Thursday, September 26, 2013

Stop all the clocks

Husband has gone off to an auction with the intention of buying a house.

Younger Son and Nuora have a deposit saved but as they're off to Malaysia they thought they'd like to invest and get on the property ladder so Husband suggested that we go part shares.

I went with him and Nuora to view two houses, very cheap houses and when we saw them we could see why: the sides were falling off. Although Husband and YS while he's here are capable and prepared to do some work this was really big builder territory.

Nuora and I though were slightly distracted during the viewing.

The house had been in the same family for many years and presumably the remaining family member had died. The house hadn't yet been cleared so while Husband was lifting up floorboards and peering behind wallpaper, Nuora and I were oohing and aahing over the lovely china in the glass-fronted alcove. And the piano.

We guessed that the last owner was a musical Welsh-speaking chapel-going woman from the piano, piles of sheet music and framed bible quote in Welsh hanging over the bed.

And the garden was full of fruit trees and bushes, not to mention an air raid shelter. Such a shame the house was falling apart.

But saddest of all was the clock on the piano, still ticking away and keeping good time. I'm with WH Auden on this: when death comes along by rights the world should stop. When I've been in a home affected by death it always comes as a surprise to go outside and find life is continuing as normal, as if your world hadn't just been destroyed, as if your loss matters not a jot.


8 comments:

Leslie: said...

I first heard this poem in the movie "Four Weddings & A Funeral" and thought I would weep forever. It is soooooo sad to think that someone would have no hope of seeing their loved one again - and I am sooooo glad that I have faith that I will one day be reunited with all.

I do hope YS and N will get the house of their dreams even if it means lots of physical labour mixed with their love of each other and their home.

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

And with Self share Liz , you will have one of your family in Wales LOL

Liz said...

Unfortunately the house isn't for YS and Nuora to live in but to rent out while they're living in Malaysia!

Robyn Lee said...

Yes, after such a sad loss it is rather a surprise to find the world still functioning. I think Auden expressed the desolation well...it was perfect for the movie Four Weddings and a Funeral.

yummy mummy gone bad said...

One thing I will miss about not teaching is not teaching this poem anymore. Such wonderful use of imagery. Truly beautiful.

Liz said...

It was, robyn. I nearly used the clip of John Hannah but then found this one.

It is stunning, yummum.

nick said...

I sometimes have the crazy idea that a house must also grieve for its lost owners. Nobody to care for the house and what's in it any longer, or at least until someone else moves in.

Liz said...

I wonder, nick. I think our house was very happy to see us move in.