Friday, September 21, 2007

The Giddy heaven fell

“Unless the giddy heaven fall,
And earth some new conclusion tear;
And, us to join, the world should all,
Be cramped into a planisphere.

Andrew Marvell 1621-1678
Story contd

By the time we got home I was certain that was the house for us. William agreed but was more cautious.

“It’s a hell of a responsibility to take on. We’d have to get it properly surveyed.”

I agreed. My sister Maddie was now working in London for an architect and said she knew just the man. We met up with him at the house and after, what we hoped was a thorough going over, he said the house was sound and if we were in love with we should go ahead. He also said that he and his wife had just bought a farm –house they fell in love with, in spite of a doubtful survey. He mentioned that the two steps down from the kitchen to the scullery could be a nuisance but it never bothered me.
Later when the children would stow toys in the washing machine causing it to flood I was thankful for the brick floor, where the water would just drain through out to the garden.

We sold our house making a small profit and had our offer on the Victorian house accepted. One of my girl friends offered to have baby whilst we moved in, which we gratefully accepted. Miraculously he didn’t fret at all and we were very proud of him. Mind you I think he was spoilt rotten whilst he was there.

We were under close scrutiny by the neighbours when we moved in, and as I was wearing tartan trousers from my modelling days, they were convinced we were Scottish. We had a lot of space to fill but Dodie, my mother- in- law, helped out with a carpet or two and sister- in- law Fleur had her late mother’s furniture stored in the garage some of which found its way to us. There was so much wall space and I started a life long collection of pictures and drawings – mostly repros but some originals.

Heating was a bit of a problem and to supplement the open fires and ideal boiler, we had paraffin stoves, gas and electricity fires. All had to be carefully guarded with a toddler in the house and I was thankful for the old wooden play-pen where I could safely leave my son. We designated one room as the playroom and he quickly learned to push the play pen up against the door so I couldn’t get in again and would have to go round to the window outside and persuade him to back off.

As usual, when pregnant, I was getting larger by the day and one day I left him playing in the hall whilst I went to use the downstairs loo. Suddenly I heard a noise, went to open the door and realised my little monkey had pushed the iron bolt across. As I said before the old lady had been very security conscious and had put bolts on both sides of the door. I could see my son’s navy blue eye staring at me through the key-hole.

“Darling just push the bolt back for Mummy please. Good boy darling.”

But darling thought this was an exciting new game and just said.

“Mummy! Mummy!”

This went on for quite some time and I became increasingly panicked. Thank God we were on the ground floor and there was a window with a complicated screw bolt. I had to stand on the loo (it was encased in a mahogany base and could withstand my weight) then lurch sideways to open the window. Somehow I managed to lever myself out, walk round the back of the house and let myself in to the kitchen and found little sunshine with his eye still glued to the key hole. Lessons were learned.

We were settling in happily. William seemed to enjoy his job and relished having a pleasant drive rather than a commute. I missed my friends and my wonderful help but found that with a small child and one on the way people were very friendly. One problem I had was of my own making. After we lost our beloved corgi- Havoc – I thought it would be nice to buy another for William so that he could have the dog – Sharon, to train whilst I had the baby. Unfortunately Sharon was untrainable and was the bane of my life. Any clothes hanging around were ruined but worst of all she would get out of the house at every opportunity and run into the road causing chaos.

At the end of the road lived a lady dress-maker who bred valuable dogs and when Sharon got out and attacked her miniature pincer ( I think it was) she said regretfully that unless we got rid of Sharon she would have to sue us. I was desperate and finally she said she knew lots of doggy people and knew just the chap who would be able to train Sharon. I was so relieved having been at my wits end. Sharon went off to what we were assured would be a good home and we got a feed –back that she was behaving and all was well.

Another week later we heard there were problems and would we have her back. Neither the dress- maker nor we were prepared to risk it so she stayed put and I thanked God I didn’t have to cope with her. Again lessons were learned.

All in all it was a fairly eventful pregnancy. One day I was carrying my son slowly up the stairs for our post lunch nap, reached his cot and heard a thunderous noise. The top of the stairs was shrouded in white powdery clouds. The hall ceiling had collapsed.

