It was a box of old books, probably passed down by our Aunties, that I discovered one day in the spare room wardrobe. Most were of the old fashioned moral variety not seen often now but among them were several Famous Five books and I was immediately transported to a world away from the one I knew. In fact the setting was literally half a world away from the Australian 1960s triple fronted red brick veneer I grew up in. Here was a place where houses had been built before Australia had even been discovered by white explorers. A place where old didn't mean 30 years, but 300 or more. A place that snowed (!) and a place of thatched cottages and secret passages and beamed ceilings and roses around the windows and smugglers, far far away from my well regulated, safe suburban life.
At the same time I developed a fascination with the minute. Maybe because I was the oldest and therefore always the biggest, small worlds always entranced. Tiny cottages made from cardboard and fruit crates using the rudimentary woodwork skills taught to me by my father. Tiny dolls, some commercial, but many homemade, lived in these creations all over the house (which must have driven my very tidy mother crazy) and were carried around in pockets. The smallest sea shells and flowers, feathers and pebbles. I envied like mad the girl across the road, of German/Dutch parentage, who had dolls house items never seen in this country ...and she a tomboy!
Sadly time passed and I grew up and as in Corinthians "When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things" which included my desire to have my own dolls house.
Life went on and I had my own home and family, but the longing to experience Enid Blyton's England didn't pass and along with that was an unfulfilled desire for an adult dollshouse. So . . . now as I approach 50 the time has come. I may not get to Britain in real time, but the internet has brought it to me and I am combining my two dreams into a half timbered thatched dolls house set in the late 40s.