Three days ago, I walked through this gate with the keys to the front door in my pocket.

It doesn’t exactly impress at first glance, my house. The fence is in a terrible state of repair, with – as you can see – the wood of the gate itself falling to bits. The garden is ludicrously overgrown, two and a half years of ivy and weeds climbing over each other to carpet everything in their path. The cedars reaching into the top left corner of the photo above are a riot of birdsong; the roses on the right snatch at clothes and careless fingers as you walk past. Everything is damp from weeks of rain, smelling of wet earth and growing things.

Then you get inside, and everything smells exponentially more damp.  Continue reading