Although rather small the living room is the nucleus of our family home, a place essential for the congregating of all the family. One entire wall is occupied with units, one large shelf of which belongs to the children. A place where a jumble of multi coloured books, records, crayons and plasticine sculptures brighten up the lower level of the unit. Printed volumes, some worn with age and constant use stand like tired veterans on parade. A “First Aid” book rubs shoulders with a Holy Bible, and Pears Cyclopedia. Whilst the entire library of Agatha Christie mysteries and Readers Digest hard backed books nestle between others by John Wyndham and Charles Dickens. Another shelf groans under the weight of cherished and much-loved ornaments, and knick knacks of little value to anyone but the owner; but greatly loved nevertheless.
An old green pottery dog presented to the eldest child when a baby by his great Nanna, stands guard over a plastic tub of jaded artificial daisies. A Mother’s Day present made by the youngest daughter of the household with all the care and creativity her little fingers could manage when placing the tiny white flowers in the discarded margarine tub. Standing proudly in the centre of the unit is a fabulous crystal fruit dish, a wide shallow bowl held aloft by a tall trumpet-shaped stem, a fabulous example of cut crystal from an earlier era. Above the fruit dish a row of crystal bells lie concealed amongst a sea of colourful birthday cards, portraying fluffy animals and young boys fishing, testament to the celebration of the eldest and youngest family members whose birthdays follow each other. Cool, green foliage creates a miniature garden along the entire length of the top of the teak shelving, partially masking the rows of books and china figurines underneath. A large asparagus fern spreads its feathery fronds like a protective guardian over a host of training greenery, wandering jew Almost hidden by the plants lurks a black gentleman. Fashioned from a small bottle this male figure sports a Pink bulbous nose and black beady eyes on his otherwise smooth visage. One of his homemade papier mâché limbs hangs limply by his side, whilst the other points stiffly to the ceiling. His On a nearby corner table the polished leaves so a mermaid vine grow in harmony with the sturdy majestic leaves of a mature rubber plant. The rubber plant close-by is healthy but highly unusual in that although it is strong and thriving none of its leaves carry the distinctive cut-out patterns, characteristic to its genus. Sturdy and robust it threatens to engulf the corner as it grows towards the huge sunlit eye to the outside world. The wallpaper behind the plants is hidden underneath a sea of silent faces seen through dusty glass. Uniformed children, smart in school ties and neat haircuts share the space with celebratory couples dressed in all their wedding finery, huge smiles inviting the observer to share in their joy. Hanging above the fire-place is a treasured watercolour, depicting an old derelict mill house. The wheel broken and still, no longer driving the water from the passing stream. Long since painted it never loses its pristine freshness, a permanent reminder of a close friendship forged several years before with the artist. On top of the now silent television sits a small brass carriage clock loudly ticking off second after second of each and every day. The glare of a beige pottery lamp, gleams off the polished brass and spread like a veil over the darkness of the corner in the night. A white and tan Jack Russell lies curled up in the corner of the dark brown velvet seats which curve gracefully around the room. The small triangular glassed top units fitted between the seats accommodate even more plants. The bushy red and green leaves of a prayer plant, and the stark white and satiny green of the leopard lily provide a bold splash of colour in an otherwise dull corner. Colours reflected in the glass are remarkably like strange aquatic beings, and made even more vibrant by the nearby lamp light, but trapped in a stationary state beneath the surface. In comparison the beings in the aquarium by the door experience the space and fluidity of the water gently carrying them back and forth across the tank. Water bubbling around their golden fins as they pass to and fro amongst the swaying weeds, pop up to the placid surface like tiny pearls escaping their shells. The gentle hum of the filter harmonises with the silent movements of the fishes mouths so they appear to be singing to their trapped companions. Rainbows created by the overhead light shines back from the mirrored sides revealing an underwater kingdom, a home not dissimilar to the home in which it stands, but a place where no human can set foot.