"I want to say goodbye to the bad years at 6 Wyatts Drive: When the windows almost shook out of their frames everytime they tested the artillery over on Foulness Island.
When the swimming pool turned green and moss & lichen dulled the red & white flagstones of the patio. Whne the pool lining peeled away from the walls; the hours I spent elbow-deep in the stagnant water, trying to rescue the baby ducks when they got stuck behind it. The vixen that drowned in the deep end. Carrying the dead weight of its sodden body onto the golf course, in a sling made from balck bin liners. The yellow eyes of its mate - I still feel the mark they made on me.
The wilful cruelty of my grandmother's carers, during the final years of her life. The flat balcony roof that leaked, the water streaming down the wallpaper. The rust spots along the base of the radiators, haemorrhaging black water into the cracked paint trays. The lightbulbs that I didn't have the energy to replace, going out one by one. The ceiling light that broke with one punch - watching the glass fall down around me in slow motion. The rejection letters, still in their envelopes, spilling out of the crystal bowl and over the glass topped coffee table. The wasted days lying on my grandfather's bed. My late grandmother's limitlless supply of Seuredol cluttering her bedside drawers. The nausea and the torpor.
These bad years linger in recent memory, clouding over the time when the house was good. My Grandfather pruning the plants on the rockery. My Grandmother in the kitchen or lying on one of the big garden chairs, in front of the summerhouse. And the water in the pool, warmed by the heat of the sun, sparkling.