One of my favourite things to do is to scurry and lurk, scurry and lurk past people’s windows. I walk fast down a chosen street and then, invariably the glimpse of an interior induces me to dawdle as I peek into the lives of the inhabitants.
It’s partly the reason why I love the autumn so much, as for months my prying will have been hindered by the fact that I was in plain view. The onset of early darkness aids my hobby as I am covered by its velvet complicity.
Virginia Woolf writes wonderfully about windows in Street Haunting;
“high among the bare trees are hung oblong frames of reddish-yellow light – windows; there are points of brilliance burning steadily like low stars – lamps; this empty ground, which holds the country in it and its peace.”
But , Woolf reminds us that we must be careful not to dig ‘deeper than the eye approves’ and I remember this when I am walking past people’s houses, watching them sit down to supper or slumped in front of the TV or admiring their bookshelves. A glimpse is all I need to imagine their lives. As I was walking home the other evening I approached my own house and glimpsed how it might look from a fellow street haunters perspective. So I took a photo – which is above. I wonder what Woolf would have made of it?