Friday, October 27, 2006

Wordgirl has braved all to show us her welcome. I can almost feel the warmth of it from here, not to mention smell the pumpkins. I love the smiley yellow in the front hall.

Mostly though, I love the idea of the front porch. We don't have those here. We have front door then lobby, or front door then street, or front door then lawn. Seeing pictures of front porches in tv shows, and later as I travelled back and forth, always made me envious. They seem to afford some sort of extra protection from the outside world. A buffer zone. And a place from which to survey your kingdom. If I'm ever in the position to be able to build my own home, that's the bit I'll have designed first.

So, since I'm not dressed, here's the view of our front door from my office window. The little canopy thing is typical of houses round here in this period (1830's) and stand on tall thin legs, which once had twiddly twirly ornamental bits, but, like the rest of the period detail in this little terrace, were stripped away long before we arrived.

The front yard is pretty messy. I demolished half the privet the other day, and the bin is waiting for collection. You can see my neighbours scrunched up garden waste bags on the right. The ladders waiting for the house painters to come back and fetch them, and a bunch of shrubs which are camping out after being displaced by the scaffolding.

From under this canopy on Monday morning, the doorbell rang. I wasn't expecting anyone. I was working and the offspring was at nursery. I heard A mother and child talking, but so close were they to the front door, I couldn't see. I thought maybe we'd left something at someone's house and they were returning it, it's extremely unlikely that anyone would just drop by.

It turned out to be a Jehovah's Witness. Smiling and handing me my "personal copy" of "A Worldwide message: The End of False Religion Is Near!" (well, phew. that's a relief). See usually I have no objections to these and anyone else who wants to stop my ad save my eternal soul. It's pretty thoughtful. I smile and say thanks but no thanks and take it from there. If they start to get pushy, I'm not above shutting the door in their faces. I'm not going to start justifying my choices to anyone, let alone a stranger on the doorstep, despite their good intentions. Most people are not so tolerant.

But this young woman had a 4/5 year old child with her. Presumably her daughter. Had this child been walked up and down the street of our neighbourhood having doors slammed in her face? Even with the most sympathetic householders, has this child spent the day having door upon door clsoed to her? It made me really uncomfortable. I wanted to give her a hug and tell her she could come and play anytime. I wonder how muchshe understands about her morning out with mummy. and what her mummy tells her about all the people who don't want to play.


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