Friday, 24 August 2012

If these walls could talk

This morning as I was doodling in my Scribble Diary one of the spaces to fill was a speech bubble with ‘If these walls could talk’ written above it. This is what I love about the Scribble Diary, it prompts completely random thoughts that often have legs and helps you to consider things a little differently. And this one really got me thinking.
We’ve been in our current house for three years now. It’s a house converted into two one bed flats on the end of a lovely terrace. We live in the bottom one and it’s got a little patch of garden around it where I took my first tentative steps into fruit and vegetable growing, so many happy afternoons spent there. But what about these walls? The more I think about it the more I realise how much has happened here.
lovely little house...
Perhaps the walls would talk about the day we moved in when it wasn’t a ‘we’ arriving but just a ‘me’ as Ben had to stay up in Aberdeen for another three months to finish his teaching placement. After the movers (and my ever handy Dad) departed I sat down and wondered about this new place, feeling half forlorn to be without Ben and half desperately excited to be in this beautiful city at the start of a new adventure. I had no idea what a big adventure it would be! A few hours later one of my best friends from home (now just an hour away) appeared on my doorstep with a bottle of wine and one of the main features of that house was born, it was an open house, full of laughter and friends. By far my favourite thing about it.
Perhaps the wall would talk about the day I came back from church in deathly silence. Silence isn’t something I do very often! They might say that the silence lasted for two weeks. Every time I tried to talk about what had happened at that service the words stuck in my throat and not a squeak came out of my mouth about it. My brain was whirring and I kept myself busy but Ben knew something was up.
Perhaps the walls might talk about the first prayer that came out of my mouth after those weeks of silence. About the flood of tears as I said to Ben ‘I think God wants me to be a Priest, isn’t that ridiculous?’ He smiled and said, ‘No, not at all.’ And so a long journey began of interviews, job changes, new people and places. There was more laughter, more tears, everything all at once, a rollercoaster.
Perhaps the walls would talk about when the house became an administration station for the church. About my desperation as I scanned the clergy list and realised I had no idea how to address any of these people and one week to get them invitations to come to the institution of our new Vicar. Perhaps they would tell about team work making the dream work as Ben helped me sticker hundreds of envelopes and convinced me that after a long six months of looking after the church while we were Vicar-less that I could jump this final hurdle, exhausted as I was. Perhaps the walls would talk about vocation tested, about the last stamp going on the last envelope, a job done.
Perhaps they would talk about darker times. About someone climbing through our bedroom window who wasn’t invited. About me coming home and finding glass everywhere and possessions gone. About not one but two sets of police officers being kind and calming. Neighbours and friends, shoulders to cry on. Perhaps they would tell about my final forms for my final interview that were due in the day after we were broken into. How a large glass of wine and a cheerleading team in the form of Ben and our upstairs neighbours got me to put pen to paper and get them finished despite my head being anywhere but on interviews.
Perhaps they would tell about the day the letter arrived, the shock as I sunk into one of the kitchen chairs and read the words‘recommended for training’ and thought ‘what on earth is going to happen to me?’ They might tell of the cassock arriving and getting its first whirl before the mirror or the quiet afternoons, a breeze coming through the window ruffling the pages of the latest theology text book as I tackled the mammoth reading list from college.
And now they would probably talk about boxes. So many boxes. We live in an obstacle course! They would talk about paint and sewing and people making plans. And now this house will have new inhabitants, new stories to tell. We head off soon for another three years in a new home, for another great adventure. After everything that has come in this place what will the next three years hold? I’m looking forward to finding out!


  1. Such a lovely, thoughtful post, Nicola. You've come a long way in these three years, so I'm sending all good wishes for he next three.

  2. Can't wait to see the new house (coffee hutch and all!) and be part of the new stories! Hopefully many many Maud stories!! Lou x

    1. Thanks Lou! Lots more stories to emerge from this new walls I'm sure! xx

  3. What a beautiful piece of writing. I might have been 'going to church' a lot longer than you say you have, but I understand both the tears and the stressful church admin. Been there!

    I look forward to meeting you as we start new adventures in the same place.

    1. Thanks so much, very much looking forward to meeting you soon! x