Sleeping at 9DR
When we stayed at 9DR, we (here we refers to my brothers and myself, I'll come to other people soon) would normally sleep in the top Back-room, where two beds were available and perhaps because I was the older of the two, I got to sleep in the bigger, higher of the two beds, while Paco or Noel slept in the smaller one near the wall. There was a little night table between the two beds, where I fancy Grandma had stored a potty! (does somebody remember that?) The bedroom opened on the garden, and a number of (funny) pictures were taken from there:
Under the windows stood a chest of drawers, which Grandma must have emptied each time we came, for two or more drawers were empty for us. I remember writing some silly remarks under the sheet of paper which lined the bottom of the top drawer, so anyone who came after us to (perhaps) read them!! Anyway, it was in this bedroom that I remember Monsieur Père coming in and (not) surprising us with his jelly babies (read about them here). It was also here that Mark sometimes came in the morning to wake us up and start the day by a glorious Grandma-breakfast after which it was high time to go swimming! Here's a picture of Paco being silly on that big bed:
You can see behind him the string which served as switch for the light (you had to pull it to on and off the light), something which I do not know whether it is restricted to the Anglo isles, but we never used to have this system in France!
About as often, and perhaps when I stayed as a more grown-up individual, I was given Mum's room, above the kitchen.
This revolving mirror used to be in Mum's bedroom, I don't know if it was there when she occupied it, but certainly it was in it during my stays. Here's Mum in this room during my wedding celebration days (back in 1985):
Did some of you also sleep in this little room? I rather liked it, because it had a comfortable feel to it, and it was reminiscent of so many hours when I just sat on the bed devouring Enid Blyton 's Famous Fives! Her books did something strange to time and space: I would wake up from the last page of the book and find myself in this little room, whereas I had been on Kirrin island just before!
Once only I slept in what would become Grandma's room before she set up her bedroom downstairs (in the back-room): I mean the room above the dining-room. Here's a picture of a similar-looking room from a house in DR which was advertised not long ago:
I slept there when I came to visit Grandma with Frédérique not long after our wedding. And I have to reveal a little secret: in fact she was given Mum's room as if we were supposed to sleep separately: but we didn't, Frédérique came to join me in this nice bedroom after life had gone to sleep in the house! (I asked F, and she thinks this actually took place before our wedding!)
My last sleeping experience was at 7DR, for as I said somewhere else, one year Grandma had no room for me, and she asked Auntie Olive whether I might not have the symmetrical room in n°7, the one which in n°7 corresponded to Mum's room in n°9. So I spent the two or three weeks of my stay, I think it must have been in 1971, at Auntie Olive's. My memories of the sleeping there are very happy, because I felt I had a sort of special treatment, as I believe that year was the year of the discovery of the Aunties' very special gentleness to us - the welcome, the food, the organized outings, everything. Perhaps also, as we didn't come the rest of the year, they looked after us all the more. This little room above Auntie Olive's kitchen has a very nostalgic tinge to it.
I think Hélène slept in much the same rooms, but perhaps she'd better tell herself, because she stayed at 9DR much more than I did:
"My room when I was little was Maman's room. A room with a high and narrow bed with a lovely thick quilt, but a room large enough for me to rehearse the ballet piece that I presented in an Assembly of sorts at St Monica's school, and I did this with an inflamed in-grown toe-nail... When I grew up and stayed at Grandma's for my year at Southgate Tech in 1977-78, I got given Grandma's room overlooking the courtyard and 7DR's back garden."
(here a space where other people are invited to do the same if they wish!)
(Here's a space for whoever has details about what life used to be when the Hughes girls slept in their separate bedrooms...!)
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