Monday, 15 June 2015

It all looks smaller

Have you ever gone back to the place where you grew up and realised that it all looks really small.  Every time I go back to the village where I lived as a small child I am amazed at how tiny all of the houses seem to be.  Even the roads are small.  The playing field looks like a postage stamp, but it seemed so big when I was a child.

Of course if you actually go back to the house where you lived that seems small too.

Last week, when I was back in the place where I was a small child, I took a couple of photographs to share with you.  These places all seemed really big as a child, and in my memory they are big.  When I see them now though they look so much smaller!

As I drove down the road through the village the houses that I remember being so tall were tiny, even the chapel and the church look so small to me.


This is the first house.  It wasn't our house, but we lived here for a little while on the top floor - where you can see that bay window sticking out on the end.  This is a very old house.  The main house dates from the 18th Century and there is a well that is named in the Domesday Book - which was compiled in 1086!!!  That is nigh on a thousand years ago!!!!

It used to look much nicer with a slate roof - as you can see on the area on the right.  I am surprised that it doesn't have one now.  The people that own it now have made a lot of changes that I don't like, but that is the way of the world isn't it.  Another of the perils of "going back" is seeing how things have changed.

It always seemed to me that this house was enormous.  Indeed it could fit loads of people in it.  This is a house for a large family.  The house isn't the same as it once was.  The garden is much more overgrown and some beautiful specimen trees have been lost.

I think that I prefer to remember my memories!

One thing though about going to this house wasn't smaller.  This house is on a little lane which is unadopted which means that it isn't maintained by the local council.  The lane was always full of massive pot holes and guess what.  It still is!!!  In fact, I think it is worse!!!  So some things haven't changed at least.



This really was our house.  It actually is bigger than it looks in this photo, but again it is smaller than I remember.  The ground falls away steeply on the other side of the house so there is a cellar underneath that actually opens out on to the garden.

Many many years ago this used to house the village butchers shop - which is probably why it had such a big cellar as I imagine it was to store the meat in.  The shop was where you see the bay window affair with the white boards over it on the right hand side.  This is actually the end of the house.

The house is Victorian and was a great place to grow up as a child.


I then moved on to another village where I went to school.  The photo above looks pretty boring, but when I was a child if you had looked through this chain link fence - it was a chain link fence then too! - you would have seen some wooden buildings which housed my primary school.

Some years ago the school was merged with the one in the village where I grew up - where the houses above are - and this school was demolished.  Now the field is a playground for children.

Originally this school was housed in the building you can see below.  This was our school hall.  We had assembly here, and our school dinners - which I remember being absolutely disgusting!!

This has now been sold and as you can see it is someones home.  The two triangular windows in the roof didn't exist way back when.  I assume they have been put in to allow light to an added first floor.  When it was the school hall it was open right up to the rafters - as school halls often are.

There was also a playground area where the garden is and there was no driveway, instead a flight of steps went up to a gate that was set into a fence of beautiful metal railings (not the ones you see here).

The very worst thing about this building was the outside toilets.  They really were outside, brick shed affairs with a sort of half door that went across the middle of the door opening.  It was grim!  Especially in the winter!!

Just one of the reasons why this school was closed and combined with the other one.

Oddly enough this building looks about the same size as I remember it being.  Perhaps it is because it has changed so much, and my eye is deceived.  Or my memory is!!

I am surprised by one other thing.  The little area of flat roof and wall that you see on the right hand side was the porch and it still appears to be the same.  If this was my house I would have added a lovely new porch here!


I don't want to tell you where this place is because I still have family living there and don't want to reveal their locations.  Hope you don't mind!

Have you ever been back to where you grew up?  What did you think, was it very different or just the same?

Amy

42 comments:

  1. You are right Amy our minds and eyes play tricks on us - I have revisited NT properties not visited for years, and find that they are nothing like I remember them.

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  2. I recently visited the street where I lived until I was 4. The old tenement building has long since been condemned and demolished. But the dingy and gloomy atmosphere that I remember still exists. I thank my lucky stars that we moved to a nicer area.

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  3. Funny how that happens isn't it? I have been back once to a former home but more or less prefer to leave it safe inside my memories xx

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  4. What a lovely trip down memory lane! I haven't been back to any of the houses I grew up in but I bet they're much smaller than I remember! Have a lovely week :) xx

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  5. When I go back at my childhood village everything looks small and weird also ... strange ... I understand quite well your feelings ....

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  6. I regularly go back to where I grew up, my mum is still there. I don't have the feeling it is smaller than I remember. Your village looks like a nice place to grow up in Amy. x

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  7. I went back to see one of the places I grew up and it seemed very small but the shed my dad built was still there, same with the school it seemed tiny to how i remembered it :-)

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  8. You grew up in some very picturesque locations. When I go back to the housing estate I grew up on, it's the roads that all seem so narrow. They were our playgrounds and seemed so spacious at the time. But then again there weren't so many cars then. Now the roads all seem so cluttered.

