Window Haunting

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?

19 thoughts on “Window Haunting

  1. I do the same, I too enjoy a simple glimpse and make up the rest, it's the nose writer in me who continues to make up the story as I ramble along. Books and plants are all that you can see from my window. I just hope the passer by enjoys my view.

  2. At my work, we have a massive window in the kitchen that looks out onto the street, and across from us is another large office building. Once it gets dark, I love peering into the windows across the way — one has a massive shoe rack with a dozen pairs of shoes of which I am envious; one has an absurdly large clock that I can read from where I am; one has a poster of Winston Churchill. I like imagining the lives of the people who work there.

  3. Nice attempt to legitimise/romanticise the fact that you are actually a STALKER!Glad to see you've got your bookshelves up. Can't wait to see the little cottage in the flesh in six months! We will be reunited!

  4. In my book (pun not intended!), a house filled with books has very interesting people inside.And as I commented at Rachel's recently…watch the curbs at night. I've lost count of how many times I've tripped on them whilst stealing glances into other people's windows! Shameful…

  5. No, I'm so with you. There's a historic neighborhood of old houses in my neighborhood, and once it start getting dark earlier I made it a point to take my walks at dusk, as people turned on their lights. To the residents of Cottage Farm: I'm harmless, really.

  6. It's the same as looking into people's back gardens from the train. The rushed glimpse of something and then it's gone. Very satisfying but leaving one wanting to know more.

  7. I am like you, I love to get a glimpse into windows, nothing predatory, just a few moment of observing the light, people perhaps and some fleeing moments of seeing someone else's surroundings.I imagine stories behind closed curtains and love those quiet rooms sometimes filled with books.I posted once about it too!You door and window looks incredibly inviting!!!Victoria

  8. How wonderful to know that there are others out there like me. Tis all harmless of course, and just think of the inspiration one might receive from certain interiors. I especially like to look into the old houses of the neighborhood.As one commentator above said..a house filled with books has very interesting people inside. I agree! :)Sandra

  9. I'm always so much more aware of window voyeurism when I'm in London . . . although even then it's only a "glimpse." There aren't many possibilities for it in the countryside!What I really like is when I can see into a KITCHEN.

  10. I always knew I was in good company regarding my own voyeurism. I'm especially obsessed with Divinity Road houses for some reason – it's all pianos, expensive rugs and first editions up there!Lovely blog by the way!

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