Snapshots #2

Inspired by The Room by Kevin Hart

It was my room at 10 Hanover Crescent, Brighton, an historic house once frequented by Dickens and Hardy visiting its previous owner, the publisher Horace Smith in the Georgian era.

My magical husband Martin Breese had chosen the dark back living room with dark burgundy velvet drapes and a matching large sofa. The room housed the TV and a large focal black wood carved ornamental fire surround and mantelpiece with gargoyles. It overlooked the rose garden and fountain but my room was the light sunny airy high ceilinged front room. Mine looked out over verdant trees and low bushes and a small lawn tended by the crescent’s gardener, Richard.

It was a large well proportioned Georgian room dominated by 2 enormous deep oriental burgundy sofas full of cushions and bought at Liberty’s for a special knockdown price. The sofas faced each other separated by a low long glass rectangular 80s coffee table.

I would stretch out facing the marble fireplace housing a roaring fake fire watched by my collection of large French bronze 3 pointed hatted clowns with poodles carefully positioned on the mantelpiece in front of the gilded mirror reflecting framed French prints on the opposite wall brought back from my dealing days in Paris throughout the late 70s and 80s.

Strains of Rachmaninov #2 piano concerto would float around my haven and up the majestic mahogany staircase in the hall outside. The real world stayed outside while I remained enclosed, safe in an unrealistic holistic bubble.

The magnolia walls were covered with French framed prints, two of which were hanging cards advertising Lu biscuits showing children marvelling at the figural biscuit tins in the shop window while another was of ladies gathering corn. My papers were housed in a grand Napoleon 111 cartonnier which dominated the room giving it a French ambience. After all Paris had influenced my life, taste and style for 30 years!

I would lie with my tabby Rumba purring away on my tummy until the fateful dark day she was catnapped a year after we arrived.  My room was full of light and laughter before the darkness and foreboding curse descended in 2006 when my bubble burst and my world changed forever.

Written in Imogen’s Narrative workshop at The Friends Centre on 1.5.18.
To be read in conjunction with ‘Liberty’s’