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  9. We used to live in a house on a square when I was small and I recently returned and couldn't believe how small the square actually was. In my memory it had been a huge green space where we played but the reality was much different!

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  10. Looks like a pretty place to grow up. I was actually born in York and when I went back a couple of years ago it was a nightmare with all one way systems that I don't remember at all so not the idyllic visit I had hoped for.

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  11. That's interesting Amy, I don't live far from where I grew up so, having seen everything regularly, I don't have that different size thing although there have been quite a few changes in the area. x

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  12. What an interesting post, Amy. Yes, it is the same with me: the houses of childhood look so much smaller than I remember. Occasionally we drive past the two houses where I spent most of my time until I was 16. Not only do they look small (especially as we were a big family), but sadly, not as attractive. My parents established gardens which are now gone, and later alterations spoil the original houses. Perhaps it is better not to see this. Your big house certainly was huge - and I would be fascinated to live where there was an ancient well, known in the Domesday Book. Wow!

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  13. I don't live far from where I grew up and I pass the end of the street very often, my mum and dad only moved from my childhood home four years ago. I've only lived in four houses in my entire life and one of those was until I was two years old.

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  14. Its funny I feel the same about where I grew up. Obviously I'm on the other side of the world now and only go back once in a blue moon, but when I do, I feel like a giant! The houses you've shared here are so pretty, the first one looks quite huge actually. I bet there's some great history in that old house.

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  15. I am a little over a mile from my childhood home so have not that window of time that changes memory. It was small then; it is small now. The lawn, however, is still large.

    I like all of these charming buildings. The thought of one having roots going back a thousand years is quite amazing. The first home I purchased was built in 1840. That felt ancient to me!

    You made me laugh with the comment about disgusting school lunches. We hear quite a bit about that in the U.S. Oh dear! Poor kids.

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  16. Great post Amy, and your town is very picturesque. I was back home recently, and discovered the same thing as you.

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  17. Love that kind of house!
    and the green around the house, such a beautiful place to grow!

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  18. Yes, Amy our minds do play tricks on us. Thank you so much for taking
    us down memory lane.

    luv
    irene
    xxxx

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  19. Memory is like that. We have visited places we lived in as children and they were much smaller than our memory. We've also visited places where we lived as a younger married couple and the new owners have made changes that saddened us.

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  20. Our school had an outside block of toilets too - absolutely horrific! Yuk and freezing!
    We visited an area where Mark used to go to school a few years ago - the first time he had been back since he was a child - to find that the primary school was now a car park! He was somewhat disappointed! x

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  21. Both the houses I lived in when I was growing up have been demolished. I still remember them well and even dream about being back in them.

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  22. This was a very interesting post Amy, and I agree that when I go back to my old neighbourhood that it feels so small and the distances to friends houses and schools seem closer. The house we grew up in now has all new windows, doors and siding so I can only imagine the changes inside. I'd rather remember it the way it was I think.

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  23. I was 8 when we left England and when we went back for our first visit I was 16 and I remember thinking how all the houses were so small. Now I use Google street view to look at places where we used to live to see the changes. Like you, I prefer the memories.

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  24. Hello Amy:

    The first time I went back home after moving half way across the world I remember thinking how small the kitchen and appliances were and not at all like I remembered. Over the years the village itself grew and grew and I liked it better when it was smaller. You also seemed to move around quite a lot. I can't remember anyone moving from the street that I lived on.

    I do remember the very almost frozen bottles of milk at school and the dinner ladies who would not let you leave the table until your plate was clean. Absolute terrible experience. I can not bring myself to eat mashed potatoes to this day due to the memory of having to chock them down full of lumps. After a couple times of this my mum said you can come home for dinner.

    Thanks for an interesting read and lovely photos.

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  25. I also grew up in a small village, it's far from where we liv e now so I've only been back once as an adult and thought the school looked so tiny. Sometimes it's best as you say just to have the memories as nothing is the same second time around xx

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  26. Where I used to live in London is now pretty much a no go zone! :-) People selling their wares and not in shops if you know what I mean. Such a shame as it used to be a rich area and the houses were very upstairs/downstairs with servants quarters downstairs. My old house is now a shop with a flat upstairs. The thatched cottage that we revisited last year has remained the same though but that particular little hamlet in North Essex has not changed a bit! Thank you so much for showing us around your memories of times gone past xx

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  27. Hi sweetie Amy! You know, you are so right. I've been back a few times to the home I grew up in in Alabama and it looked so small just like you've said. It is amazing how our tiny little children's eyes see things, isn't it? I loved seeing all of the pretty homes and scenery you've shown.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

