a love of old buildings that are being used again

abandoned ancient antique architecture
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

There’s nothing I hate more than flat pack Tescos

Dropped within a car park square that once

Was a park or where a library lived.

Now it’s flattened like that Joni Mitchell song

And we really do pay to see those ancient trees.

But then there are the buildings that

Are probably as old as time, predating humans

With their rulers and their technical computers

And I kind of like it when we breathe in life

To those dusty walls, carved with leering gargoyles,

A place where our descendants prayed or read

Or where the children went to school,

And now we’ve turned it into rooms

Where people come together in their droves

To do a Zumba class or tasting of French wines.

Use those places so they’re not torn down,

Add your patch to history, don’t ruin what was left.

I used to work for a convenience store chain that used to go and put their shops in old buildings that would otherwise have been torn down. Some people may say that it is sacrilege to repurpose an old building like that, but I really believe that it was a great thing to save these buildings.

The alternative would be to tear the buildings down and erect a flat pack shop like some of the big chains do. I hate that a lot of the time they come in and bulldoze down something beautiful to put up a great steel monstrosity.

Obviously, we need places to buy food and other services, so some old buildings will need to be used in different ways if we aren’t to run out of space. So why not keep these historical buildings and actually use them rather than board them up and leave them to rot?

In our town we had an old psychiatric hospital that was boarded up for years and they turned it into beautiful flats and town houses. They kept some of the main features of the buildings and now people can enjoy those.

I think that if it’s done right and done sympathetically, a make over of these buildings can be amazing. I love the idea of adding to the history of the these places, rather than just getting rid of them.

Much Love

Rachel xx

a love of old photos

Those faces,

Would they know me now?

Long gone

Cloaked by mists of time

That snake

Through all our story lines.

I have a thing for old photos. I don’t even have to know who the people in the images are. I just love to sit and wonder how they felt, where they were and when. What would they think of the way we live now?

I had an old biscuit tin full of photos that I used to look through from time to time. The pictures all showed grandparents and my parents as children and I wished that I could be there so that I could have those stories too.

The cute fella at the front is my dad

I realise that it’s the truest form of FOMO and I guess we all wonder what our parents did and what they felt before we were around. We just wished that we knew them when they were fun and when they had energy and could drink us under the table.

I think that it’s the dreams of a simpler life that also do it. I love to watch Dawson’s Creek so that I can remember that time when I was fourteen and we were just on the cusp of the internet age. It feels so innocent and photos from the 60s and 70s have the same effect, even though I wasn’t there.

Hopefully, it’s not just me and we all enjoy opening that window to the past every now and then. I think that it’s the storyteller in me that wants to see these other lives, so that I can make up tales of fun holidays and crazy parties where Grandma got so drunk that she slept on the sofa from 8pm.

Granddad out fishing

Go and pull out some photo albums if you have them lying around. Or if you have one of those slide projectors, even better. But take a bit of time to remember pre-COVID, pre-internet, pre-you and remember that you are not the centre of the universe.

Much Love

Rachel xx

the house is alive!

old building facade with attic windows and chimneys
Photo by Maria Orlova on Pexels.com

They moan as darkness settles in,

Some say it’s pipes and floorboards,

Settling as they cool.

But we all know the house lives on,

It sighs as we all sleep within,

Nestling in those rumbling bowels.

Does anyone else really love old buildings? Here in the UK we have The National Trust that looks after lots of old properties and you can pay a membership and go and visit them, all over the country. For me, visiting one of their houses is the perfect day out.

I don’t know where my fascination with buildings came from, but it definitely has something to do with the knowing that so many stories have played out within them over the years.

I remember driving past the old asylum in our town when I was really young. I found out what an asylum was and I became transfixed. I couldn’t believe that such horrors could have played out in my boring little town.

Parts of the building still stand and I always wonder if there are still spirits that float through the hallways. Or is it the building itself that has a personality? Is it shaped by everything that has happened inside of it?

I have always thought that buildings look a bit like people with eyes and mouths. And the older the better. The older they are, the more character and the more individual.

Once day I hope that I can live in an old cottage that’s all quirky and old. It won’t be a very good investment, but it would make me happy.

Much Love

Rachel