Monday, August 27, 2007

Plans for My Imaginary House

"I see you have started building your new house, Miss Turtle."

"Yes, the workers have only just started yesterday."

We are sitting in a gazebo on a small island in the middle of a serene lake. The water is pale blue and the lake is a huge rectangle. Swans float by apparently nonplussed by all the noise from the construction. To our right is a huge double row of trees leading up the long driveway. In front of us is the massive structure that is the Library. All around are the rolling green lawns of the front gardens, separated by orderly hedges and topiary.

In the forest of my imagination, the Library figures prominently, dominating the landscape. While Mr. Gryphon's house is up on a hill that we can see from where we are sitting, the library is the size of dozens of cathedrals and similarly built. Stained glass windows abound along with gargoyles and flying buttresses. There is no bell, however. It's a Library, not a church.

When I announced to everyone that I would be moving into the Library and would create my own living quarters in a new wing and modify aspects of the Library for my comfort, it caused a stir. No one was surprised, however. This is my interior life and I get to decide what my house is going to be like.

I had thought I would move in with Mr. Gryphon since he lives in a mansion, however, it was decided that he would move in with me when my living quarters are complete and we would give his house over to the other folks who live here. It's only fair and they deserve that kind of luxury.

We are sitting in the gazebo sipping tea. Rolls of architectural plans are scattered here and there. The main plans are unrolled on our table and we have been looking at them. It's a sunny day with a soft breeze. I hand Mr. Gyphon a white napkin with MT&G embroidered on them. Even before the workers had arrived, I had all the linens embroidered with our initials.

"So tell me about this place, Miss Turtle."

"The main part of the Library will remain intact. I'm not modifying any of that. The new wing will be one and half times the size of your mansion and I've decided to copy your Hearst Castle swimming pools and jacuzzi's. There will be 10 guest rooms, all with different themes and furnishings from different times. In addition to my own private apartments, there will be an aquarium with fresh and salt water fishes from all over the world, amphibians and reptiles and penguins, of course."

"That's fitting." Mr. Gryphon is spreading fresh jam on a scone with a real silver knife. "Will the penguins be housed indoors or outdoors."

"Indoors so they have a comprehensive air and temperature control system. I thought I would install a zoo in the back, but decided an Aquarium would be better. Also, there will be billiard hall, a huge dining hall like the one in the Harry Potter movies (maybe not that large), a white iron and glass conservatory and an art museum. In the back there will be a sculpture garden, a hedge maze and acres of gardens with marble fountains, and another conservatory modeled on the Temperate House.

Underneath, there will be a crypt and a subterranean maze, of course." I pour out some more tea for myself. I don't bother offering any to Mr. Gryphon since his cup is still almost full. Three of the swans are bumping up against the shore of the island, but don't get out of the water.

"Of course there will be a maze," says Mr. Gryphon. He eats his scone slowly, clotted cream piled high on top. We are taking tea with our usual fine white china with red flowers. I am wearing a soft white dress with silver leather slippers. Thin lace edges the neckline and hem. There is a rowboat tethered to the small dock on this little island.

I consult the architectural plans. "Now, Mr. Gryphon, where do you want your own apartments and do you have any preferences?"

"I would prefer to have my own small suite and for us to share the private living room/sitting room space. All one unit," he says gesturing in a square with his little fork.

"Are you sure about that?"


"I would have thought you would have wanted your own space, there's plenty of room."

"All in one space, Miss Turtle," he says, "Tea, please." I look at him and then pick up the teapot, pouring him some more tea.

"All right." I consult the plans again. I can see this process of deciding how everything is going to be will take months, but since months is something I (we) have plenty of , I'm not concerned. Starting another blog is proof of that. Although we don't talk about it, I am looking forward to installing all the bathtubs that will be in my living space. They will range from Turkish tubs, to claw footed tubs, to those modern behemoths I'm so fond of. We continue our tea, looking over the plans. I can't wait to see how it's all going to turn out.

My dreams tend to be vivid and one reoccurring theme has been of me being in huge buildings like a giant hospital, giant hotels, giant castles and, yes, a library. The Library is the most compelling structure I've ever dreamed about, built like a cathedral, but with hundreds of stacks of book, stained glass windows, winding spiral staircases, and multi-levels extending upwards in an open plan. There are leather chairs here and there along with warm old desks and windows looking out to the current gardens. There is a massive reading room in the center with a dome and small cubicles for reading and working. There are also desks at the ends of rows of books for privacy and computers, of course.

My library has a comprehensive card catalog system since I really love card catalogs. They are housed in a beautiful marble drawers.

Someone once told me that when you dream of buildings, they represent your inner life. If that's true, then I'm very lucky indeed.

1 comment:

Malarkey said...

I llike this post, and the title for this blog.

I keep meaning to work on the blueprints for my imaginary house, but I assure you, some of the ideas I have are quite strange and wonderful, and many of them are derived from dreams.

I sent you a message to your secret email adress that starts with an "a." I'm hoping you haven't dropped off the face of the earth or folded yourself up into a four dimensional hypercube.