Website of poet Elizabeth Rimmer

The House that Says Yes

There was a lot to love about the Territory of Rain, and about the house we lived in, and there were many happy times and lovely things that happened there, but we lived in a house that said no. And not now. Not here. Whatever you did, it fought back. This house, in the Place of the Fire, doesn’t have the history or the character, and in terms of square feet of space, it’s actually smaller, which surprised us. But it says yes.

craft cupboard, with sewing equipment, against a wall with pictures and pinboard

It says yes to room to write, and sew and learn about herbs.

bookshelves stacked with books and files, and cupboard doors to hide stationery. To the right a window with a paraffin lamp.

It says yes to books, and quiet spaces to read, and room for lots of chairs for the family when they come over. It says yes to space for guests to sleep over, though our first two visitors were still sharing their room with a lot more boxes than they would like. A lot of other stuff has come easier – thge park, and lovely places to walk, getting access to our doctor’s surgery, and membership of the local library. Some things not so much – public transport is a bit hit and miss, and I’m only just getting back to the point where I can walk to the nearest bus stop.

But the kitchen! I am sure we bought the house because of the beautiful serene colour it was painted – somewhere between sage and olive – but the previous owners had free-standing units, which they took, so for a while we were short of both storage and worktops. Yesterday we fixed that:

Rustic kitchen island with three drawers, shelves at either end and a two door cupboard between them

Now there is a good solid worktop, slightly lower than the average, to accommodate my shorter than average height, and a larder cupboard which holds all the cooking ingredients I need to get back to my usual baking and preserving. I’m going to make the first batch of bread this afternoon.

The garden is a slightly different prospect – it doesn’t say no, exactly, but it says yes, but, and yes when. There is more usable growing space than I first thought, but the soil is very heavy clay. I have created a working plan, and I will make a few sun maps to see where the light falls – it is much less overshadowed than the old garden, and faces due west, so we are not going to be short of sun for the mediterranean herbs, but the drainage will certainly have to be improved. The garden seems to have its preferences, too. Beside the shed it says chickweed and nettle (good signs, both of them, for fertility and goodness locked in the soil). There is a spot which seems to be saying ‘elecampane’, which I love, but haven’t grown for years, because it’s enormous. And the front lawn definitely says dandelion, which we might have to argue about. On the whole, however, the conversations I have with this new home are almost all good ones. This is a house that says ‘yes’.





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