Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Attics and garrets and starving artists...


As for attics, I might well say the same...I like them.  Not that I ever had one, that was part of their mystique.  They were the sort of mysterious place where the heros and heroines in the books I read might find an old wooden chest with a treasure map inside...or a perfect place to create a secret clubhouse...or discover a mysterious dinner service decorated with owls........

But being a child of the Australian suburbs, even a house with a staircase was a novelty.  And so for me, attics have held onto that mystique.  In my first trip to the UK, I spent a night in one, a 'guest bedroom' at the top of an old Kensington terrace house serving as nursing quarters.  A nurse friend was living there (in the basement) and I was sleeping on her floor as is the wont of young Australians who spend all their money on the obscenely expensive plane fare to GET there leaving nothing much else.  I wasn't supposed to be sleeping on her floor of course.  But I spent some weeks there, until in a flurry of panic because of an inspection or some such, I was shunted from bottom to top, to spend an evening upstairs as a 'legitimate' guest.  The room had been prettied up but its delightfully sloping ceiling and little dormer window opening onto the roof betrayed its origins.  It was a balmy summer evening, and I sat in the little open window, looking out at the lights of London and listening as 'Nessun Dorma' floated out of one of the windows across the road.  So perfect it was like a scene from a movie.

But why is the mermaid in the attic now?  Well, I have an attic now.  Almost...a mezzanine floor above the family room.  A little space to create, squeezed in under the sloping roof of my house, up a stair (not quite winding, but it does have a bend in it) with a wrought iron balustrade.  A wooden floor that squeaks when I walk on it.  A little window above my head...though it's a little freaky sometimes seeing the reflections of planes passing overhead also zooming across my glass desk top.  And the walls are painted turquoise, 'like being under the ocean' is how one visitor described it.  So, 'a mermaid in the attic'.  All quite logical really, though my brother did wonder whether it wasn't rather cruel to keep a mermaid that far from her natural habitat.  But this one is happy here.

4 comments:

Nathary said...

You should start writing a book. A lot of your words are noble. I love reading it, I'm hooked with ur blog already.

Btw, you've got a perfect enviroment any artists would die for.

A mermaid in the attic said...

Wow, my first fan! Thanks Nathary. I'll see how the blog goes before I start thinking about a book though! :)

herhimnbryn said...

Hallo there,
What a glorious place to create.

Anonymous said...

WOW! i've wanted an attic for a really long time! lucky u! i loved reading that it was really good

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