42 comments:

R. Sherman said...

Our elder son was a climber and learned to get out of his crib in the middle of the night, navigate the stairs to the kitchen and make a huge mess of stuff in the fridge. Kids amaze you.

Cheers.

granny p said...

Can't think why playpens went out of fashion. The two children under two at one point - the elder one determined to murder the younger - I don't know what I'd have don't without mine.....Nice stories.xxx

PI said...

Randall: that is a nightmare when you have to put anything harmful out of reach and you run out of high shelves. Is he still a climber?

craziequeen said...

Michele sent me to say I do relish drowning myself in my memories.

I just read down your blog. Need I say I'm female and live in S Glos - but you should know that.....
:-))

Although when I started blogging, people thought I was a bloke, then they thought I was a gay bloke.
When my friend cyberkitten started blogging his readers through he was a girl then a gay bloke in a relationship with me!

There is a post early on in my blog that says 'I'm a girl! I'm a girl!' [chuckle]

cq

Zinnia Cyclamen said...

'Eventful' seems something of an understatement! I loooove your story, it gets better and better.

Nea said...

We tried to buy a playpen, but Granny P's right there were none to be found. We used gates to keep ours under control inside, and I used some old fencing to build a make-shift playpen for the garden otherwise life would have been impossible.

Re the last post, central Sweden and female, just because you care. The town is too small to mention, and it's usually only Monday-Friday. Weekends we try to spend picnicking with the bears.

mar said...

I didn't have a playpen but a little fence only an adult could open to stop my son from getting out of his (somewhat safe) room by himself. It was the only way I could take a 2-second shower and go to the bathroom...
I am sorry about your ceiling...I guess I'll come back to find out what happened afterwards!
Michele sent me to say hello!

PI said...

granny p: what do they use instead i wonder? At least they could safely get some exercise.

CQ: that must have been interesting:)

Zinnia: no pressure then?

Nea: that was resourceful of you. I have a horrid feeing that many are dumped in front of the TV.
RE origin - am I right in thinking you are British? Your English is so excellent.

Mar: you'll be very welcome.

Eryl Shields said...

Why on earth would someone put a bolt on the outside of a loo? The only thing I can think of is on the offchance that a burglar nips in for a quick pee he can then be detained until the plod arrive.

My son once locked himself in the sitting room, what a palaver that was!

PI said...

Eryl: I suppose a burglar could have got through the loo window - the one I climbed out. It was a bit like Fort Knox actually. I've just remembered locking my Mum out and I had to stand on a chair to put the catch across. It's probably a rite of passage or it's in the genes,

moon said...

OH lord!! The ceiling clollapsed!!!U were so lucky to not have been under it at that very moment!!!


Oh and I used a playpen..I think they are brilliant for giving a parent a few minutes to do things as fundamenal as use the Loo lol...

sister AE said...

I am really enjoying the stories about the house. I can't wait to hear what came next after the ceiling came down.

And your stories of your son when he was little remind me so much of my impish brother. He managed to destroy the play-pen by jumping up and down with such vigor that he knocked the bottom out of it, then crawled away. Then when we penned him in his room with a gate across the doorway, he learned to climb it (and once ended up rolling down the stairs, scaring the adults, but fortunately not hurting himself!)

Oh, Michele sent me today.

sablonneuse said...

After all that did you manage to go full term?
Yiur story of Sharon reminds me of our Purdey - also untrainable - who had to go back to rescue centre and then went to live with a lady who already had a collie-cross. We were relieved to hear that she settled happily.
And as for climbing out of windows I once got locked in at the school where I taught and at about seven months had to escape through the window.

Jean-Luc Picard said...

A fine story with memories, Pat. Michele sent me.

PI said...

Moon: we were very lucky. I couldn't believe it had happened. Neither could poor William when I phoned to tell him.

sister ae: so often we shared the same experiences.

sablonneuse: yes but keep mum! It is really awful to have an animal like that. I don't think she was evil but totally brainless and a danger to traffic etc. It put me off having a pet for years.

