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Bedside Manor

Dedicated to Liane Gough and Geneve Daniels

It was there when I arrived.

A full archetypal sun-fade moss green Californian timber bungalow with folding canopy roof.

It was placed by my mum’s bedside when I came into this world.

My father built it before my birth.

The pale green walls had portholes and windows into all the rooms.

There was a room for every moment of living.

I played in the bedroom in my early years while the microhome sat bedside to a growing cot.

Eventually I graduated to the other rooms of the doll’s house, all while playing from my bed.

Later I filled the tiny bookshelf with miniature covers of the books I’d covered.

I would hide things around the house, like candy in the vents, or photos in the drawers.

I grew out of playing tiny home by my bedside, and the lift up lid became a hidden stash.

My bedside manor was a permanent reminder of the idyllic life, complete with porchlight.

Not too long after I grew out of the home, I’d begun to grow the start of my own family.

I set myself to decorating the miniature fixtures with strings of flags while I was pregnant.

I wanted to welcome in my newborn like I was greeted by the warm glow of a new home.

The sun-bleached green walls began to fade when I brought my first born to their new room.

I raised three eclectic kids around that tiny home, who each got a room of their own.

They decorated their bedrooms in an ever-evolving pastiche of memorabilia and nostalgia.

There was so much more on offer than what I had to pick from back in my day.

After the kids moved out, I couldn’t bear to pick apart their rooms from how they left them.

So, the house got emptier but my home was full of life with artwork for my next book.

My mum moved in, and I quickly made her up a room in the tiny bedside home.

The walls were full of laughter again when the old hens got to pecking at the world together.

My mum said goodbye to the tiny home we’d had as kids, she left us after nearly a century.

After a dozen or so book launches you begin to lose count, of the words and all the faces.

I’d filled up my own bookshelf in the mini bungalow side table, each with tiny cover art.

And after I got sick, it was my daughter who brought the small home to my hospital bed.

That’s when she sprung it on me, it was there when I arrived.

She brought the miniature manor to the room where I knew ‘I’d had it’.

We lifted back the roof together and started walking through the rooms from the beginning.

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