If I had to pick my favourite place in the entire world, it would probably be my Gran’s house. Stone and wood floors, rickety spiral staircases and an attic full of junk, you could get lost in the old charm of it. I have endless memories of running around the garden full of archways, steps and little paths, having an absolute ball. Throw in a bit of trespassing to next door (they had a tree-house ok?) and it really was the perfect playground. We used to play Kick the Can as a big family and I was in my element. One day, I legged it up the two sets of stairs to the attic, climbed out the window, made my way across the lower section of roof and perched myself behind a chimney. Best hiding place ever. I could see everything! What a winner. I was all set to jump down and run for glory when my mother spotted me. It’s fair to say I was in pretty big trouble (she’s safety conscious) and I didn’t get to kick the damned can.
Back to present day. My Gran is selling up. She’s lived there for an amazing 60 years and now she’s on her own it is just too big to manage. The good news is, she has moved into the cottage next door! It’s been in the family for generations and I’m so pleased she gets to stay in the little village which has been her home for so long. The community spirit there always amazes me. I don’t think my Gran goes a day without someone popping in to check she’s ok, or to drop off dinner or some cake. This is such a comfort to me, because she’s going through an unbelievably tough time right now.
I can’t say that I have ever seen the same type of behaviour anywhere else. Most of the people in my block of flats barely say two words if I pass them in the communal areas. How sad is that? Where has the neighbourly friendliness gone? Is this village v city? Old v young? Or just a change in the times?