Room with a view

Wednesday 4th January 2012

EVER since I can remember, looking out of the window has been fun.

As kids, we’d gather in our parents’ bedroom to watch the flash and pelt of lightning storms; on the street-streams viewed from Bristol flats bobbed human craft heading for harbours; in Lancashire we could just about see the sea; here in the Cotswolds, I have known snow-softened hillsides, long-legged sunsets and the comet Hale-Bopp, passing perihelion.

Where I now spend most of each day – tucked into the corner of a downstairs room, within a few feet of a window overlooking a narrow street – I can mark the seasons’ passage by the path of the sun: for several weeks either side of the solstice, its lower trajectory necessitates morning coffee behind drawn curtains, for the glare prevents my reading or writing at this desk.

The moon too: grey-eyed sentinel, peering over shoulder of opposite roof; slow and soft of speech:

“Ah… your fondness for the small hour, Mr Moore. Not yet tumbled into slumber? At what dost thou still labour?”

I like to feel cosy, closer to the walls of a room than its centre.

Doors are for opening rather than closing. Ceilings hold no interest, but beds must be snug, for they are where lives are created, started and completed. They also serve who only stand and wait… longer than they ought before having their sheets changed.

Eight of the ten windows of this house face south. Tears of rain splash their cheeks; rays of sun dry their eyes.

At the rear of the property, alongside the stairs and set back in alcoves, are two smaller windows, through which can be seen a narrow, enclosed courtyard. At night, with neighbours’ cottages lit from within, the small scene has something olde-worlde about it.

When my granddaughters came last week, the youngest headed straight for one of those windows, occasionally glancing at the trinkets on the sill, but mainly simply to sit on her chosen stair by what she calls the ‘puppet theatre’.

It’s as if we now have another room; with a different view.

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