‘I was scared’: How the house that once sat atop a cliff was once the ‘I-can’t-believe-it’ house that inspired a song
I was a little nervous as I sat down at the dinner table.
The last time I’d seen my parents and sister was during their honeymoon, a year before they divorced.
And even then, I’d only ever seen my mother and father.
But with the help of my parents’ old photographs, I knew what the story of the house in the backyard would be.
The house had once stood on the edge of a cliff, just metres from the house on the other side of the road.
It had once housed a family of squids.
“We used to live there,” I told my father.
“The family moved to the mountains, and we had this really beautiful cottage here on the hill.”
It was a quiet place, I thought.
But then I looked around and saw that the house had become an internet meme, a place where people shared their feelings about the house.
There were photos of the squids, a photo of a small pond and a caption from someone who claimed to have lived there for four years.
“It’s the most beautiful place on earth, you know?” my father said, as he handed me a card with his name on it.
I looked it up, and it said: ‘I just want to thank you for your amazing generosity.’
I couldn’t believe it.
A couple of years later, my dad and I got married.
We moved into a two-bedroom flat in a building overlooking the River Thames.
I was given a flat in London, and my parents moved to London, too.
The squids were the main attraction.
They were cute, but I could see that they had a dark side.
The people who used to go to the garden were still there, the ones who would bring their dogs.
And then, of course, there was the owl house.
My family had always liked owls, so when I saw the owls there, it was a big deal.
It was an iconic image of the owl house in London.
I remember the first time I saw an owl.
We had come home from work, and there was a line of them outside.
My mum and dad said, “Oh, we saw them.”
It made us laugh.
I’d been a fan of owls since I was eight, but never really got to see them until this year.
I saw them when I was seven, but my mum was the one who got the most excited, and she kept saying, “Look at them!
Look at those owls!”
We’d all watched them on the BBC, but it was when I started to go and see them in person, and when I walked through the garden, that was when my first memories of the owl came flooding back.
My dad took me for a walk around the garden.
He told me, “We’ve got owls.”
And he started to tell me stories about them.
My father’s voice cracked with emotion.
“Owls are very clever, they can follow you around and they have great sense of smell.”
“They can smell, you see?”
My mum smiled.
“Yeah, they know what the smells are.
They smell something, they don’t just look.
I mean, they’re a very special creature.”
“Owl houses, like the ones in this picture, were a lot of fun to be a part of.
They gave us a lot to think about.
They’re quite special animals.”
I couldn´t believe that my dad was saying this to me.
He said, looking at me, and he was so happy to talk about owls.
It wasn’t just me who loved the owlers, he said.
He was really excited about them, too, and I remember my dad saying to me, in a very matter-of-fact way, “Well, I’ve seen you two play a bit, and you’ve made a good time of it.”
I’d love to talk to him about that.
It didn’t seem like the first thing that came to mind.
But he continued, “And then I saw you two come out on the balcony and play together.
And you two were playing the piano together.
You’ve got a great, great friendship, and now, all of a sudden, you’ve been together for years.”
My dad’s smile was genuine.
“Oh my god,” he said, in awe.
It all seemed to fit together.
It felt so natural to my father, who’s a big fan of birds.
“You have to understand, my kids, I’m a huge bird fan.
And they’re all very different types of birds, and they’re not like me, but they are all very friendly.”
My father said that he loved birds.
He loved that I was different.
“I can’t believe that you