Saturday, December 03, 2016
Private Secret Sitting Room
When we first renovated this house this room, the front room that looks out to the garden was the last area to be completed. It was maybe a year before the wooden floor was laid, the fireplace finished and the furniture installed. My dream was to have a wall of bookshelves and eventually Bert got this sorted and voilà I had my bookshelves stacked with books and cherished objects.
I had hardly a year to enjoy the room when Pearlie moved in. It was the obvious place for her - spacious, ground floor, an open fire. I moved everything of mine out - except the books, where would I even put those books.
Pearlie had the room for over six years and when she died it took the best part of another year before I could bring myself to take it back. Then Banjo Man decorated it to a very high standard and I gathered up some more furniture and hung my best pictures and unpacked the cherished objects, installed my PC and I had a den again, a den I called my private, secret sitting room. Entrance was by invitation only.
That was the way of it for a year or more - then Hannah came home. By then the private, secret sitting room had turned into a bit of a dumping ground, stuff was gathering up and I was using it as office and storage space, nothing else.
Then it occurred to us all that Hannah, used to a roomy flat, was stuck in two rooms upstairs. So I cleared the room, made it more homely, bought some softer lighting, started making fires and invited the family in. My private, secret sitting room is no more. And even as I am writing this Hannah and her friend are making music, enjoying silly shows in front of a cosy, open fire. Private, secret rooms are so very overrated. This room has come back to life again. And about time.