Way back in the 1980s, Dave and I lived in a tied cottage on the Beaulieu estate in Hampshire. Our first married home and we brought our babies home to it. This is the only picture I could find of the house from the front , and there are none of the entrance from the lane. After seven years, when Dave had a major problem with his arm, we were evicted (although by agreement rather than force) and that day was one of the worst in my life. Even now, when I am bothered about something, I dream of Little Marsh lodge, which is maybe because I’m tapping into that trauma, or it was a wrenching out of a place I loved.
This picture was taken from a helicopter ride I had over the hosue, you can see it under the peddle. The field up and to the left is now a lake.
Over the years, I returned on several occasions to slink down the track past the house to the sea. It seemed the same. Then we heard it had been sold to an actress and after a few alterations, it was completely revamped, even winning prizes.
So, when we were in Hampshire a few weeks ago, Dave, George(our son) and I went to have a look. I embarrassed them by walking down the lane and banging on the door, but although the front door was ajar,and dogs barking, there was no answer, so we walked along the sea front.
This is the entrance from the house side. and below is now, from the other direction, our shed and trees long gone.
Looking at the photos, I see our past has been totally wiped. What was the main house next to the beach has been demolished and what looks like a modern monstrosity being built in it’s place.
Here is where the cattle field had been dug out and turned into a lake.
I know its not good to go back and things don’t stay static, but now, and I’ve never felt this before, it’s over. I never want or need to go back -except. maybe to see what the new house on the beach looks like. I’ve another long overdue closure, but I still want to go back to the house we lived in in Winchester as that has never changed from the outside.
Little Marsh will live on in my mind, my photos, our chat. Maybe I’ve handed it on to our kids too, George can remember it, having been six when we left, our daughter can’t remember it at all. I’m sad that it’s gone for ever, subconsciously I had been hanging on to it. I wonder where I will dream of next time I’m worrying about something?