house we will share stories.
Patch each other where we need to.
We can take turns to crumble.
And we can take turns to hold.