Tuesday, 15 January 2019

New Morning



We live in a street lined with typically English semi-detached houses on both sides [1], built in the 1930s, with the odd interruption of the original sequence due to bomb damage from WW2. Our house is oriented roughly NNE by SSW, with the front facing ESE, so there comes a point early in the year when the rising sun starts to appear over the opposite rooftops, and shines directly into our bathroom window at an angle that turns the pebbled glass into a jewelled backdrop, and transforms the mundane spectacle of drying clothes hanging over the bath into a graphic spectacle worth dropping your toothbrush for, and running downstairs for a camera. It only lasts a couple of minutes, then the magic is gone.

Following the latest round of installations of uPVC windows, I think it is safe to say that we are now the sole remaining house in the entire street with the original, wood-framed, single-glazed, lead-lighted windows left intact. We like them, and don't mind the draughts or the need to have them regularly repainted. But, if we're not careful, we're going to end up living in a listed building: "the last authentic 1930s semi in Southampton"... Dammit, we've even got the original iron plumbing – can you believe anyone would even think of installing iron water-pipes? – now so clogged with decades of limescale and rust that it takes forever to run a bath. I wash in cold water, an odd habit I acquired from my father, but as I am generally the first out of bed, if I turn on the hot tap when I enter the bathroom the trickle of water that emerges will be hot enough for a normal person to wash by the time I'm finished. From these things a family routine is built...

1. As a builder once said to me, "In England we make a perfectly serviceable family house, then divide it into two..."

2 comments:

Poetry24 said...

Glad to hear that someone is sticking with what they have, simply because they like it. I hear you on the cold water washing front, too.

Mike C. said...

Martin,

Both like them, and hate the plastic alternative! You should see some of the feeble attempts to duplicate the leaded lights...

I cold wash on the back, too (p-ting!).

Mike