Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Very strange indeed...

I have a question for you: what connects the first two pictures below...

with the picture above? 

Well, the answer is that they're all of the same room. 

Today I had the surreal experience of being invited to see the changes that the people who bought my parents' house have made. Above, you can see my parents' dining room, as it was. The new people have changed it into their kitchen, put a line of units where the fireplace was and blocked off the window, which is currently a wall with "Congratulations Daddy" adorning it. To the right, where you can't see it, they've knocked through a little passageway into the butler's pantry, and the wall between the butler's pantry and the kitchen, and made the butler's pantry's window into a glass door to light their kitchen. 

It was all very very odd indeed. It was my parents' house and yet it wasn't. 

The pictures immediately below show the sitting room as it was...

and above, as it is now. I thought the mantelpiece was rather nice before, but there we are. Tastes vary.

The new owners were happy for me to take some photos to show the family, but I didn't like to do this in any great detail, so they're not really effective as before and after photos. And the walls in the photo above are actually quite a dark mushroom colour, though they look green here (shades of the blue and black dress making headlines a few days ago).

I feel... quite stressed and a bit disorientated but ... it was very kind of the young lady to invite me. And the lovely thing is that they've given their little girl the middle name of May, which is my mum's name, because they thought that my mum was such a sweet old lady. (They might not have, I realise, if her name had been something horrible. But still. I wish I could tell Mum!)

The British Mother's Day is coming in a couple of weeks and the shops are making the most of this marketing opportunity. It's quite hard when you no longer have a mother and you keep being reminded of this fact. But of course this must be a very common experience.

Ah well. Such is life.


  1. It's brave of you to return to a place with such strong emotional content.

  2. Oh dear. Or Oh No. I thought your Mum's place was so very beautiful. I'm a bit disoriented too -- your reference to the Butler's Pantry being on the right -- I would have thought to the right would have knocked a wall through to the sitting room. And if they have the kitchen in the dining room -- what became of the kitchen -- is that the Butler's Pantry now? (Which is the opposite side of the room to where I would expect it. I thought the fireplace was directly ahead as you entered the dining room -- was it on the same wall as the door into the dining room? I've obviously turned things around in my memory!) Anyway, I know time moves on and things change, but it's hard to watch it. XOXO

  3. The butler's pantry (which Mum and Dad used as a cloakroom) was between the sitting room and the dining room, with a wee square hallway leading into it, Anna. So they've knocked down the wall between the cloakroom and the dining room and incorporated both the wee hall and the cloakroom (which had a window) into their new kitchen. Then the old kitchen, to the left and down some stairs, is their new family room. Soon they're going to knock down all the servants' bit at the back, which you probably never saw, to incorporate this into the family room.

    I don't think people need butler's pantries much now!

  4. The fireplace was indeed on the outside wall.

  5. It seems that they have spoiled the proportions of that beautiful room. What a shame.

  6. I sort of want to see what my friends have done to my old house but sort of don't eitherso I think I understand!

    Lovely about little May too.

    I know I can still hug my mum but she's not really here any more and for that reason Mother's Day is quite hard for me too. Hugs.

    Lesley xx

  7. In the last few years of Ken's mother's life, we took her to visit the houses where she and her husband lived in. The current residents were delighted when we knocked on their door and introduced MIL, and in all instances, we were invited in to see what they had done to the house. MIL remembered the way the rooms were, and was fascinated to see them updated.

  8. My parents' house was ruined by developers.They attached a carbuncular extension and roof extensions. It would have been preferable to see it torn down. They turned it into so many flats I can't even imagine what the inside looks like now. A pity they wasted those nice Delft tiles in the old fireplace.