When I was a child, I used to have a recurring dream, wherein I was in a huge house, an old stone building and there was a secret door that only I knew about. I would enter the door and a whole new space opened up to me, and it was mine alone. There was something so enchanting, mysterious and secret about this labyrinthine special space, with doors and rooms and corridors where i could explore or escape from everyone and just hide.
Well today, I found a place like this, decades later. I am teaching English part-time in an independent school. In an ancient abbey. Sometimes all the classrooms are being used and today was one of those days, and I had to ask my line manager where I could take my two Chinese students. It’s the end of half term and i had brought in one of my favourite films, Paris Texas, for them to watch on my laptop as a treat. She suggested I used this old classroom in the eaves. She found the keys and led me up through a network of stairwells and doors to the old classroom. I loved it. Now used as a dumping ground for piles of pillows used by the female boarders; there were old telephones, folders, pots of pens, rickety chairs and tables. It was perfect. I found my classroom and a secret place very similar to my childhood dreams.
There is so much more to this ancient abbey.
There is something about me that needs to hide and retreat frequently. It feels sensual and exciting. I couldn’t resist taking a few photos of the secret classroom.