Monday, 9 August 2010

Moving house

The following report comes from a reader called simply Barbara.
She does not wish to be identified any further. (Which is perfectly OK.)
It is posted here verbatim, with only a link inserted, to refer you back to a post she mentioned.

In their own words...

This happened maybe four years ago, in summer time. I don't recall any other details, as it was a long time ago. But after reading the post about the house in England that keeps appearing and disappearing I remembered this event that baffled me at the time.

About two miles from my former home (I lived in a city) there is a tall woody hill with an inn at the top that many people like to visit on weekends and after work to chill out. There is only one road leading up there from the direction of the city (where I lived), although there is another road on the other side of the hill.
I used to go there from time to time because it's close and offers a very nice panoramic view of the city.

On this particular day I drove there with a couple of family members and a friend.
As we were nearing the beginning of the slope, just before the road starts going uphill, I noticed a tiny oldfashioned cottage on the left side of the road. It was very tiny, with whitewashed (but dirty) walls and a straw roof.
This sort of building was very common here centuries ago, but nowadays it's very difficult to find a cottage like that.

Th cottage was standing alone on top of a small grassy hill, just above the modern housing development sprawling on both sides of the road. It looked old and abandoned.

I was very surprised because I didn't remember seeing it before, and enchanted to see a cottage like that and I thought to myself it would be a perfect "retreat" for me to do my writing and stuff. I also remember thinking it was a ridiculous idea considering it was so close to my home, but I really liked it. I rememebr thinking I would have to ask a relative of mine who is a lawyer how to go about it.

Later that day, on our way back home, I didn't remember to look because I was engrossed in a conversation we were having.
But I did remember to look the next time we went there, maybe two months later.

The cottage wasn't there!

I remember thinking it was sooo typical! Every time I like something, a product or a service, whatever, they discontinue it or it becomes unavailable to me. It happens all the time, with makeup, with perfume, with TV shows I like.
But I was especially sad that the cottage had been torn down because it was so unique.

Maybe three or four months later we went to the hill again to have a "twilight drink" (like a "night cap", only it wasn't night yet :)). On our way there I didn't even bother to look for the place where the cottage had stood. Besides, we were talking, so I only remembered it just as we were passing the spot where I had seen it, so I didn't really look.

But as we were driving home I was sitting in the back looking through the car window on my right side... and there was the cottage again!

I asked the person who was driving if he could stop, but it was really impossible (too much traffic).
When I got home I called that relative who was a lawyer and asked her if she could take a picture of that cottage the next time she goes to the hill (because she used to go there often, whereas I have a disability that prevents me from walking for any length of time and I do not own a car).
She could not recall any such cottage (and she lived nearby), so I gave her a precise description of the site.

The next time we talked she said she saw no such cottage. She described to me the surrounding houses, and the description fit the place I had seen, only there was no cottage.

I don't know what to make of this. There is only one road leading up the slope, the road we took. You simply cannot take any other road because there is no other road.
Also, the distance is very short, comparatively, so it's not like there are a lot of such roadside grassy slopes. In fact there is only one, with modern houses below - and that solitary cottage was standing high on the slope, above the houses. It was extremely distinctive - the only house with a straw roof I've seen here! - so there's no way I confused it with some other house.
Also, it was not a prefabricated structure that could be taken down and reassembled again (not to mention that it looked old and abandoned).

I don't live in that city anymore and I don't visit the hill. The few people that I mentioned it to and were familiar with the place didn't seem to recall any such cottage.

I have no idea what that was.
But I do know what I saw.... Twice!

Cottage, by Proama.

Thank you very much, Barbara.
Personally I find such inconspicuously placed events fascinating and even poetic, in an odd sort of way.

And by the way (no pun intended ;)), I gather you hadn't read the story about a certain hill at the time of your writing... or you would count yourself lucky that the hill itself was there. :)

The Long Way Home
Have You Seen This House?

About the image:

Such a beautiful story deserves a beautiful picture. This one, we thought, was beautiful, even though the structure is just a wooden shack, not a brick and mortar (and straw) cottage, like the one that Barbara saw.
We did not ask for permission to insert it here, but it certainly wasn't because of lack of respect towards the author.
You can see the picture here, and the author's gallery if you click the link beneath the picture.

If you want to report a perceived dimensional anomaly, please do, but read this first.

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