Jean-luc. Thank you!

rashbre said...

Great stories about the house. The high security loo makes me chuckle. I think if a security bolt can be put in a place where it could go wrong (however human induced) then it probably will..

Here today via Michele's.

rashbre

FOUR DINNERS said...

Jax had a playpen. It was called 'our house and garden and the park and nan n grandads'

We had a tree fall down once but never a ceiling!

Jean-Luc Picard said...

Michele has sent me back to view again!

PI said...

Rashbre: and these bolts were great heavy iron things - they could have helped the war effort:)

4d: bet she kept you on your toes. If you haven't had a ceiling fall down you haven't lived:)

Karen said...

What a great story! I can just picture your son locking you in the loo! Too funny! Thanks for sharing.

Michele sent me your way today. Hope you're having a lovely day!

PI said...

Thanks Karen. Not bad - as days go.

Last Girl On Earth said...

Michele sent me over this afternoon. I can't wait to read more of your writing. Very good! Have a great weekend!

Teena said...

Great story!

BTW, Michele says hello :)

PI said...

teena:thanks!

PI said...

Last girl on earth: thank you! Come over any time.

Reflekshins said...

I like corgis and mischievous toddlers. This always makes for entertaining reading.

Watch out for those Scottish people -- there goes the neighborhood. heh heh

Cheers,

Shane
(Scottish)

PI said...

Hi Shane! Too late -I'm married to one now!

Leigh in Atlanta said...

god luck with all of this stuff.

mcihele sent me

Last Girl On Earth said...

Hi Pi,
I was here earlier and left you a comment! (Last Girl On Earth) It's up there a few above. I see you came over to my site and left me a comment to say that I missed you. Just wanted you to know that I didn't skip you from Michele's! (I would never skip someone. That would just keep me from finding new blog buddies... and how uncool would THAT be?) Hope you enjoyed your visit over at my place. Maybe see you again soon.

PI said...

Thanks Leigh!

LGOE: Thank you - I had seen your first comment and had answered it. It was late in appearing. All's well that ends well. Sometimes the comment box snarls up.

Jean-Luc Picard said...

Pat, Michele must like sending me this way!

PI said...

always welcome Jean-Luc!

MorahMommy said...

What a great laugh I had reading this excerpt from your life...the more we think we are different the more we realize we are all the same. We all have these wonderful experiences and memories that we make. We often don't think they're funny at the time but when we look back years later we can see the hilarity of the situation.

As for the dog...we have a precious one, but he has a fondness for chewing paper...he will actually go through the garbage to find the one piece he wants and chews it to bits!

have a great Sunday!

Oh, Michele sent me today.

David said...

God bless you!

PI said...

Morahmommy; I'm glad this rang a bell with you. You are right - we are pretty much the same the world over. I hope your dog doesn't cause you the pain Sharon did. Happily - later on - I inherited Jock a most lovable dog -sadly now in doggie heaven

gautami tripathy said...

The hall ceiling collapsed and you say it was uneventful?

:D

Michele sent me here to read this interesting part of your life!

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Well the end of this poat is like "The Perils Of Pauline"...! It sounds horrific, Pat...
And I hope one of the "lessons learned" was taking the outside bolts off of those dooes...lol!

The Sharon Saga wounds pretty horrific, too...I would have a lot od problems with that situation...I'm glad you found a solution there....

Look forward, my dear Pat, to the next installment.

PI said...

Gautami:'All in all it was a fairly eventful pregnancy' Not quite uneventful. glad you found it interesting:)

PI said...

Thank you David - that's sweet of you.

PI said...

Naomi: I felt a real failure about the Sharon situation - it really was a night mare and at least she went to someone very experienced in dog behaviour. I didn't realise that dogs could be so different in character.

Sam, Problem-Child-Bride said...

I love your stories! Was there a floor above that collapsed or was it on the top floor? Did you end up with another room or some stunned sparrows on the landing?

PI said...

Sam: oops missed this one. It was the ceiling of the top floor. There wasn't an attic only a loft. Here we have an attic but no cellar. i think any birds flew before the fall. Crafty little blighters