Excerpt from Kitty Canham inspired by my childhood.
Is our childhood ever far from us? I think not. This was the house that I was brought up in. My parents took it on in a derelict state with three young children in tow. They lived in a couple of rooms to begin with and gradually reclaimed the old property.
On the day they moved in, my mother sat on the stairs crying, but over the years she grew to love this place. It became a home that was full of joy for the family and all those who came to stay. Some invited, some not. There were mornings I'd come down to breakfast to be greeted by a stranger at our table tucking in to a bowl of cereal. Alternatively, I may find a crumpled body, lying on the sofa in the living room, left there from the party the night before. It was, by all accounts, a bohemian upbringing. My father, Jack Watling, was an actor and a bit of a star of the 50's. The house was full of actors and parties and the hangers on you aquire in such a home. I was not yet born when my parents moved in to The Hall and my oldest sister moved out when I was one to forge her own career in musical theatre. This was the home of my childhood.
The house itself influenced both Kitty's home, but also the Manor house which Kitty visits. It was first built in the 15th century, and was added to until the Georgian period. It is however the bohemian nature of my childhood that came to light in the excerpt below. It is taken from when Kitty visits London for a second time and is invited to the home of an artist, Florence.