Friday, August 5, 2016

The Long Room at Clifton

From Chartreuse and Company:
Due to the forgotten nature of this room, when I was a little girl, we children spent a great deal of our time in here.  This is where we had our Parcheesi and Hearts tournaments. (Parcheesi is a board game touted as the game of Royal India, and Hearts is our favorite card game.) But the one activity that consistently brought the entire household into this room was when my sisters, my cousin, and I would put on our theatrics.  They were always staged on the first landing of the front stairs, a perfectly sized stage for four young thespians.

These were sophisticated affairs which included original scripts (written and directed by us), costumes (items found in closets), and elaborate props (the piano stool as a dining table, a jump rope as a microphone).   Popular songs of the day were usually included, a cappello.  Our audience was always appreciative, and left us feeling remarkably talented.

And just a note on this room, that I realize only as I write this:  this was a room filled with finer things, items my grandmother held in esteem.  And yet we were never made to feel that we could not be in there.  We sought out the room for our games and fun.  To this day, when we set the ‘young people’s table’ for our big get-togethers, that table is set in The Long Room, on its deep, wool oriental rug.  That’s just how it was.  So consider Grandmother Thomas’ example when you get the impulse to say that a certain room is off-limits to children.  Consider what you may be denying them, and yourself. (Read more.)

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