The Things We See – Sally

I have chosen this beautiful Victorian doll’s house as my favourite object because it made me think about what home means to me, the different ways that we fill our time and how this has changed for many of us over the past year. 

This year everyone has spent more time at home due to the impact of Covid-19. Most of us, including children, having been unable to see friends or relatives, for long periods of time. As we reach the end of 2020 this doll’s house, with it’s incredible detail, made me reflect on how my home has been central to my year and how lucky I am to have a home that is safe, comfortable and part of a caring community. 

I have had fun thinking about my home, comparing it to this grand doll’s house and reflecting on my year.

Click on the eye symbols on the doll’s house to explore my comparisons and think about your own home and what it means to you.

My home is part of East Road Estate, Cambridge. The plans for the housing estate were identified in the 1952 Cambridgeshire Development Plan, also known as the Cambridge Plan. The development included shops and a pub (now called the Blue Moon) and about 7 acres of housing. The layout of the estate followed the pattern of New Town developments, with green open areas and pedestrian walkways. The estate is now over 60 years old and still holds a sense of community, which came to the fore over the past year.

These photos show our estate duck, who became bolder during lockdown, making the most of the views that our flat roofs allow. The community Rainbow that local children maintained, showing solidarity to key workers during the pandemic and of course the Cambridge cows, who merrily mooed at me when on my daily walks along the river Cam.

The somewhat rundown but beautifully made stairway of the doll’s house reminded me of the external stairs that lead to my flat.

Like a lot of people, I do not have a garden and so during lockdown I sat, with the cat, on the front porch, enjoying the sun and waving at my neighbours.

These photos are of a different doll’s house in the museum collection. I love the colours and attention to detail that create a feeling of home.

This sense of comfort reminded me of a painting I did of my sitting room during lockdown and the time that I spent there.

I love how this doll’s house has social spaces with chairs set out for chat and catch-ups.

It reminded me of how happy I was to welcome my ‘bubble’ to my flat after, to ease isolation, the government allowed people living on their own to pair up with another household.

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