We’re not a particularly tall household; I have (well, I did have, I broke it while I was pregnant!) a baby step in the kitchen to get to the top cupboards. Recently, I’ve resorted to sending Fran up on to the worktop to get to things from the highest shelves because when this house was built and they were planning the kitchen, they designed the floor plan for families where flat space was not important and cupboards don’t need to be reached. Presumably these days all 4 bedroom houses are intended for couples who eat ready meals and are 8 foot tall. We seem to have all our food stored by the ceiling and there is roughly the worktop space required for a small pixie to prepare afternoon tea for 2 elderly aunts who are picky eaters. Sometimes, a place where I could access a quick ladder hire would be a definite advantage but children with no fear of heights and monkey like climbing tendencies do fine too!
When Max and I were first house-hunting, we craved a house with character and style, something we’d make our own and decorate with period drama and panache. We longed for Victorian Architecture and quirky nooks and crannies. What we got, when we bought our Victorian terrace house (the town we live in being lacking in Gothic houses for graduate salaries) was a leaky roof, a very cold tagged on bathroom and more upkeep that two people who had a lot of children very quickly could manage.
These days, I live with my matchbox house, the simplicity of walls that are straight and corners that are square, leaks that are easily and cheaply fixed (touch wood!) and guttering that withstands most rain fall. But I still crave the fairytale of historical houses.
This Christmas we got some new Lego and the dining table has been covered in the most beautiful toy town in full Victorian splendour and with as much finicky detail as I could ask for; we’ve really loved building it together. And looking at the girl decorating the Christmas tree, I’m not the only person who needs a ladder for basic tasks!