Notes from An Alien

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A childhood home: read an excerpt from Not Quite Lost – in The Woolf


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Those walls and rooms, the fields under that bright spread of sky, contained me in my earliest years. A family house is one of your guardians. As a quiet, imaginative child, I had spent as much time alone with it, on my inward paths, as I had with its people. I had a relationship with it in its own right.’

This is from the opening piece in Not Quite Lost: Travels Without A Sense of Direction, just published in the winter edition of The Woolf. The piece is an obituary for the Arts & Crafts house in Alderley Edge, Cheshire that was my family home and was demolished in February. The Woolf has made a special feature including my photos, so if you’re already familiar with the piece you can see the wood-panelled hall, the distant view of Jodrell Bank radio telescope, the house with its original windows…

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4 responses to “A childhood home: read an excerpt from Not Quite Lost – in The Woolf

  1. Jane Watson December 5, 2017 at 8:01 am

    This excerpt moved me so much. My grandfather’s house was acquired by a school after the last owner after him died (the last owner had said the school would only get it over his dead body, so I guess he got his wish). It was the house my grandparents lived in before their marriage broke down. I had never seen the house but when the school had an Open Day I went to have a look, armed with a photograph of my grandmother sitting in the bay window on a dining chair reading a book. I went upstairs and looked in the bedroom drawers and shelves. I imagined my grandmother’s clothes neatly stacked on the old pine shelves. Some time later i heard that the school had knocked the old house down to make way for some other modern amenity. I almost cried. It seemed such a waste and seemed so symbolic of the family that had also crumbled.

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