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Introducing… The House That Made Us by SJV
2021/11/11  |  By:   |  Features  |  

We are SO excited to be able to share the news that we’ve acquired a brand new novel – The House That Made Us – written by a very familiar face to you all, under the pseudonym Alice Cavanagh.

One Day meets Up, The House That Made Us is a love story – and a life story – told through a series of photographs, inspired by this true story… and we can’t WAIT for you to fall as in love with Mac and Marie as we all have done here at @TeamBATC HQ!

Here’s a very brief introduction to whet your appetite – with more news to follow of course… When Mac and Marie marry and find a home of their own, Mac takes a snap of themselves outside their newbuild bungalow, the garden bare and the paint on the front door still wet. It becomes a tradition, this snap, and slowly the photographs build into an album of a fifty-year partnership. Every year they take a photo and though things change around them – the garden matures, the fashions change, they grow older – the one constant is their love. Every year, come rain, come shine, from the Seventies through the decades, every photo tells the story of their love. Until the last photo, where their story comes to an end…

And, as a special treat, we’ve asked Alice to begin a brand new column for us all to enjoy. Here’s your first episode: AUTUMN – WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN ALL MY LIFE?

I like my seasons like I like my men: mature, mysterious. A little damp. Well, maybe not that last one.

If I think of Autumn as a man it conjures up a Parisian thinker, all curls and reading glasses, heavy coat flapping as he philosophises by the Seine. Or George Clooney in a Rome restaurant, valiantly not noticing that every diner in the room is staring at him over their artichokes.

Autumn is worth waiting for. A soft blanket after the whirligig of summer. I don’t know about your part of the globe, but in my garden this summer was either far too hot or far too cold. Some nights I lay in bed like a chicken on a spit, slowly roasting. At other times I seriously considered turning on the heating; only the spectre of my Dublin grandmother rising from her grave and coming to London to knock me on the head with her best umbrella deterred me.

(Nana had three umbrellas: one for rain, one for strolling, one for poking. She was an organised and slightly vicious woman.)

But back to Autumn. Back to the arms of my tweedy lover. He understands. He knows I didn’t really want to go to festivals or outdoor theatre or barbecues. Autumn would never expect me to wait three hours for underdone sausage; he’s far too civilised and polite. He lights the lamps. He draws the curtains. He asks me if my feet hurt and he suggests a hot chocolate.

No bikini body is necessary for this love affair. He prefers me in layers of mohair and cashmere, with maybe a cheeky bit of toe cleavage peeking from my lambswool slipper. The evenings draw in, so we dine by candlelight, and I always look ten years younger in their flattering glow.

It’s not that I dislike the other seasons. They all have their attractions. Summer is the good natured himbo, batting a beach ball and getting sand in the picnic. The promise of Spring, its whisper of regeneration, lands gently on my ear. And Christmas sits like a king, stringing fairylights around Winter’s grey landscape.

But Autumn has my heart. We all slow down a little, and are more content to stay indoors. Our homes come into their own, offering us comfort and familiarity. The wind moaning down the chimney is the best background music to a glass of wine and a Waitrose nut.

And the colour scheme! Suddenly the turning leaves match my hair, and is there any joy to match crunching through the oranges and russets in a pair of new boots? Gloves on, scarf garrotting me, bobble hat bobbing, I am an impenetrable bundle of knitwear and that’s just the way I like it.

But most of all, the big reason why I’m faithful to my Autumn man, is he knows I love to read. He settles me on a sofa, with the storm whining outside, and he nudges a cup of tea towards me. Autumn and me: made for each other.

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