Monday, 4 February 2013

38 Burrell Road

The house next door is up for auction. Allison, a lovely lady, my mother would describe as 'County'  was showing people around today with a terrified look on her face. Last August Tony Corke died in his chair leaving the house he rented exactly as he had always had it. Tony had left the back door open and two of my friends and I looked around the house aghast, and in my case, screaming. We found shillings in the purse upstairs and the clothes of Tony's mother who had died in the 1960s. Tony's cat came to live on our doorstep.

Denis Sever's amazing Huguenot house, 18 Folgate Street, Spitalfields, described as a 'still life drama', was created by Severs with the intention of looking as though the mythical Jervis family have just 'stepped out'. Quince half eaten, a warm pipe and pisspot lie un-emptied as visitors absorb Sever's incredible fantasy world, where he requested his neighbour turn down the TV so that visitors could not hear the Eastenders theme tune. Denis died of AIDs in 1999 and his loyal friends continue to look after the house, smoke the pipes, light the fires, eat the boiled eggs and drink the port in the cut glass goblets. Madge the cat remains and Madge's puss-cat predecessor resides in a mahogany box in the Victorian parlour.

Keats' house too has a descendant of Keats' cat, a plump ginger tom who nestles into a dip in Keats' counterpane.

In Wordworth's garden hundreds of new daffodils have to be planted each year as visitors sneakily take a living relic form his meadow.

Jim and Helen Ede had a very small garden at the back of the house and I have been taking one or two bits of weed and snippets of plant to create some cyanotypes, which along with Helen's childhood and final Edinburgh garden and Otto, her father's german home (this last plant hustle has been achieved through Craigslist).

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