Every time we’ve opened the front door since the summer, it’s been a hope that it wouldn’t fall off its hinges (it did, the bottom one). But the cracked glass hung on despite its completely rotten support. Our postman has gingerly opened it to drop our occasional envelope as the slot was long packed with old cardboard in a draft-prevention campaign of a decade ago.
But now it has been retired, or put out of its misery. It is on its way, beyond any hope of recycling, other than by the worms.
Now we have our castle door which shuts with a deeply satisfying soft but reassuringly firm clunk, pushed by a little finger. It has a heavy mortlice lock, which smoothly clicks, heavy stainless steel hinges and a high-tech trickle-ventilation system (hardly needed yet with our open fretted top piece).
When they make the film of 2 Hillside the door shutting in slow motion and the lock sliding smoothly and resistibly home will feature in all-round-surround sound, throbbing and booming. The portcullis has fallen, this castle is impenetrable.
Warning to visitors: In our family only Midge can walk through this door without stooping. Midge is five-foot-two and shrinking.
The door plus a second hi-security warm inner door were made for us by Simon at Oakleigh Joinery of Stanscombe and were fitted by Sam and John.
The colour, Little Greene’s toms oil eggshell Sage Green, matches that of the dormers.