One of my earliest memories is of a tiny cottage on the end of a row of tiny cottages in rural Oxfordshire. This one consisted of a living room, kitchen and bedroom – that was essentially ‘it’. The toilet was in a little room at the back of the garage that was only big enough to accommodate a Mini motorcar.
My Grandfather had inherited it in the early 1970s, and the extended family was invited over on a couple of occasions to divide up the ‘spoils’.
We were living in a different era then, but the lady who had lived in the house, an aunt of my grandfather, had lived in a different era again. There was no television, although there was a telephone, and the bath was a Victorian ‘hip bath’ placed in the kitchen, where one sat up in it to wash oneself.
I have often thought about that cottage since then. It would make a perfect ‘starter’ home – a roof over one’s head and a garden to relax in – but I suspect that it’s location would price it out of the reach of most first-time buyers. I did for a while live in a similar tiny cottage, again a ‘one-up, one-down’ with the amenities in an extension, but time moved on, and so did I.