grandma’s house

On the way to my grandma’s house.
 This morning mom and I went to my grandmother’s old house to do a quick clean cause Petro is coming tomorrow. He always stays in the old house in town.
This house is where my mother was born and grew up. Its in the old town of Parikia on Paros. I’ve already mentioned that my grandfather was a fisherman and my grandmother was a seamstress. They raised 7 children in this old house.
The house to the four daughters but mom said she was happy to sign her share over so we don’t have a share in the old house. However while my grandparents were alive we spent many years staying there during our summer holidays.
It holds a lot of memories for me.
The narrow cobblestone street I know so well, grandma’s house is the one behind the overgrown vines.
The old house is a typical one in the old town. At least for the struggling classes. It has hugely thick stone walls, a cement floored downstairs room and a timber floored upper storey. Downstairs is one big room which was kitchen, living space, dining room, and bedroom. I’m not sure what the upstairs looked like when mom was a kid, but when I was growing up it was one large room with a dining table in the middle and 4 single beds around it, 2 small rooms, one with a single bed and one with a double bed.
The front door to grandma’s house. So many of the old doors have similar curtains in the windows.
My grandmother would roll over in her grave if she knew I was sharing photos of the house in such a mess, but she’s long gone and it belongs to my aunt now. Besides, the house has been empty since last summer. We can all excuse a bit of a mess.
The downstairs room as seen from the staircase in the back.
There are two ways to get upstairs. An outside staircase made of cement and an inside narrow timber one. Unfortunately the inside one’s been replaced. All that remains of the original is the trapdoor and ceiling. My aunt is nothing if not handy. She’s fixed, tiled, rennovated and updated the house within an inch of its life. Luckily she appreciates the past so she’s not into throwing out the old things.
The narrow steep stairs and the trapdoor. Made for very short people.
At the top of the stairs is the tiny store room which I’ve mentioned before. I used to sleep in the little room the trapdoor opens into and this little storeroom was opposite my bed. When I couldn’t sleep I’d go sit in there, in the breeze from the open window, and look through my grandmother’s old fashion magazines.
The tiny store room. The cement sink and the cupboard underneath with a cute curtain. Love the greek curtains.
Mom tells me this was originally a storeroom. Then when my oldest aunt (Xeni) was being courted, they made it into a small kitchen so they could give her the upstairs part of the house to live in. She didn’t marry any of the young bucks chasing her and the tiny kitchen ended up a store room again.
What’s odd is that the sink in this little room (and the downstairs one for that matter) is cement. I’d never thought about that before.
The ceiling in the store room has limed white beams and bamboo above the old chimney.
A small cupboard in the little store room.
A cupboard over the trapdoor in the room I used to sleep in.
Another cubbyhole cupboard in the wall with a cute curtain door.
Downstairs my aunt has kept things pretty much as my grandmother had them, with the addition of a bathroom and toilet in the tiny store room, a new fridge and some new wardrobes. She sleeps on my grandparent’s old bed at the far end of the room. Its a cast iron bed with brass details.
I like my grandmother’s little bed ‘doily’ to protect the brass.
Naturally there are tons of photos, some in newer frames, some in really interesting old ones.
 

Mom’s family minus one.
 One thing I really really want (well one of the many things) is one of these old door handles. They used to be everywhere but so many people have thrown out the old doors and the handles with them. I keep asking and no one has one for me. 
If only I could find where people throw their old stuff!
This one’s a little cat!
You already know I’m a sucker for old hardware…
Wonder if this one will fit in my suitcase?
This ‘goodmorning’ mirror was a gift to my grandparents for their wedding.
 You gotta love the ingenious wardrobe solution…
The old ‘tapestry’ over the bed, and the old cotton mattress my parents used to sleep on.
None of these things have changed as long as I remember the house.
Like the old worn floorboards which creak badly and which are full of gaps and holes that my brother and I used to use to spy on people downstairs. We used to feed fishing line down the holes sometimes and tickle people sitting on the couch or at the table, making them think there were flies around them.
Ah, the old days when we were young and not so sweet…
Downstairs when you look up you see the underside of the floorboards. The huge beam holding up the roof (or floor depending on which side of it you’re on) used to the mast of an old ship which sank off the coast of Paros.
I love the old house with its old flaking walls and timber that’s almost more paint than timber now.
z

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