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There was a Crooked Lady, with a Crooked House

September 26, 2011

The last time I saw my Uncle was 17 years ago.  I was in college, doing a Bachelors Degree in Education with English and Technology; and my uncle was on a visit from Canada.  He doesn’t visit his childhood home very often, because it isn’t the same as it was when he was younger.

[delapidated house front]

See the crack on the side wall behind the front porch?

The main difference is that it’s falling apart! Can you see the crack in the side wall behind the front porch?  Well, that’s where I thought the porch was subsiding and breaking away from the main house.  Well, we got a survey done tis summer, and it turns out I was wrong.  The porch is still upright, it’s the rest of the house that is slipping backwards.  Clearly the house has other issues.

[stained glass window]

The stained glass will all be gone next time I see the house 😦

Like Joy has had double glazing put in where the old windows were no longer doing their jobs.  That made me quite sad, ‘cos the old windows came with stained glass, and were old enough to be wobbly – you know, where they made them by floating molten glass on water…

We had the exterior painted about twenty years ago, and that was a sore point.  In Nana and Grandad’s day, the framework and doors were Buckingham Green, which was classy and looked good.  Joy chose grey, and I hated it.  It looked dull.  But what to do.  Clearly, it’s not dull anymore, since all the patches over the years certainly give it character.

[Geargion houses with tudor style frontage]

The houses over the road are VERY pretty!

But it looks out of place in a neighbourhood street where the owners pride themselves on keeping up appearances.  In fact, the houses over the road from us are Grade 3 listed, they are so nice!

On the bright side, our house is the only one in the neighbourhood which hasn’t been broken into, which I assume is because it was so shabby.  But who knows, maybe we had visitors and they just couldn’t find anything to take?

Anyway, there’s not a lot I can do from half way around the world.  I think (or so I’m told) that I sent some money ten years back when the roof needed fixing, or something; but otherwise I stay out of the house.  Which is mean, ‘cos my mum hasn’t got much money!  But what to do?  I always felt really bad throwing good money after bad, and Joy has her own unique way of doing things.

[microwave in front of dining room fireplace]

There used to be a giant Gilt mirror above the dining room fireplace, which Joy has recreated with paint.

You see, this is the dining room.  Or it’s supposed to be.  But Joy has converted it into a kitchen.  We have two other kitchens (or at least a kitchen and a scullery, plus a pantry) which are perfectly good, if a little cold!

However, Joy wants all her kitchen stuff in the dining room.  But she doesn’t want a sink in the to make it a proper dining room. I will admit, the dining has a magnificent view…

the garden is enchanting in the way that only very old gardens can be, and Joy lovingly maintains throughout the year.  If you like flowers, it might be worth taking a moment to scroll through her blog, whiere she keeps a running record of amazing bloms.

[door leading to green garden]

The deep wilderness of Glenlee!

I have amazing plans for the house, but first we need to stop it falling down any more.  So we currently have a building contractor in doing the underpinning. They’ll also replace the rest of the double glazing, prepare the downstairs to receive a bathroom when we need one, and paint it up nice.  It’s the most expensive thing I have EVER done in my life, but I really do love that house, and I love my mum… and whilst I don’t mind if she wants to do whacky things inside, I at least want to make it a little safer for her x x x

[garden in front of house]

Joy is a talented gardener, and Glenlee entertains the feeling of an enchanted wilderness.

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