Friday, May 7, 2010


To open the door under the stairs in my parents' house (stash of wine, boxes of chocolate, miscellaneous stacked paintings) is to encounter an old friend. I made this particular memento mori when I was about eight, and it originally hung in a - a what? a kind of ghost corridor at the back of no. 11 Hillside, where the Foxes lived (the children were Christina, Simon, and Michael - periferal members of the Hillside Gang that was basically Andrew Pemberton, William Watson and myself. And we had it in mind to make a Ghost Train, though of course we didn't have a train. I think that I must have been inspired by the actual ghost train ride that I'd been on at the Battersea Park Fun Fair - a relict of the 1951 Great Exhibition - so we hung up sheets, and went Whooooooo-ooooooo behind them, and hung down bits of string that were meant to be like spiders' webs flapping in faces. And so the Skeleton took pride of place, and then came back to hang in the hall.

My mother can been seen observing, and presumably wondering why ever I'm suddenly taking a photograph of under the stairs. That's to say, of course, that my parents don't know, officially, about this blog. We're not good at sharing stuff - I managed, for the very first time, to slide DandeLion/Fluffy/Bitzi into the conversation this evening - that orange ball of fur that lives under our bed and occasionally emerges to flourish her elegant tail. My mother pulled the kind of face that only she can, when she dreads that we are turning into Loony Cat Ladies. I guess that means that Dande - who is two this month - is now a Skeleton that I have brought out of the Closet.

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