Friday, May 8, 2009

My Home Is the Baron's Home

The Poetics of Space is something of a bible to me, no matter how obvious it is, no matter how materialistic it is, there's something that has to be said about great spaces.

A few years ago, the old man and I visited my childhood home in Belgium, as a way of commemorating the tenth anniversary of my sister's death. By the way, "childhood home" is a bit of a stretch because my family moved almost every two years while I was growing up. Anyway, our Belgian house is the one I think of when I think of home, when I think of rooms. While walking around the house, I was astonished at how exactly I remembered everything; it wasn't bigger or smaller. It was exactly how I knew it. Please come with me on a tour of my old house, which had been a gatehouse to the castle across the street. The castle has been turned into a museum and the Baron now lives in my former house. The caretaker of both properties still lives there and let us snoop around the house while no one was home. 

Side pond where the Baron's daughter was married:

Through this archway is a brick oven. If you are afraid of witches who eat children, you should stay away from this oven:

Closet in my old room:

My sister's old room. The walls used to be covered with Victorian wallpaper. We told our friends that someone in the gatehouse drew the pictures out of love for someone in the castle because the castle and moat resembled the wallpaper print. Have you ever swam in a moat? The lilly pads roots go all the way to the bottom and tickle your crotch when you swim by.

In a bedroom in the attic, my sister and I made a Barbie town from old moving boxes. Here are the creepy attic stairs:

Downstairs. I used to practice the piano a little to the right of that red-coated woman:

This is the set of the living room windows I used to read in. While there I also ate my afternoon snack of a glass of milk accompanied by a pickle.

Back of the house. As you can see, the right side has been modernized, but the left wing is basically the same. On the right lower level, there used to be a room that had a barbeque pit large enough for horses, but the room is now an office for the Baron. The right upstairs front room was completely sealed off when we lived there. I wonder what had been sealed in.

Not pictured: garage door handle of a hand holding a handle.

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