Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Proper houses

There are lots of proper houses in Antwerpen, even the shops are proper. For the uninitiated, proper houses are those with stairs. Houses with an upstairs and a downstairs. Houses with a promise of mystery and history. What's up the stairs? Are there hidey holes for goblins and the like? Is there a dusty attic full of treasures?

As an adult I've aimed to live in proper houses, and succeeded for most of the time. The house that's on the market in NZ is a proper house. It has stairs inside and outside, one of the reasons I fell in love with it. I can remember walking up the outside steps for the first time, peeking around the corner of the hedge to see the house shining in the sun.

Of course being in a proper house has it's drawbacks. Di's new house is a proper house with very narrow stairs, two sets up two levels, 34 steps in all. Di and Gert and family have just moved in so the trauma of moving things up stairs hasn't faded yet. Time is a healer, and once things are in place, it feels like they always were.

The lady whose shop door way and stairs I've included here was telling us that getting the new stock upstairs is a trial. Her stairs looked so inviting, at times I feel like a kid who just wants to go up and explore what's at the top. Today I resisted urge, the lure of a good Belgian coffee stronger.

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