Our house*, a hundred-year-old Queen Anne, looks tall and narrow from the front yet it’s surprisingly large and roomy in the rear. Its age shows – it lists a little to one side, as if it’s suffered the architectural equivalent of a mild stroke. And there’s an odd blank space on its face, something regrettable about the arrangement of the front door and the street-facing windows, that makes it look as if it’s got only one eye. (You know, if houses had faces and eyes.)
Unfortunately, we could only afford to re-shingle half the roof this year. And, ominously, the exterior paint-work is beginning to peel. Inside, we've managed to re-do only the wood floors on the first story. The ones upstairs are still covered in a distressing "dusty rose" carpet. This summer, David hurt his neck after we tore down the old wallpaper but before we were able to put up the new stuff.
The place suits us perfectly.
While I was mulling over the name of this blog, I googled the words, to find out what kind of company we'd be keeping. There are crooked houses for children, one for beer-drinkers and one for those who prefer to drink coffee or tea. (There's a secret passage to Windsor Castle in the basement of that one: "This is reputed to have been used both for the illicit meetings between King Charles and his mistress, Nell Gwynn, and for taking provisions to the castle kitchens." You know, whichever. "Hey Nell! If you're going that way anyway, could you take this tea? And this coffee? And this boar's head?") Check out these oddball structures as well.
This blog shares its name with not only the nursery rhyme but also a mystery novel by Agatha Christie and a Heinlein short story, in which an architect builds a house in the shape of a tesseract net and then gets trapped inside the thing. (Some days I know just how he must have felt.)
*The photograph at the top of this page is not our house. I took the picture of that beautiful wonky building in Paris, in the fashion district, in June. It's actually a kind of screen behind which, I assume, they were doing renovations on a similar, but much straighter, building.