This is a weird house.
The first weirdness is easily explained. If the back door is open, we hear people talking in the garden. But they’re not in the garden at all – they’re usually chatting down on the main road at the far end of the lane. The reason for this [I reckon, anyway] is that the room ends in a large three-quarter circle of windows, and the circular nature acts as a sort of lens. It causes some strange effects within the circle too but we’re used to that.
The second is smells, or other various odours. Normally the old part of the Manor smells as it should – sort of slightly musty with a tinge of wood smoke – what Daughter calls a “cottagey” smell. I like that smell.
Sometimes however the room will acquire a different smell, usually of cooking. This isn’t as a result of any of my culinary efforts as I would have cooked something different in the kitchen [which is two closed doors away anyway. The only logical answer is that somehow I’m picking up something from next-door, but there is a granite wall between us and their kitchen is way back in an extension too. Their odours would have to exit their kitchen window, flow gently north, climb up over the roof before dropping down and in through a closed window. Unlikely?
Lately however there is a more rational odour – the stench of dog piss. The other evening I went through to the Old House and the air was almost unbreathable. My bedroom was just as bad. What was strange was that Penny hadn’t been in there. I opened all the doors and windows and by bedtime the air was almost near tolerable. The following day the rooms smelled their usual cottagey smell. There wasn’t a hint if dog piss.
There tends to be an ebb and flow of piss-stench in the back of the house too. I think I know that one – it’s the carpet in the round window. Penny tends to get caught short on the way to the door so we inherit another little damp spot on the carpet.
Time to get out the carpet shampoo machine again.