The small girl inherited a lovely doll’s house from her sisters. Over the years the family of dolls has expanded and we felt that a second house was required. The little wooden dolls needed someplace to go visiting. Okay, it was all an excuse; I saw one of these shoebox houses on Pinterest and I desperately needed to have a go at making one.
Playing house has been my absolute favourite entertainment for as long as I can remember. As a child, I built tree houses, blanket forts, Lego chalets, sandcastles…you name it, I built it. As a student, I put up an eight-foot-high live Christmas tree in my tiny bedsit. When Husband and I moved into our first rented apartment I spent our entire food budget in Habitat. When we bought our own house and I was given license to actually hammer nails in the walls, I was ecstatic.
But every house before this house was, more or less, temporary. Even while we searched for it, I called this The Forever House. The house where I would invest in hard wood floors, plant trees and put down roots. The house purchase was a year-long torture by a series of masochistic banking minions. The planned kitchen extension turned into a year-long nightmare of demolition and re-build. The only thing that kept me sane during the worst two years of my life was a packet of colouring pencils and a pad of graph paper where I planned bathrooms and bedrooms and, above all else, my dream kitchen.
Small girl was only five weeks old when we moved in. I strapped her to my chest in a sling while I lovingly caressed my hard-won, hardwood floors with a mop.
Since then, I’ve been having the best fun playing the most exciting game of house ever. Some days I scream that I want what I want and I want it NOW in fine Verruca Salt fashion. Other days, I feel that there is no rush. We will eventually get a patio outside our lovely patio doors and I will eventually paint the back of my bathroom door. It doesn’t need to be finished. What would be the fun in that?
The trees are beginning to mature now and the precious floors are getting scuffed. I tried to protect them with rugs and mats but had to give up. There’s a groove being slowly worn between the sink and the cooker and between the cooker and the fridge. It’s not pretty but it tells my story. It’s my groove.
I thought that the shoebox house would be a fun project for my three girls but it turned out that I was the one who spent hours cutting up magazines and matching perspectives. I asked Teenage Daughter why they weren’t joining in and she answered, ‘Mum, you are obsessed. We are afraid to lay a finger on that thing’.
I’ve left it next door to the old dollhouse now and small girl plays with it while I’m hoovering. I might buy a new magazine one day soon and do a bit of renovation. I can’t help it.