ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Bowral Cottage

Updated on October 16, 2013
The cottage
The cottage

The Bowral Cottage

By Tony DeLorger © 2011


The old stone cottage was a testament to the stonemason’s craft; each stone lay perfectly, but weathered and grey with age. It was a two-story building with ornate gables and a high-pitched slate roof, each side displaying two dormer windows with flowerless boxes beneath. The slate was covered in lichen, its radiating round patterns adding to the homely feel of this simple cottage. Ivy grew over many of the stones, its searching tendrils running along the pointing lines and seemingly anchoring the home to the earth on which it stood.

It was midwinter and the icy cold breeze went straight through our clothing. We collected our bags and belongings and rushed inside. Beyond there was a small vestibule brimming with coat racks and a collection of hats, and then into a classic kitchen. It was steeped in country tradition with pots, pans and utensils hanging over the wood fired stove and bunches of lavender and dried herbs strung up over the single French window.

The floors were stone smoothed from years of fervent labour and the table, chairs and hutch all Baltic pine, scared with memories and its usefulness in life. A low tiffany style lampshade hung low over the kitchen table creating a soft ambient light.

Each room had a fireplace of blackened iron surrounded by dark stained cedar. Downstairs there were two other rooms: a lounge area with several reading chairs and a lounge plump with padding and an old Persian rug underfoot. The other room was a small dining room with a simple seven piece suit in colonial style.

We dragged our bags up a narrow stairway and alighted on a landing that opened to two bedrooms and a bathroom. The master bedroom contained a Victorian brass bed, a wardrobe and dresser all of cedar. The duvet was so plump with down is seemed to sit halfway to the ceiling and the cover looked hand-stitched.

The dormer window looked out over vast rolling hills and was edged by ethereal white curtains. The second bedroom for the kids had two double metal bunks and an old dresser, also with a window. The bathroom was tiled black-and-white, tiles up to the ceiling, with original fittings, an old iron tub and a simple shower curtain.

All the floors we Baltic pine with that pinkish yellowing that is so attractive in old homes. Years of wear and bumps just gave it even more appeal.

After packing away our clothes, the kids went exploring outside while my wife and I went to pack away our foodstuffs in the kitchen. The house was absolutely freezing and entering the kitchen even colder.

“It’s as cold as a grave in here,” she said, matter of fact.

I thought it was a strange thing to say but answered. “We just need to fire up the wood stove. It’ll be warm soon enough,” I replied.

I had just finished putting away the biscuits when I saw someone out of the corner of my eye pass behind me, and turned to realise that no-one was there. An internal chill swept over me and I went into the lounge to light a fire, trying to ignore the fact.

My wife was sitting on a lounge chair. “Don’t you think it’s creepy in there?” she asked, quite serious.

“I guess. It’ll feel better with some warmth.”

The fire helped a little but it was so cold I almost burnt myself trying to feel its ineffectual warmth.

A few hours later I had cooked a stew and was standing by the stove sipping a glass of red. My wife was skimming an old cookbook she’d found on the kitchen table. I turned to stir the stew but the stirring spoon was gone. I had put it next to the stove on a small plate.

“Have you seen the stirring spoon?” I asked, confused.

‘Next to the stove,” she replied without looking up.

“But it’s gone.”

I noticed a small squeaking sound and we both looked toward the door. There, swinging gently on one of the free coat racks was the spoon hooked over it, as if someone had just thrown it there. There was a short period of confusion and then denial.

Not a word was spoken about it afterwards and after some fire time we got into bed, with flannelette pyjamas, double socks and the kids even wore their gloves. Under a mound of down we snuggled up for warmth, the soft luminescent bluish glow of moonlight imbuing the room.

The next day we went into town to shop and explore the quaint little rows of shops filled with memorabilia and county charm. We drove around all day and arrived just as the sun was setting. It was nearly freezing but thankfully the pipes were still working and hot water was plentiful. I was cooking a curry in the kitchen and hovering over the stove, trying to soak up the warmth when I was startled by a stiff breeze. It parted the back of my hair and I turned to go and shut whatever was open, but found both door and window locked tight. I suddenly felt sick to my stomach.

From then on we decided to eat out as much as possible. The kids would not come in to the kitchen, rather stand at the doorway and ask whatever. When we’d leave the house everyone rushed through the kitchen to get out. It was weird, but what else could we do.

If we weren’t out driving, the kids played with the Shetland ponies in the adjoining paddocks and we stayed reading in the lounge room in front of the fire. On the last day of our stay the kids were packed and ready downstairs before breakfast. We cleaned and tidied up and packed up the car.

I was standing in the kitchen writing a note to the owners of the property, when I felt another whoosh of icy cold air behind me. This time it reverberated throughout my body, my nerves on edge. There was something there and it was obvious our presence wasn’t appreciated. Then a sound started to buzz in my ear and as it got louder I felt my heart pounding faster and faster. I rushed for the door and as I went through it a wall of voices, growling with discontent followed me. “Get out!” it said, the door slamming shut after me.

I quickly locked it and jumped in the car. I didn’t even lock the front gate; we were out of there.


Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Tony DeLorger profile imageAUTHOR

      Tony DeLorger 

      7 years ago from Adelaide, South Australia

      Thanks for dropping by socialrafalino. Glad you enjoyed it.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)