Another beautiful and strangely warm February day here.
After so many years of living in England and enduring long, cold, grey winters, I’m genuinely still shocked to find myself in this warm and blossoming place in early February…
It’s just not right. I feel so guilty…some puritanical streak in me demands that I need to go through the pain and hardship of winter before I reap the pleasures of Spring…
This is just cheating.
And talking of which, I am going to wind back time to when my youngest was just a big round bump in my middle. At this point in my life I witnessed the most cunning piece of cheating I had seen in quite some years….and I had never been more grateful for it.
The four of us, soon to be five, were living in what was effectively a two bedroom bungalow. It was a tight squeeze … promising to get ugly.
Enter, like a knight in shining armor, the Berkeley architect and spatial magician, Jason Kaldis. He took one look at me, the small premises that made up our bungalow, the number of warm bodies that inhabited it and finally, the desperate look in my eye. The only way was up.
The trouble was that there wasn’t that much ‘up’ to speak of. Imagination was going to be required.
So here comes the cheating bit. Perhaps I should call it cunning.
Jason managed to pull off the impossible and give us a whole wallop of extra space by adding a very significant six foot along the whole length of the house as a kind of over-hang – the architectural equivalent of a muffin top…this is how it looked from underneath.
Personally, I like to think that my five month pregnant profile provided the inspiration for this little work of genius.
Unfortunately my own extended cantilever was not beautifully and sturdily supported with strong wall either end and pillars sunk deep into concrete.
This is how it turned out…
What can I say? It’s fantastic. Brilliant. But surely cheating?
Whatever you want to call it, this is the kind of trickery I’m right behind. Now we can all fit…and best of all, this cunning extra shelf of an upstairs has allowed for a nice little shady spot for sweltering summer days..
When you just have to hide from the sun.
And the rest of the garden has to fend for itself with the odd umbrella.
Or just be sturdy enough to take the heat…
So back to those days of my very rotund profile…the baby was eventually born and now quite appropriately inhabits the architectural bulge that he inspired. Both room and boy are small and perfectly formed.
And squeeze in a tall chest of drawers …
And a book shelf at the end of the bed for a toy or two and some favorite stories…
One thing I have now learnt about living across the Bay from San Francisco is that when it comes to space you have to be imaginative – there is only so much you can fit in between the sea and the top of the hill where the national parks begin.
In this neck of the woods, you just need to wander into any given open house on a Sunday and you will find that the perfectly ordinary house you thought you were looking around actually holds all sorts of cunning and imaginative construction to expand the most precious of all items…space. Trickery is all around. The weather is just catching on.
See you soon,
p.s. And welcome to all you people from A Beach Cottage – come back again!