- The yellow car at the front of Falmouth Road
Many people have asked me this question and now I shall try to answer it.
Falmouth Road holds many happy memories for me. I remember when we saw the house in the paper and we knew it would work for us; then we went with my parents to look at the house and I remember them shivering – it had no central heating. Eventually, several years later, we put in central heating throughout the house.
The kitchen is the room which I think I spent most time in – cooking, cleaning, baking, washing-up, and filling the fridge is to name but a few activities. Friends often came to visit and we would sit in the kitchen, talking and drinking coffee or hot chocolate. I also remember creating birthday cakes for the boys – a football pitch for Barnaby, a He-Man Castle for Henry, Truro Cathedral for Jonathan and a Pound Puppy for Oscar to name a few. We had good parties with various children demolishing my cakes.
- Jonathan and his cathedral cake
The internal lift was demolished by Jonathan’s friends one year! I remember we took a group of Barnaby’s friends to play football in the field behind Daniell Road. One thing I particularly remember is that Jonathan Evans always won the Pass-the-Parcel in our Jonathan’s parties. I also remember that our Jonathan once had a girlfriend, Kirstie, who painted his room very artistically.
Barnaby, Oscar and Jonathan in the sitting room
A few years ago I had the brainwave to invite a group of people to an “Asparagus-Fest”. I inherited six silver asparagus tongs from my mother and I had this idea that we should make use of them. I remember I was on the phone to someone, I think it was Al Brownscombe, when the idea evolved of holding the asparagus-fest; I asked him if he would like to come with his wife, Carolyn, and from then on I have annually invited people to these fests. Now my friend, Nicki, has taken over the idea and I lend her the asparagus tongs, beautifully polished by Ali, our cleaner, who is a special help to Adrian now he lives alone. We also lend Nicki the steamer in which she cooks the asparagus.
The kitchen was a large room and I decided that we needed a five-foot-long table for family meals, and with the help of Nicki I found, in an auction room, a good oak table which fitted in very well. I sanded the table down, and I sanded the legs, and after removing the varnish I wiped it down and then re-varnished it with protective varnish. The kitchen was a friendly family room with a wooden sideboard and I also bought a five-foot bench that was wider at the back than the front which, I felt, made it comfortable for the boys to sit on.
I was asked which room I particularly remember and I immediately said “our bedroom” which had a bay-window that overlooked the copper-beech tree in the front garden. As the MS got worse I spent more time in the bedroom, looking out at the beech tree. In the summer when leaves came out on the tree, the majority of the leaves caught the sun and turned red on one side, and green on the shady side; slowly our room would reflect the red light and then when the sun weakened the room became overshadowed by the tree. I remember asking Adrian to take photographs out of the same window every week-or-so; sadly he never published these photographs.
I used to use one walking stick, then two, and I couldn’t get up the steps to the back garden, so our helper, Angie, who I remember very warmly, recommended a Mr Black who built a ramp for me to be pushed up into the garden. It was a lovely garden that Adrian looked after, with a lawn where the boys played football, and when they left I suggested that Adrian made a circular vegetable patch to grow beans, leeks and other vegetables. I was no gardener but happily cooked and ate the vegetables that Adrian produced. Adrian also dug a pond in the back garden and, in memory of my father, we planted an azalea bush.
Henry and Jon on the back path
We had moved to Truro from Leicester at Christmas in 1985, and for many preceding years we had come to Cornwall for our holidays at Singleton in Trebetherick. The boys all loved it as I had when I was a child and we have many happy memories of sharing holidays there and in Falmouth Road with Simon and Diana, Rosie, Robert and Tom, and many others.
When we moved to Falmouth Road, in February 1986, I was very pregnant with what turned out to be Oscar; my second cousin, Lois, who used to be a nurse, said she wouldn’t mind being woken if I went into labour during the night, so she came to stay and looked after the older children.
Oscar in the sitting room
In this house my legs slowly became less useable; we were sustained by a nurse who gave us a hoist, and we employed various people so I had a host of carers who looked after me, including Angie, Laetitia, Nikei and Carole who painted my nails, particularly my “Happy Xmas” toenails. The boys used to turn the pages in books that I read, and slowly I was helped by Adrian who is a wonderful example to our sons. When I couldn’t turn over in bed Adrian would turn me when I woke him and he never complained, but my Health Visitor told me that I ought to go into a nursing home to be looked after. A difficult memory came last year when Adrian asked me whether he could take down the lift; I agreed, but it meant that I would never go upstairs again.
So Adrian, after living in our six-bedroomed house, felt it was time to downsize, and Falmouth Road went on the market. I have already downsized without realising it.
I think we all loved Falmouth Road; it was our place, and now I am relying on Adrian to take me to his new home. I keep many reminders of our happy times and I have many pictures around my room which remind me of when I was a child and through my life. Adrian once gave me a painting of asparagus spears which was hanging above the tiles behind the kitchen sink, and I will have it in my room when he moves. We moved to the house with three young children and a fourth imminent. Now we leave Falmouth Road with them having given us six grandchildren.
So yes, of course I feel sad about selling Falmouth Road. I’m aware that I’ll get quite a lot of money as half of it is mine, and I suppose I shall use some of it, as well as buying a new car and helping Adrian to buy bits and pieces for Christmas.
I can keep the memories of my life. I would be very glad if other people are able to write about their memories and how they feel about the selling of Falmouth Road, and our saying goodbye to that part of our life.
Mary Smith 3rd December 2015