Two months silence, I apologise. I've been without a phone for one month of it (I only use a camera phone and my phone got drowned in the dogs water bowl by Joel) so have some catching up to do but here's a post I started writing about a month ago.
So I got a call from my Dad, he'd been informed that his childhood home (where he lived until he was 22) was being demolished to make way for a multi-story car park for Blackpool Hospital. He wanted to go and see it one last time and wondered if Joel and I would like to come along too. I jumped at the chance to learn a bit more about my family history but we decided we probably stood a better chance of getting on site (the houses were already being taken apart) without an adventurous toddler in tow.
I'd never been sure which house it was, even though it wasn't that far from where I grew up. I'd become more familiar with it through photographs my Dad had lent me and also a notebook my Grandma had written all her decorating inspiration in (that was already a blog in the pipeline, which I will write anyway) when they had first bought the place. We go there just in time as next door was already flattened.
We donned hard hats and high vis jackets and as we walked round the house (stepping over piles of rubble and carpets-perhaps the originals) Dad shared his memories of the place. First of all we were astounded that the original front door had survived the era of UPVC grossness and, despite a change in colour, was still fully functioning. It's a split door and I recognised it from a photo of my dad and his mum looking through it.
This meter cupboard was used to hide my Aunties 'Clucking Hen' (an irritating noisy toy which the whole family had heard enough of on Christmas) however it returned to cluck again when the meter reader called round and my Auntie spotted it! "My hen!"
I recognised the details in the lounge straight away from Grandmas notebook, the window seats and inglenooks were sketched out in there.
Dad and his sister used to see who could jump the furthest down the stairs, eventually getting confident enough to tackle the full run! We have this all to come with daredevil Joel.
If you look closely in this photograph you can just make out a square shape under the wallpaper, this is a wall safe, which was flooded out with a leak, soaking my dads birth certificate (which he still has with it's water damage) and other important documents.
Dads bedroom, at the back of the house. He used to climb out of his window, up a drainpipe, onto a ledge and then up onto the top of the roof and then inch forward to the front of the house. His granddad once found him out and stood outside shouting up to him "I know your up there, come down"Dad just flattened himself down so he was out of view. It's funny that feeling of being invincible isn't it? Your cover has already been blown but you are convinced that if they can't actually see you then it's alright.
Dads best friend lived next door and they used to have an old army telephone strung between their bedrooms so they could plan their next adventure at night. Their adventures were wild naughty boy ones involving fireworks, air rifles and no fear!
My aunties bedroom dressing table, imagine how many hours she spent as a teen sat practising her make up and hair.
Dad said the room used to be decorated with a pretty paper. Under her window a seat had been built in since he'd lived there, when I looked in between the wooden panels I found where the paper had survived. I love it when papers survive decorating!
The original green bathroom suite was still there along with an incredible ceramic bath tap.
I'm so glad that we managed to get in there before it was demolished, it didn't feel sad either just interesting. I know that the memories my Dad shared will stay in my mind now there is an experience/mental picture to go with them