Town Mouse

Sum­mer tri­als

Country Life Every Week - - Town & Country -

O judge from the sound of build­ing work re­ver­ber­at­ing along our street at present, we are not alone in un­der­tak­ing re­pairs to the house over the sum­mer. We should—we now re­alise—have gone off on hol­i­day for the du­ra­tion. As it is, we’re try­ing to sweat it out, palm­ing off the chil­dren onto gen­er­ous grand­par­ents in the mean­time. There are some ad­van­tages to be­ing in the house alone, no­tably peace­ful morn­ings and evenings, not to men­tion quiet meals out and a com­plete—and com­pelled—hol­i­day from wash­ing-up. Nev­er­the­less, the chaos at home and the in­ter­mit­tent breaks in the wa­ter sup­ply are try­ing to live with. Even more so are the hor­rors be­ing re­vealed by the work­men. To date, the list in­cludes rot, wood­worm and the as­ton­ish­ing fact that who­ever in­stalled the kitchen ap­pli­ances many years ago failed to earth them.

Presently, I’m try­ing to take con­so­la­tion in what the work is also re­veal­ing about the chang­ing face of the house. As floors come up, we’ve ex­posed frag­ments of old wall pa­per, lino floor­ing, a hearth and even a blocked win­dow. It’s a pow­er­ful re­minder of how much change even a mod­est Lon­don ter­raced house like ours has wit­nessed.

T

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