Day 11 – Tell us about the home where you lived when you were twelve. Pay attention to your sentence lengths and use short, medium, and long sentences.
I grew up in a shop.
Well, a converted shop.
Most of my childhood was in a house that was always moving. The building stayed put…something to do with the cement foundations anchoring it in place…but my parents were always renovating. The shop with attached ‘cottage’ went through so many changes, that while I can clearly remember several of the stages, I can not remember where it actually was the year I was twelve.
Technically it was a split-level house, but it had two little alcoves on the way down the stairs. One alcove came off the third step down. That was the laundry. The other alcove came off the seventh step down. It was a tiny storage room most of the time. At one point it had my step-father’s home brewery in there before that moved out to the shed.
I think the outside was still white when I was twelve; with the ‘Run-a-muck’ graffiti written in brown along one side. Maybe it was after the boginviala was planted to stop more so called graffiti artists from tagging the long white wall. Or perhaps I was twelve when the outside was painted blue.
Was it the year I was twelve when the outside ledge became crazy paved steps bordered with railway sleepers? Or was it the year when the one car park space became big enough for two cars or an enthusiastic game of handball when the cars were gone?
I know that I was thirteen when we kids moved upstairs. So when I was twelve my room was two-toned blue. It used to be the kitchen of the cottage when we first moved in. It still had the outline on the cement floor where the stove used to be. I think when it had been the kitchen it was yellow. Or at least a creamy-yellow.
I was definitely younger than twelve, when the wall dividing the cottage from the shop was knocked out. That wall had once been behind the bathtub. The tub moved to the adjacent wall. Obviously it had human help. It didn’t move on its own. My step-father and sister created three extra steps to extend the stairs from the shop down into the now empty space. I can’t remember if I helped at all with the steps, but I can remember my sister claiming forever after that the second step was ‘hers’. She’d poured the concrete.
Suddenly our house went from a cosy two bedroom cottage to a huuuuugggggeee house that could hold an entire wedding reception, several family Christmas’, a scout troop sleep over and years of birthday parties without once running out of room.
Oh, and we had a quarter acre block of land, so the yard was massive. That changed too. A times we had lawn, which became a veggie garden, which became a chook pen, then a pool. We also had chooks, quails, budgies, dogs, cats and guinea pigs.
Technically the guinea pigs belonged to my brother. I can still remember the birthday he received two as a present. Then they bred, and became ‘ours’.
I lived at the same address for years, but I never lived in the same house. Strange how I can sit and still draw the blueprint of the house but I can’t remember which year we had the pool table, or the ping pong table, or when the lounge room moved into what had been the rumpus room. I know that the rumpus room had been the only room in the house with carpet. Ever.
Maybe that explains why I hate carpet now. Or why I want to move the house around.
Much to my husband’s despair.