This week Michael asks us to use your imagination to explore a journey through a portal to a new land. It could be a fairy world, some magical place, an upside down world, a place of natural wonder.
My take is slightly different, but the concept I think is acceptable for the prompt.
Portals, doorways or thresholds. They can beckon you in with a smile and a promise, or sometimes fear or trepidation at the unknown.
Will your curiosity get the better of you to pass through and what will you see on the other side?
If you like it, can you stay? If you don’t can you go back? Sometimes, you simply can’t.
Life’s a bit like that.
As we enter and exit other people’s lives and their homes, we get a glimpse of the way they live. The dreaded ‘Keeping up with the Jones’ or ‘Setting the trend’ gets tiresome and dull after a while. How many of us have seen something someone else has and wanted it so badly, we’ve gone out and got one exactly the same only to find it doesn’t fit with what we’ve got.
I remember an elderly aunt and uncle who lived in a small village on the outskirts of the Forest of Dean.
Crossing the threshold into their property was like walking into another world.
There was no central heating or double glazing, and thick dark curtains hung at the windows and doors. Her kitchen was nothing more than a sink with a wooden drainer, single tap and a cream three ring gas stove with a small oven. On top was one of the biggest kettles I’d even seen.
There was a fold up table that doubled up as a worktop, and shelves along the wall that supported tins, cartons and containers. A ‘tall boy’ was designated purely to crockery, pots and pans. There was no fridge or washing machine, but a washboard hung on the back door together with a bag of dolly pegs.
The lounge or parlour as it was called, was dark, even for midday, the walls covered in a red velvet embossed paper that had seen better years, and the carpet I could see was threadbare but clean.
Aunt Em and Uncle Harold were in their eighties, and I guess nothing in their house had changed since they married when she was sixteen. They’d never had children so there were few photographs, but there was a rather fat tabby cat curled up on a cushion that didn’t move when we walked in. Not surprising really as it was a stuffed family pet which I found a bit creepy. I was 14.
The house smelt as old as the couple within, but our welcome was warm and became enthusiastic as I was mistaken for my mother. Not really difficult in the available light and the fact I was with my grandfather at the time. Time for them stood still and Mum would always be a teenager to them.
After tea and cake, yes Aunt Em always had cake in the tin in case of visitors, we left and my eyes and senses were assaulted by modern day living, or as it was, 1970.
The noise of traffic, blaring music, and hostile conversations were such a contrast to the peace and serenity of that front room in a time so long ago.