My house

[John's house]

I lived for some time in a small house in a former village (now largely urbanized) in Cambridgeshire, UK (I prefer to be rural rather than urban).

My house was a small one, of the kind that is called a starter home in the UK, or a duplex in North America. It's also described as a corner terrace, that is, it's one corner of a building made of four houses, so I've got neighbouring houses to the left and the rear. Although built (I think) in 1986, it's not just the box-shape that so many modern houses are! For the small space its ground-plan takes, it's quite roomy.

However, I'm not really the yuppie, starter-home sort of person, so I preferred to regard it as a traditional rural software craftsperson's cottage. (Well, all great traditions have to start somewhere.) Ideally, as a franciscan, I'd head towards a very simple lifestyle; my house is quite simple, but not as uncluttered as I would, in principle, like.

I'd also like to think that there is a simple, hermitage-style, aspect to it (but what do you think a hermitage is like inside?), and the upstairs room was set up to be my prayer and meditation area as well as a the bedroom (in which the bed is a simple futon); however it's not always tidy and austere.

Downstairs was also quite simple and practical, with a moderate number of books; as I like tinkering with all sorts of things, there is usually a lot of interesting stuff around (referred to by my Mum when she visits as ``mess'')-:... a fancy cycle lighting system being extended, or perhaps a teletype being restored.

One thing that some people found unusual about the house is that I do not have a television; another is that I don't have any chairs as such. (What does it reflect on society that the former is probably more noticeable than the latter?)

I had quite a few plants in the garden (for its size!), which is hedged along the front with golden leylandii trees (in hope of giving me a bit more quiet and privacy, and shielding me from the sodium yellow of the streetlighting that the council insisted on installing); and indoors, I had lots of potted plants on the windowsill, and more in various corners of the cottage. I've planted some ivy, in various colours and variegations, to grow up the walls -- outside, that is. However, it was slow in sticking to the brickwork, so to give it a start I tried using cable clips to hold in place while the aerial roots got the hint. But the brick is too hard for the cable clip pins, so I glued them to the wall. At this point, I decided I'd been writing too many shell scripts...

It was possible to get to my house by road, which I sometimes feel is a great pity; I'd quite like to live somewhere more remote, and now I do.

House maintainance notes (local access only).

John C. G. Sturdy
[John's home] Last modified: Sun Jun 10 22:12:57 GMT Daylight Time 2007