Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Two Fat Ladies

Write On Wednesdays

Grab the 8th book from your bookshelf. Open it to page 8. Scroll down to the 8th sentence. Write this sentence at the top of your page. Set your timer for 5 minutes and write the first words that come into your head after your 
writing prompt.  Stop when the buzzer rings! Do this exercise over and over if you wish.

In fact, when describing to people exactly where in East Finchley she lived, Leah would often say -  you know, just opposite the Peacock House………….

And instantly the house is identifiable from the thousands of others in the same area.

Like many others mine blends in from the outside. A traditional Victorian terrace with white windows and doors.

If it wasn’t for the number on the wall beside the door I doubt you would ever find my home.

Houses like people sadly seem mostly to fall into the category of instantly forgettable. Strangers on the street. A blur of humanity. You don’t look at them, they don’t see you. 

You couldn't know from the outside that in my house there is a bathroom painted like a beach hut, or that my daughter’s bedroom is hot pink and glitter. You don’t know that (to his eternal shame) my son has sky blue walls with fluffy clouds sponged on them.

What goes on inside the lives of those nameless people we pass in the street everyday?  Who do they go home to? Are they happy or sad? Are they lonely, ill or worried?  Are they content with their lives?

When night falls and the windows are uncurtained we may get a glimpse into both the house and the people who live inside.

An uncurtained window with light spilling out on to the pavement draws me like a moth to a candle.

A tiny snapshot of someone else’s life, a moment in time.  All the while wondering, ‘can they see me’?

When I was a child I used to pretend I was invisible, I would sit on the beach in the summer watching families on the sand.

Some building the most amazing castles with moats and turrets and bridges. Some shaking sand from towels and rugs as they prepared to pack up at the end of the day.  Some laughing and eating ice-cream.  Some hot and cross. I used to wonder, what’s it like to be a part of YOUR family.


Lo said...

Yes, yes, when we used to drive across country to visit the grandparents I used to peer into every lit window ad try to imagine belonging to the family inside...always sure that they were better off, prettier, happier than mine. Now I know the truth.....most were probably worse off, uglier and unhappier than mine. Whatever, they say you always choose to keep your own bag of troubles.

Suzi said...

"people watching" my Grandma used to call it. Kept her amused for hours. It's hard to imagine all the other families out there with their different lives...
Great post!

Kim H said...

Yes! I love to do this. Especially on a summers evening walking teh town streets when it's just getting dark and people's lights are on. Love peering in at their Xmas trees:)
You've captured a lovely image of houses and people and looking beyond the four walls of a building, inside to the life that dwells within. Love it!

Naomi said...

I love walking the streets and peeking into other people's homes and lives. You've captured that well.

Lene said...

Such an enjoyable read. So true and so intriguing! I really love the association between houses and people.

Anonymous said...

I can see you've been tuning into your 'writer's frequency'. People watching is such a fantastic way to piece together a story. And I can see the beginnings of a few stories here. Well done.

Car said...

Great work, I love how you have turned it into a look into others lives and interesting prospect.

MultipleMum said...

This is great. I love the connection between people and their homes. I love that you are a voyeur in this piece (child and adult), looking and wondering. x

Susan @ Reading Upside Down said...

"Houses like people sadly seem mostly to fall into the category of instantly forgettable. Strangers on the street. A blur of humanity. You don’t look at them, they don’t see you."

Love this - the idea of both people and houses being strangers and fading into the background.

Janelle said...

Some good thoughts being conjured up after reading this! I have often wondered many of the things you've mentioned here, about people, I love to people watch!

Oh, and the hot pink and glitter bedroom? Genius! I want one in my house!!

diney said...

I adore people watching. The only trouble is that obviously other people will be watching me too...better make sure my hair is ok at the back and that my skirt isn't tucked into my pants!

todd carr said...

I'm floored. love this post.

I like the comparison to nameless horses we pass by on a street never to give a second thought. poor lit'l horsey :(

InkPaperPen said...

I like the exact same bit that Susan mentioned...especially the blur of humanity, I understand what you mean straight away and think you are on to a haunting theme, I read both beauty and sadness in your piece, Sarah. Thanks again for playing along with W.o.W - I am enjoying reading more and more of your writing. Gill xo