The new House of Stories is a lovely house. Especially on days like today, when the sun is shining, and the garden and conservatory are warm and bright, and we can sit in the sun with a good book and enjoy it. Today was a good day to sit in the sun, enjoy the garden, and try to ignore the things that still need sorting out. That's the only thing with moving into a new house: it's new, and things are still in boxes, and there are piles of books stacked in different rooms waiting for somewhere to live. So we've been shopping for furniture, especially bookcases, and the Hairy Bloke has been busy putting them all together. There have been bookshelves for the study, and cabinets for the kitchen, and they've all come in bits packed in boxes, with instructions on how to put them all together.
Instructions. Sometimes it's like trying to understand a recipe for Apple's cordial. Or the mysteries of the Threadings, written in Chinese. There is a drawing, showing the bits (here is a long shelf, and here is a not so long shelf) and the bits required for putting them together (here are three screws and a funny-shaped thingy to go in that hole and fit those two bits together). Never mind - the Hairy Bloke was ready for the challenge (all those years building model aeroplanes were not wasted!). All the bits were spread out on the floor, the screwdrivers and hammer (just in case!) were placed ready, and the booklet of instructions was opened. There was a moment when it looked as if all those bits would never fit together to become that bookcase or kitchen cabinet, and the suspicion that the little plastic bag of screws and things would either not have enough screws or would be missing the one vital thingumajig, and it would all end in tears. But somehow, it all came together, step by step, stage by stage, and gradually the pieces of furniture took shape. Success!
There is one more to do. The cardboard box is lying downstairs, packed solid with bits. Some time in the next few days, the Hairy Bloke will take a deep breath, open the box, slide out all the parts, and think "There's far too many bits! How on earth will all that go together?" But there will be a book of instructions, and the diagrams will show the way. Bit by bit, step by step, it will all come together. One more set of bookshelves, so that some more of the boxes and heaps of books can be sorted and find their place.
That's important. This is the House of Stories, where the Lovely Lady writes her stories, but it's also a house full of books written by other people. Stories are for sharing, and reading again. Books are full of stories, to take you into other worlds, to make you laugh or help you to marvel and wonder. They are all very special - so it's worth a bit of time and work to make a few more bookshelves, so they can all come out of their boxes and find their places, and be ready to tell their tales all over again. So, where's that screwdriver...?