Hearth and home
Well, Gloster Street's looking very chi-chi now the decorators have been in and polished and painted everything ready for showing and - we hope - selling!
Will is worried that new owners will bowl it over and build something big, but I don't really think there's any danger of that. Lily alternates between devastation and fury that we are selling it - but really, the house has come in my mind to represent that chapter of our family life which is over. And there's a lot of fun and plenty of new adventures still in store for all of us.
:: Do you remember that old Irish comedian, Dave Allen? One of his rambling old stories was about a woman who frequently dreamed of walking up to and into a beautiful house, in which she felt completely comfortable and happily at home.
One day, she was thrilled to find the actual house she'd been dreaming of all her life, and, curious to see who lived there, she rang the bell.
The owner opened the door and blanched at the sight of her, but undaunted by his apparent discomfort, the woman told him how she'd been dreaming about the house all her life, and felt she knew every inch of it.
"That's not surprising," the owner told her, "since you've haunted this place for years!"
:: We'll leave a few happy ghosts for whoever lives in our old place next: there are reminders of our two and a half decades of occupation everywhere! Like this, on the concrete floor of the new garage ... And this, scratched into a path at the side of the house in December 1992, when Lily was five ...
and little Will was three ... :: Getting back to the spooky blarney stuff ... I never once felt there was anything creepy about this house, for all its hundred years. But one dark and stormy night (of course!), not long after we'd moved in, I was home alone (of course!) getting ready for bed when I heard what I can only describe as the sound of a bead necklace hitting the wooden floor of the front hall and beads bouncing and scattering across the jarrah boards. Weird, huh?