The Holiday Crib
In summer the mountains surrounding the crib stand snowless. The heat of the summer has melted the snow away leaving them brown and bare. The sun beats down on the landscape producing waves of intense hotness. The grass suffers a great deal firstly turning golden brown and then becoming stalky and sharp. The silver birch trees in front of the crib sway laden with leaves making a gentle “swish, swish” noise. The gravel driveway is dusty and dry. A whirlwind of dust coats the cars that drive along it. In behind the crib lies a grand bushy hedge. Its mass of furry branches tickle you when you brush past it. It is old and wise planted by my grandparents back in the seventies. The dry grass releases the smell of sweet hay which perfumes the air.
The grey weather boards of the crib soak up the sun. Slowly the colour fades. When arriving you are welcomed in by bright blue walls. As soon as you set foot in the crib CREAK! goes the floor. Inside is a comforting open space holding a cute little kitchen and large living room which is home to a variety of retro chairs.The space swarms like a beehive as people come and go. Chatter fills the air bringing the crib to life. A fresh clean aroma consumes the interior. In the west of the crib is a sunroom. In the afternoon sunlight streams in, filling the room with warm humid air an ideal place for an afternoon nap. No insulation means the crib is cool and breezy providing welcome shelter from the blazing sun. The garden is neat and tidy showing of its roses which shimmer showing off their best display.
Summer time means the crib is buzzing with people: white- haired grandparents, aunties, uncles and cousins. Suitcases, bags and carry bags are strung about in the three simple bedrooms.The holidayers wear an array of bright fabrics illuminating them against the murky colours of the landscape. Their skin is a an olive brown colour after many days spent sunbathing. In the evenings the air is full of the chatter and laughter of family and friends. Surrounded by the ones she loves most the old grandmothers emerald eyes sparkle with intense happiness. The BBQ sizzles and spits producing a smoky meat smell that floats around the air salivating the mouths of the people waiting. Dogs wander around hopefully looking for a pat or belly rub. Finally, dinner is served and the growling of the holidayers stomachs is satisfied. Afterwards they sit happy and content with rosy cheeks and sun saturated skin. In the morning the sky turns a blood orange. Its colour splashes the cloudy canvas. The air is cool despite the colour of the sky. The crib waits for the action and thrills of the new day.
In winter the mountains surrounding the crib are enveloped in blankets of snow. Gloomy grey clouds hang over the proud mountains gradually layering them with soft snow. The overcast sky conceals the sun bringing a spine tingling chill to the air. Once again the grass suffers the wrath of the seasons. Jack Frost visits most mornings piercing each grass stalk with frost. The silver birch trees are deathly still stripped of all their leaves. Their skeleton arms hang out at odd intervals giving them a ghostly effect. The gravel driveway is a solid mass no longer dusty and dry. When a lone car does happen to drive along it keeps its shiny coat clean. Standing proud against the gloomy landscape is the grand old hedge as bushy as ever. It watches over its fortress like a king. Chimneys puff out billows of grey fog giving the air a smoky acidic smell. The peppery fog adds to the greyness of the atmosphere.
Wintry air cools the grey weatherboards of the crib. Their colour remains bland.The bright blue walls have lost their vibrancy as winter has sucked the life out of them. When occasional visitors arrive the open fireplace crackles merrily. Its orange flames lick the hunks of wood . Producing pleasant heat which pumps it way around the room. The sunroom is filled with frosty chilled air. Nobody dares to venture in there. Once these visitors leave the crib is a still structure. The creaky floor has been silenced. Slowly the sounds build up. An eerie silence fills the uninhabited structure filling it with a musty smell. Gradually the cold takes hold. Everything becomes frozen in time. The retro chairs wait to be sat on. Outside the garden has become overgrown and uncared for. The roses are bland and colourless now shrivelled up to protect themselves from the cold.
Winter time means family skiers appear at the crib. They are wrapped in cozy thermals and over top are encased in neon coloured jackets. This assures they are untouched by the soft snow and nippy air up on the mountain slopes. The majority of their skin is a pasty white deprived of seeing the sun in many months. In the evenings soft murmurs of voices fill the space. People chat quietly around the roaring fire with cups of warm liquids in hands. A river of heat spreads around the cool bodies. The old grandmother sits in the lime green chair beside the flickering flames. This is her favourite place to sit on a cool winter’s night. A lone dog curls up in a tight ball on the soft sofa. The tantalising smell of roast lamb and veges fills the space. A feast of food is served. Darkness seeps in filling the rooms. Finally, the blackness engulfs and shadows of flames start to dance on the walls. Tucked up in a layered feather bed it’s a lovely show to watch. In the morning the fluffy white fog fills the air. It encases the crib in a white blanket hiding it from view. An arctic coldness dominates the air taking over everything. Patiently the crib watches waiting for its guests to arise.