On the Solway Coast, by the estuary between Rockcliffe and Kippford, stands my dream home. Big and square and built of stone, with a front lawn running down towards the sea. The few days a year when we walk the cliff path that meanders through the woods, I tell the 5 year old that this is where I should like the four of us to stay.
He is not convinced - too far away from Papa, plus we couldn't walk to school. My son is of a practical mind, a trait not inherited from me. I am discouraged not and whisper in his ear of a moonlit pebble beach, an attic bedroom with a sailing boat, and boy pirates who climb the walls and rat-a-tat-tat on the glass.
I know not who inhabits this home - but imagine I know its interior well. I should angle an armchair by the window in the lounge, to best admire the view. Lay a rug on polished wooden boards and place cushions on a sofa which faces the fire. I should open a window to breathe in salted air, and bake cakes in a black range of a kitchen painted cream and duck-egg blue. Tell bedtime stories to children tucked in wooden beds in attic rooms, with a rocking horse and a sturdy castle made of wood. And in heavy solid wardrobes, hang clothes of cotton, and linen and wool.
I should befriend the gulls, and walk on the beach. Hang washing on a blowy line and write and design and read. I tell my husband it's our 5 year plan. He smiles and says he may work from home. Or better still retire - once I can buy this house and pay, for life, our bills.
I shall be lenient then - with our dreams. 15 years as oppose to 5. Who knows what may yet be achieved. I have grand designs not. But water bound, and old, and built of stone. With a clear view and a sea breeze, to rattle glass and draw a fire. And should storm clouds gather - to briskly blow them onwards from our door... x