Wednesday, October 29, 2008
...And here is the original
I took this photo in 1979 or 1980 in Belgium.I saw the house every time we drove into Namur and every time we passed it, I pestered my mother's common-law-husband (I don't want to get into that story here) to slow down, so I could look at it. Finally, one day, he agreed to stop, and I took the photo.
This house is the inspiration for the drawing in my sketchbook. I love the sinister, abandoned look, the wild, unkempt yard, the thorny bushes, the overgrown trees. My kinda place.
I didn't see the house again until last year when I went back to Belgium, for a visit. My brother kindly drove around the neighborhood until we located it and then patiently waited as I spent 15 minutes gazing at it through the cast iron fence.
I'd love to say it's still exactly the same, that nothing's changed, but it has been turned into a school. And although it still retains some of its Victorian elegance, it has been fixed up, the property has been cleared and gravel pathways replace the overgrown jungle. It now looks like a school building (ahem, Belgium-style). Stern, but not gloomy anymore.
Things could be worse: old houses get torn down all the time.