Life Lessons at The House That Sat Down!
By Alice May
The homes we build for ourselves are a place of sanctuary, but what happens if we lose them?
One very ordinary family had the misfortune to find out…
Five years ago, I stood on my drive and watched two huge cracks work their way up the front and gable walls of my cob cottage. A huge corner section of the house started to lean slowly away from the rest of the property and, within an hour and a half, my husband, my four children and I were homeless. Our insurance company informed us that, even though we had a ‘fully comprehensive’ house insurance policy, we were not covered for the damage to our home. Believe it or not, we moved into a tent in our back garden.
It was a shock to say the very least. However, it was also the beginning of an incredible journey, one that was to teach us a great many things. I will confess, they were not all things I wanted to know, but there was little choice but to jolly well get on with it.
Life was incredibly hard for the subsequent eighteen months, as we fought to rebuild our home and move back in.
Nevertheless, it should be remembered that nothing is ever all bad and, thankfully, we didn’t lose our senses of humour along with our home. A great many daft things were about to happen in that crazy, new, garden-based lifestyle of ours. There were so many unexpected positives to the situation. During those months, the six of us became much closer together – and not merely due to the fact that we were all crammed into one relatively tiny tent.
Sometime later, I was inspired to write The House That Sat Down Trilogy, a fictional tale that draws on my experience of that stage in my life; the frighteningly sudden homelessness and all that followed.
I wanted to give a glimpse into how ordinary life – which is often challenging enough for most people – can become almost impossible, with just one fundamental element changing, causing a shockwave that ricochets through everything else.
However, The House That Sat Down Trilogy is not a doom- and gloom-laden rant, it is a light and whimsical romp through an extraordinary life event. Told entirely from a mother’s point of view, it is packed with humorous anecdotes about the craziness of family life under extreme pressure. Yet, at the same time, it also covers the devastating emotional price that, ultimately, had to be paid for on-going survival.
We all take our homes for granted, the roof overhead, the security and warmth of being protected from the weather and the outside world. Your home is supposed to be a safe space and, to most people, it is almost unthinkable that it could be lost in the blink of an eye, but, that is what happened to our rather quirky family unit and it certainly triggered some rather interesting consequences.
I hope our story shows that life does go on regardless, and that sometimes disaster can have surprisingly positive results. It’s important to remember to keep calm and carry on! Be brave, be kind and believe.
One step at a time, it is possible overcome a great many things.
Inspired by a true story, The House That Sat Down Trilogy is a tale of triumph over tragedy. It is an astonishing account of sudden, first-world homelessness in the heart of the New Forest, and the unexpected consequences. Written entirely from a mother’s point of view, following the collapse of her family’s home, it is an uplifting and positive read in spite of the subject matter, with a thread of wry humour throughout. Follow this ordinary woman on an extraordinary journey of survival and self-discovery as she reels from disaster, before picking herself up and coming back stronger and wiser than before.
Packed with humorous observations about what it is like to live in a tent in your garden with your husband and four children after a significant part of your house falls down out of the blue one day, this story takes you from the depths of despair right through to the satisfying heights of success against the odds, with lots of tea and cakes on the way.
Follow this crazy family as they cope with disaster in their own truly unique and rather mad way, and celebrate each small triumph along the way with them.
The House That Sat Down Trilogy
If you think the normal school run on a Monday is entertaining, you should try doing it from a tent in your back garden, surrounded by the jumbled-up contents of your entire home. It is vastly more diverting.
Our heroine has survived the sudden collapse of her home – or has she?
Certain events, two and a half years ago, led her to deliberately destroy an important piece of herself, hiding away all remaining evidence that it every existed. What happens when she decides to go looking for it?
Does she really deserve to be whole again?
Book 1 Accidental Damage – Tales from the house that sat down
Accidental Damage is also available in Large Print format
Restoration – More tales from the House that Sat Down.
Book 2 in The House That Sat Down Trilogy
Let us return to the crumbling cob cottage in the country, and our intrepid heroine and her hilarious family.
They are about to start rebuilding their home and their lives. Of course, nothing is going to go smoothly for them, is it?
In this sequel to ‘Accidental Damage – tales from the house that sat down’ we accompany our heroine on her journey as she bravely battles to restore everything that she loves; often against the odds and with a liberal sprinkling of humour, art and home-made cookies along the way.
One this is for sure; it’s going to be a bumpy ride!
Redemption – Moving on from the House that Sat Down
Book 3 in The House That Sat Down Trilogy
Let us return to our favourite cottage in the country once again.
In this final installment from the house that sat down, the family’s incredible journey is drawing to a close, leaving an unexpected bonus in its wake.
The cottage has been rebuilt and the family are moving on, but this tale has an astonishing legacy in store for our heroine, if she can find the courage to reach for it.
About the Author
I am a multi-tasking parent to four not-so-small children, and I am fortunate enough to be married to (probably) the most patient man on the planet. We live in, what used to be, a ramshackle old cottage in the country. Our house began to fall down out of the blue one day, which resulted in the whole family living in a tent in the back garden for quite some time, while we worked out how to rebuild our home.
A few years afterwards, I decided to write a book and, once I started, I found I couldn’t stop.
Inspired by true-life events ‘Accidental Damage – tales from the house that sat down’ wouldn’t leave me alone until it was written.
Within six months of self-publishing my novel, I was delighted to learn that it had won two ‘Chill with a Book Awards’. This was a massive honour and motivated me to continue writing. Accidental Damage became the first book in a trilogy.
The Omnibus edition of all three books in the House That Sat Down Trilogy is now available via Amazon in both paperback and kindle format.
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