Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The house next door

It's terrible to think of the people in the world - the many people in the world - who haven't got enough possessions, when we - my mother but also ourselves - have far more than we need. Not that the hungry would really want my mother's figurines and china and my grandparents' pictures and the occasional tables and bookcases which hold all these things. Weighed down with the responsibility of finding something to do with as many of these objects as possible, I feel that I want to minimise down to one mug, one plate, one set of sheets and ... oh well, maybe I'll allow Mr Life to have one of everything too.

Of course, it's not that simple. We quite often have friends or family to eat or to stay, so we need enough plates and serving dishes and beds and sheets for them all. And I like pretty, though unnecessary, things: glass and china and pictures.

We were away for a few days at Crieff Hydro, where we've holidayed as a family for almost sixty years now. These days we stay not in the hotel (too expensive for a big group) but in self-catering houses in the grounds, but we can use the facilities of the hotel. We variously swim, play tennis and badminton, climb the hill, walk in the grounds, drink coffee in the Winter Garden. There were twelve of us this time: my mum, my brother, his wife, their daughter, their son and his girlfriend, Daughter 1 and SIL 1, Grandson, Daughter 2, Mr Life and I. Unfortunately Son, Future DIL and SIL 2 couldn't come on this occasion. For the first time, we had two identical interconnecting houses, which was a splendid arrangement. The houses are spacious and rather luxurious. We all ate together in the older people's house and mainly sat in the living room there, while the younger people's bedrooms were in their own house.

And it suddenly struck Daughter 2 and me what a wonderful arrangement it would be if every house had a door connecting it to an identical house next door. Just think of it: most of the time you would keep the door shut, so that House 2 would remain tidy and reasonably clean. However, when you had visitors you could raid the extra kitchen for spare plates; you would have a spare oven, microwave, dishwasher, clothes washer for extra capacity; the spare bedrooms would be pristine and ready for use. We wondered why no one had thought of this brilliant scheme before.

Unfortunately there isn't room in our garden to build a spare house. This is one of the reasons that we won't be doing it. Pity.


  1. Sounds like a good idea tome too......

  2. Did you ever see this tiny house video? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lDbrUk2xYBo
    I've been thinking along the same lines as you lately, with all the possessions to deal with.

  3. We live in a semi but it's joined to next door rather differently - their sittingroom and a bedroom has a flying freehold over our garage and basement study. I have a fantasy that when they move, we'll buy it and knock through a door on two of the floors then M-in-law could have a bedroom and sittingroom on the first floor and a live-in carer! I told you it was a fantasy :-)

  4. Now I feel guilty for sending you a message on Facebook offering to unload some of my stuff onto you! (In my defence, it is stuff for K, not directly for you!)

  5. Sounds like such a lovely family get together for a break. I am facing having to rid my life of so many 'things'. I just don't know what to do with all the small 'treasures' aka, trash.

  6. Utopia...winning the lottery and buying a warehouse to convert to storage and display of all my beloved linens..