For somebody who takes up a fair amount of space, I sure as heck like folding up into small and normally quite weird places. My hips, knees and back tell me they disagree with my practice of curling up constantly, but I like it way too much to stop. This comes to you from the corner of the foot of the stairs, on a cushion and pretty much swaddled in blankets so I can watch the snow vicariously and not feel cold. I’ve just had some cinnamon toast, I’ve got a bottle of cider and I’m just writing this before launching up a game (not sure what yet – probably the Sims) because Hairy’s gone out to the pub.
One of my favourite memories from being a child (among the many happy ones) is from when I was about seven or eight, at my Grandma Jasper’s house. Just quickly – I grew up with six grandparents, and I remember at least three great grandparents clearly. Each of the grandmas had a different name, but all the grandads were just called Grandad + surname.
It was summer, and my Grandma’s biggest apple tree was in full swing. It was officially, in my head at least, my sister’s tree but she wasn’t climbing trees much at that point so I grabbed the handy plank of wood that seemed to just live in the garden and hoisted it up into the tree so it was supported by the fork in the trunk and I could lie on it, look up through the leaves, read but also watch the sky. Sounds amazing, right? Honestly, it was pretty uncomfortable. I was lying on a plank of wood. Plus once you get up into a tree, you have to deal with the whole fact that there are bugs (ants in this case) in nature. Also, it’s no fun to languish in a tree if no one’s watching.
I like climbing trees, but I’m pretty pants at it now because I can’t lift my own body weight. That aside, I like getting into awkward little spaces and just not being seen. I’m terrible in restaurants and pubs as I prefer to go find a little corner and take up residence. I’ve already said somewhere on this blog that I prefer the kitchen over the party, and I guess I can further say that I like hidey holes as well. I’d love to have a house with curl-up spaces.
When I was older, about fourteen I think, I went down to Foxlease – one of the Guide owned sites for a training weekend. Apart from the tea, biscuits and being able to run along the corridors late at night (about nine o’clock) giggling like a loon, one of my favourite things about it was that there was a ‘secret’ reading room that we managed to find. It was freezing cold, had low ceilings and was split into two smaller rooms with lumpy floors up a steep and narrow staircase (yup, just so!), but I loved it. It felt kind of like we were trespassing, but it had lots of books on the shelves and was hard to find again so it felt like it was a magic disappearing room.
I also don’t like chairs very much, or desks. I love the desk we have, but I’ve kind of stopped using it since Hairy got a new PC that he linked up to the TV and we found that we can’t fit both of us at the same desk. We’d hoped that there would be enough space, but it’s just a bit too awkward.
I’d post a picture of my current cubby hole, but that involves getting up and disturbing my nest. I’ve propped a clothes dryer in front of me to hold the blinds out the way so I can watch the swirly snow, but it also kind of hides me from the rest of the room. I’m a little oddball sometimes.
As an off shoot, I’ve also always preferred delicate little things which don’t quite sit right on a sturdy tomboy. I’ve spent a while being pretty and feminine- Mother dearest had a mission on her hands when I was a young teenager – I was happiest in her old shirts and boys’ jeans, but both she and my sister wanted to make me more girly! It happened, just slowly. It’s the city – I miss the countryside and having an excuse to go yomping through the woods in tatty jeans and well worn hiking boots.