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  28. What a lovely post, Amy. It is funny how places you used to know as a child seem smaller. I think as adults we see things as a whole whearas a child's mind sometimes grasps only parts of things and spends time discovering, imagining and enquiring. I was born in Leicester and we lived in a row of terraces amongst other rows of terraces called 'the nut' streeets as they were named after nuts e.g. Filbert, Walnut, Hazlenut etc. Our street wasn't nut in name but was close by, the Granby Halls were at the top of the street - all have now been demolished. The area where our street was is now the hospital car park. I visited once but was so sad to see nothing I recognised, we moved from there to a small Derbyshire village and there nothing seems to have changed at all:)

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  29. My family moved quite often.. I was born in Oklahoma and we moved to Oregon when I was 4 yrs old. When I went back my grandparents old farmhouse had been abandoned and when I went inside I was amazed at how tiny it was. So, I can totally relate to how you felt about seeing your old homes. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

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  30. I don't know if I've come upon your blog ever before but due to the summer temperature ( hot!!) I am indoors and browsing the internet. I came from Pom Pom's blog. I always marvel at the old old buildings that you have ( and we, in Canada, don't). Houses with so much history and so many stories to tell, if only they could talk. I went back to the place where I spent the first 5 years of my life but sadly there was nothing left, not even the foundation.

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  31. I remember the toilets in our primary school being outside too. And the doors didn't reach the floor so, in the winter, the draught blew in and under and ... well, let's just say it was cold and leave it at that! ;o)

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  32. What a fascinating post, Amy! I enjoyed it so much. I share some of your primary school memories too. I still live where I grew up, and now my grandchildren go to my old school......though now it is a new modern building not a Victorian one.......and they have delicious school dinners!
    Helen xox

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  33. I don't think it was just the houses that seemed bigger when we were younger - we still have conversations in our house about the size of Creme Eggs and Wagon Wheel biscuits! I know exactly what you mean, though - and what a strange thing it is that our minds magnify our memories xx

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  34. I know exactly what you mean Amy! When my daughter went to 3-4 year old pre-school it was in the school building where I had gone in my youth up through 9th grade! Well I was CERTAIN that they had shrunk the lockers there!! Lol It is weird to revisit the past that way and feel like it's all changed - and yet it hasn't.
    My house I grew up in is in horrible shape now (the people that owned it changed it a lot and now haven't taken care of it at all), so it's completely depressing to drive by it. I don't even want my kiddos to know that it was my home once as it's nothing like it was - so sad.

    I loved going back down your memory lane with you and your house looked really nice and how cool the history it holds too!
    happy week to you! xo

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  35. Lovely to revisit your childhood home! I often drive past my old house but I live there until I was 23 so I suppose having not left until I was an adult, it seems the same size it always was! I have to agree with Winwick Mum though about the size of other things... like wagon wheels, curly wurly, monster munch... !

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  36. i guess you would call them picket fences ... such character. love those homes. so unique. ( :
    i think for me personally as a kid i always so such a different idea or thought of how things truly were. cause when i go now things are not quite the same??! i am not sure remember them smaller - more the issue of being more greater - bigger - more fantastic ... maybe a kids mind makes things different? we blow things out of means?? maybe?

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  37. I HAVE been back to where I grew up. The house where I was born is absolutely teeny-tiny. It looks like the size of a large shed.

    The house where I spent my mid-childhood seemed so large and it was on a one-lane dirt path. Now the road is paved and they took a big chunk out of the front yard to make the road and sidewalk. The house looks SO small. I would LOVE to see inside, but I'm sure the owners would think that was quite an odd request. LOL

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  38. I know what you say Amy, before to live in Santiago we come from other city and still I thinn is a beauty city but Im sure If I would go to my grand mom house all I ll see different or more small:)
    First we were little and when you are little you see all more big! And the spaces are different.
    But I have the most beautiful memories from my grand mom house and her kitchen:)
    She cooked amazing!
    Hugs

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  39. Your memories and your childhood homes are all so charming!!! My goodness it was neat to walk around with you today and learn a bit about your history! And yes....visiting homes that I grew up in and seeing them now is so strange! They seemed so magical in my memories. I wish I could go back and walk through one in particular to just see what it looks like now! Happy week my friend! All good things to you! Nicole xo

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  40. I'm with Winwick Mum above - I was going to mention Wagon Wheels - they have definitely shrunk!

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  41. When I was four and five, I walked (unaccompanied) what felt like half a mile to school, in a military camp in County Durham. In my thirties, I found it again, and realised it had been just across the (traffic-free) road and round the corner! Probably half the distance of a supermarket aisle.

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  42. my school had outside toilets too..........brrr. It was grim...........

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