The house stands square and proud, tenaciously clinging to the last vestiges of dignity it once owned. The once vivid rose-coloured paintwork, now weather worn, peels to reveal aging stonework below.
Pristine white shutters are no more, faded by the fierce heat of the summer sun are now decaying in the rain. Roof tiles crumble, occasionally lifting in the wind, only to settle once more under the weight of the verdant moss that has put down roots there. The ironwork frames that support ancient vines twist and rust ingloriously.
Terracotta fades to black.
Orange trees neglected over time flower and fruit together a rosemary bush clings to a crumbling wall and a house once bustling and alive to the sound of children’s laughter is now kept suspended in time. Its faithful retainer following a decades old routine of airing, dusting and polishing, waits like the house for the family to return.
For one or two weeks a year they both get their wish. A different generation of children visit, not the children of old, but a new breed, more interested in electronic pursuits than games of hide and seek and picnics in the garden – not for them the simple pleasures or sense of history an old house can bring.
In the garden a yellow rose blooms defiantly.