The older I get, the more I’ve come to savour and enjoy being housebound for the day. In years gone by staying put and purposely choosing not to go out seemed anti-social and a bit of waste, but now the ability to hide away for 24 hours seems a luxury.
In the last week or so, both Adam and I have succumbed to our second dose of of winter sickness (methinks perhaps neither of us actually fully recovered from our first bout of sniffles, coughs and chills in February). That combined with busy work and full on travel schedules has meant it’s been weeks since either of had the opportunity to just spend a day at home.
The northern hemisphere has now officially entered spring. I’m welcoming it with eager anticipation after virtually doing two winters back to back. While Malvern hasn’t had a terribly brutal winter, our one in Wagga Wagga was wet and grey, so it feels like there hasn’t been much variation in the weather in the last six months. Doing two cold seasons consecutively though does makes you appreciate the hints nature gives, which shows the chill is almost over.
Oh what a difference a week can make. Last week Adam and I were sipping sangria under sunny blue skies in Gibraltar. Over the weekend we’ve watched flurries of snow showers from our kitchen window, whilst warming our hands on big mugs of coffee.
It still seems a bit magical to me that you can wake up one morning and have one type of weather, jump on a plane or train or in a car, and suddenly be in a place completely opposite to where you were. It’s why I guess so many people get wanderlust.
When you move to a new place it takes time to settle in. You don’t instantly know where the best place is to do grocery shopping or buy a nice coffee, but after a little while you start to find your way around. Things that previously seemed challenging or that made you second-glance or stare in awe, suddenly become normal.
When I worked as a journalist in south-western New South Wales one of my favourite things to do while driving long, straight roads for hours at a time was to look out for the names of farms. The name seemed to the give the property a personality and I liked the concept of the land almost becoming a member of the family.
What I’ve found in England and particularly Malvern, is that names aren’t just reserved for farms. Many suburban houses have names, often dating back centuries. Houses are sometimes named after the family that originally lived in the home or the surrounding landscape. I also love that mail is addressed to the house name. It isn’t 16 Smith Street, rather ‘Valley View Cottage’, 16 Smith Street. Perhaps it’s the daydreamer in me, but I just think that’s utterly delightful.
There are so many different types of name plaques too: painted ceramic slabs adorning house fronts, wrought iron signs on gates, wooden plaques, sandstone etchings or sometimes the name’s just simply painted on the side of the house.
I’ve always wanted to live in a house that has a name. The house Adam and I are living in does – so it’s a bit of a dream come true! Our downstairs neighbours even have a beautifully painted watercolour of the original house before it was split into three separate apartments.
I’ve been lucky enough to do a bit of travel, but I must admit I’ve never really noticed en masse houses with names anywhere except the U.K. Does your house have a name? What is it, and do you know the story behind it?!