As many of you know, I have just made the big move interstate for my fiance’s work. I’ve packed my whole life into brown boxes, put my dog in a pet crate, pulled up all my roots and hopped on a plane to Adelaide, South Australia.
Moving makes you realise how much a house is really just four walls and a roof. When we first arrived we felt completely disoriented – culture shocked even. Because we knew no one here and nothing was familiar. But after a week, the quaint converted cottage I’m blogging from is starting to become a home, and I’ve discovered it’s all about the little details…
- The high ceilings, fireplaces and wide creaking floor boards
- That it smells and sounds like an old english house from my childhood (my dad was British so we spent a lot of time with his family over there)
- The quirky trio of black bantam chooks painted on the power pole just outside our house, so when I drive down the street I know I’m home
- The massive fig tree in our backyard heavy with fruit, and the strange little green gnome who sits under her
- The sound of my pup’s toe nails clacking on the floorboards as he follows me around the house
- The wind through the ivy that creeps down the side of the house
- That I have blank walls to hang fresh canvases on (as we speak I’m doing a new painting specifically for this house)
But I don’t love:
- The too-creepy-for-words cellar in the floor of our dining room. A wooden trapdoor lifts to a rusted metal ladder that leads down into something straight out of Silence of the Lambs. If I haven’t blogged for a few days, then you know where to suggest the police look…
It’s all these things (except the cellar) that have imbued this place that was once foreign with a feeling of homeliness. And when I think about it, it’s the very same details that make a story feel real and familiar, too. The small observations that ground you in the world of the story – that make it a novel you want to curl up with, one where you sigh when you open the pages.
I wonder what the details are that make your four walls and ceiling a home?