Sunday 29 March 2015

Sleeping Beauty

Arguably one of the least appealing buildings on our plot is the old Nissen Hut. Smothered and choked as it is by a thick vest of evergreen pine, ivy, hydrangea, blackberry, clematis and buddleia...woven to it's corrugated sides. Or at least it would be if it were stripped bare. As it is I often look across and imagine it is a giant upturned birds nest. Or, perhaps it is an enormous abandoned Gypsy Caravan gone "Haversham". What would happen if we did, strip it bare? I suspect it might simply give up the ghost, remain there momentarily before heaving an enormous creaky sigh and collapsing inwards in a cloud of dust.
It is also the source of endless conjecture..."one day we will....." "I wonder who built it?" We know that once there were two side by side, the brick footings are still visible in Home Field. "What did they use them for?"
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Nissen Huts were first produced during the First World War. Major Peter Norman Nissen a mining engineer and inventor developed three prototype semi-cylindrical huts. They were used extensively in the Second World war for both storage and accommodation, although not exclusively there are examples of them being used as churches and, after the war as family homes.
Photo credit: Haywood Magee
They are now in decline, ours must be at least 70 years old, perhaps older. There are lots of derelict examples dotted around the countryside, all well camouflaged by years of weathering.
Whilst trundling around the alternative reality that is Pinterest the other day I spotted this...
I love these miniatures by Antonia Dewhurst, they are scale models of buildings made up using digital images of the original. Something in me shares Antonia's fascination with the sense of "Home" and belonging.

Oh! and then, I discovered this and thought..."One Day!"
The Lane Man, at some distant point in the future when he reads this, will snort at my whimsy. The current scene is populated by machinery, logs, oil cans, wardrobes. rope, chairs, kitchenalia, paint pots, scalextric, fairy lights and ivy vines snaking through the cracks in the corrugated iron roof!
And the truth? Well the truth is I love it as it is...warts and all. After 4 and a half years I wouldn't change it..."One Day...." seems a very long way away!
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Back inside, there are plenty reasons to be cheerful. Stirring from my Nissen musings, I refocus on the £2 bunch of daffodils that light up the kitchen, so simple and exuberant, forever grateful for the simple stuff...