“Oh yes. Did you have somebody’s ashes in that copper beech? That old woman seemed to think it was important. We chopped it down.” *Long look*
The house I grew up in was purchased by a couple who decided that they would do it up, and had plenty of money to do so. It used to be a little ramshackle farmhouse with a big garden full of good soil and old trees. The copper beech was a windbreak, and we mostly loved it for the colour and the beauty. Nobody was buried in it, despite their speculation. It was just a good tree. The old woman was my grandmother. That’s all.
The couple who bought … I don’t know them personally beyond that cruel quote about the beech tree, harvested at my uncle’s wake no less, after my grandmother was dead. They wanted to stamp their mark.
They built the sort of mansion you dream about … But it’s all slightly too shiny for my eyes. There’s a Romanesque idea to it, and they’ve paid good money to have human beings make questionable statues all over the place.
The soil though: that soil is ancient and fertile. It was good soil back then. You can grow all sorts in it. There were good mycelium.
These guys cut down so many of the old trees. They pulled up all the old bushes. Then they seeded endless empty lawns probably full of chemicals. Likely it killed the puffball mycelia and many more. The grounds they made have to be maintained by expensive humans sitting on devices. I suspect that the house will be hard to keep running cheaply. There’s an empty orchard of sad new trees where once there was life. There’s an avenue where once there was a bramble path. To my taste it’s a bad bad bad bad bad use of good land. It feels controlled to the point that it has lost its identity completely.
My brother learnt to be an entomologist in the old grounds of that house, and I learnt to be an person surrounded by space.
My mother had irresponsibly seeded the meadow with matchbox crickets taken from Europe on the ferry. It was a huge strange breeding ground for nature when we were children there. It was rich rich rich. The trees were deep. Everything had age. Now, the grounds are stripped back mostly to just lawns and they’ve almost certainly been poisoned with chemicals. I still love the house for where it is and the interior looks good. But I’m really not behind the thinking that designed the exterior.
“The house you grew up in is gone,” says the guy in Curiosity Coffee Shop, where I spilt my guts after seeing it in the window of the estate agent. He’s right. But… The land!
Three floors with office space and an indoor pool.
I have always dreamt of being able to buy back my childhood home. I always wanted the chance.
They want 13 million for it. Aaaaaaa
I’m so sad.
Euromillions on Tuesday. I’m gonna buy 13 tickets. 13 has been my lucky number all my life. That would make a good story. But I can’t even buy a ticket for it here unless I use a VPN.
Thirteen million. If I had it… Oh hell I wish I could buy back that house, those grounds. That powerful powerful part of the world. I would help nature return after all the cameras and chemicals. And we could start with a theatre in the folly and offices for makers on the top floor, and maybe even a headquarters for a good organic food store. Oh God. I am so swept up in this. How the hell is it worth 13 million? What even is that amount of money? It seems impossible. And I’ve dreamt of getting that place back for most of my adult life. Damn. Damn. Damn.
My PayPal is firstname.lastname@example.org
Secret millionaires and investors, you are welcome to donate or talk to me about your terms. Oh God I want to be able to return here, to this place that sprung me. I’ll come back to Jersey, rewild that land, and be at the heart of a huge and powerful push forward to The Arts over here. My old home, new rendered. A veritable hub. A nexus. I just need to give a little over 12 million to those idiots. It’s been on the market a while at 13 I’m told so I’m sure there’s a bit of room for haggling. I haven’t seen inside yet.
Meanwhile, GORILLA. This is me, looking at what they’ve done with the place.
EDIT: The owner found this blog. Out of courtesy I’ve adjusted it. My emotion about the loss of my family and the passing of the past – it pushed some cruelty on my part as well. By all accounts they’re a nice old pair. I’m not seeking conflict here. Although I’ve blown any chance I might have had to buy it, even if I was rolling in money.