‘Old houses were scaffolding once and workmen whistling.’ T.E. Hulme.

07 Feb

Stories from my Sketchbook  . . . maintenanceman

I have heard people say ‘Old houses have soul’ and I am sure they do.  They also have squeaky doors, leaky plumbing, no built-in wardrobes and lots and lots of spiders.  Having said that, I really do like old houses, although, if renting one, a landlord ready, willing, and able to do a spot of maintenance every now and again might also be in order . . .

I know nothing of the history of the ramshackle house in my sketch below. I don’t know what country it was in, who lived in it, or why it had been abandoned.  It was just a photo on the internet that I saw and liked and decided to copy (and I was desperate to try out a new pen).

But, you know, drawing is a funny thing.  It also sets you to thinking.  While studying the angles and the shapes and the colours (and struggling with the perspective) I also found myself idly pondering on how old the house was, who built it (perhaps whistling whilst doing so), who slept behind that dormer window  . . . and who planted that fabulous climbing ivy now growing with wild abandon both inside and out (and probably the only thing still holding the house up).

I’ll never know of course, but I like to think that somebody out there in the world knows—someone who still has memories of the house and the lives that were lived here—someone with some stories to tell . . .



Posted by on February 7, 2017 in Uncategorized


Tags: , , , , ,

6 responses to “‘Old houses were scaffolding once and workmen whistling.’ T.E. Hulme.

  1. Jim Balentine

    September 18, 2018 at 8:23 am

    Sally, I love the sketch… I would like to have permission to use it as an illustration on a piece of choral music with TE Hulme’s text. If you could contact me to discuss it, I would appreciate it. Thanks, and thanks for the blog – I found it through googling the TE Hulme poem fragment, but stayed to read on …


    • sallyinthehaven

      September 18, 2018 at 9:43 am

      Hi Jim. Thank you for your kind words. The sketch was done from a very old photograph I found on-line so I have no idea where the original actually came from, but if you want to use my sketch please feel free to do so. I consider it a very nice compliment to be asked. 🙂


  2. Judy

    February 8, 2017 at 10:54 am

    PS – Love the sketch my mind is turning already!


    • sallyinthehaven

      February 8, 2017 at 12:01 pm

      Thank you. I got lucky with the pen – it ‘bled’ in mostly all the right places . . . 🙂


  3. Judy

    February 8, 2017 at 10:53 am

    You could write a book/short story with the house as the protagonist Sal – your imagination could run wild….you could call it “If These Walls Could Talk” hmmm maybe I’ll write a book…….:) 🙂 🙂


    • sallyinthehaven

      February 8, 2017 at 12:00 pm

      I think you should do it yourself – you’ve already got The title! I have never written a short story in my life and would not even know where to start. I honestly don’t have much of an imagination at all (it’s all a bit sad really) and it takes me almost a full week just to write enough drivel for one decent post. Just as well I am not trying to do it for a living . . .



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: