I know, I know, I’m in a wheelchair. It hasn’t slipped my mind. A windmill isn’t known for its great wheelchair access, those winding stairs would be a mission.

It’s ok, I’ve got it all sussed. Let me paint you a picture….

There’s a large field with just one pear tree standing in the centre, a lake runs to the left with a windmill standing tall. The grass is cut short, not a mole hill or pot hole in sight. Definitely no shingle. The windmill is falling apart a little, the pale green paint cracking with age. Bluebells and daffodils scatter the garden.

Situated just outside of the city and a few miles from the beach it’s the perfect location.

It’s a converted restored adapted windmill (obviously). I like old buildings with history and a story, a life. I won’t be building anything new.

A big arched double door entrance opens onto a large open-plan ground floor living area. Down the centre of the windmill stands a magnificent glass elevator that leads to all floors. And because lifts break (I know this all to well) there will be a spiral ramp around the outside of the windmill, helter skelter style, again leading to all floors. No possibility of getting stuck!

The top dome, do you call it a roof on a windmill? That doesn’t seem grand enough, will be made from that glass that turns dark or clear. I don’t know the techie term, but you know what I mean. This will be the master suite, my abode. It will be filled with all the gadgets you can imagine, some that haven’t been invented yet. At the touch of my phone screen lights will come on, doors will open, the lift will be called, books will jump off shelves, a brew will be poured and my glass dome roof thing will become clear. I could go on…

Maybe my fascination with windmills was born from my love of the Moomins. Or maybe it was the game we played as kids, spotting windmills on the way to the seaside. The more we saw, the closer we got. I’m also obsessed with Jonathan Creek. Windmills and I are meant to be.

In reality I’ve lived in the same terraced house for almost 34 years. (I’m almost 34. Oh wow I actually am). I have an extension, my own little reasonably sized room with an en-suite, in the garden. I say in the garden, it takes up the whole of the back garden, so we don’t really have one anymore. I haven’t seen upstairs in well over 25 years, only in photos taken of my cats, who now assume the rooms are theirs. Then there’s the makeover photos, I get to see new decor on a phone screen. I can’t fit properly in the kitchen, when I do, nobody else can exit or enter. It’s a long slim kitchen, and I’m not long and slim. I’m more square and the size of a doorway. If I’m in the kitchen baking, well in the kitchen doorway directing baking, and there’s a knock at the door, there’s a whole lot of manoeuvring before the visitor gives up and walks away. If there’s a fire, there hasn’t been a fire, I’m a good baker. So far.

But I like my house, it’s a home. The family home, where I’ve grown up. There are memories and traces left. Mostly scratches on doors made by me trying to turn corners. I’m currently in no rush to move, I like my semi-accessible space even if it has its limitations.

House hunting can be quite a challenge when you have wheels. A challenge that would be made a lot easier if there were more accessible homes and if listings were improved and the word accessible wasn’t used so lightly.

Accessible means so many different things. I’m starting to hate the word. One word is not enough. How can you define something as accessible when you don’t know a persons needs. This one word needs breaking down into explainations, step-free, one-level, working-lift, wide-doors, open-plan, wet-room, turning-space.

I’ve only got to count how many family and friends houses I can get into to realise how too few accessible houses there are. Oh and getting into their bathroom, that’s a whole other mission. Newly built houses now have to have a step free entrance and downstairs toilet. Apparently this is access.

I see these big open plan living spaces on American sitcoms and crime shows. That’s the real dream, because let’s face it the windmill probably isn’t going to happen. A space where I can wheel round freely, park my wheelchair at a house party or watching somebody’s tv without being in the way.

I’ve just realised being climbed over is one of my biggest pastimes. There’s just never enough space. Cafes, houses, the cinema, the bus, gigs. There’s always somebody clambering over me.

An open living apartment on one level (with a fully functioning lift) or a bungalow, that’s the ideal. Oh and a kitchen island, who doesn’t want an island in their kitchen?!

A bright colourful image of a windmill on green grass with a tree and blue sky. The title text So I Want To Live In A Windmill is placed over. This is an image to pin for my accessible housing post.
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This piece was written in response to Lorna’s ‘Dream House’ writing prompt over at Gin & Lemonade.

20 thoughts on “So I Want To Live In a Windmill

  1. Your windmill idea sounds gorgeous! I guess you’d have to move to the countryside to find one though!

    Are you considering moving to a more open plan space? Or was this just a dream for the writing prompt? You might actually be okay in the flat where we live in Vancouver. It is wide, open and on the ground floor. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I currently live in a small town just outside the city, so wouldn’t be too much of a change. I like the peace, but also like to be close enough to the action!

      There’s no plan to move just now, this was very much inspired by the writing prompt. However I have been wanting to write about accessible housing, as just visiting people can be quite the mission when you have wheels.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. My husband absolutely loves Jonathan Creek too and when we were househunting he really wanted a windmill! Your windmill sounds amazing though you’d have to pretend to be in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in that glass lift though! You and Lorna are so right about househunting and accessibility. More houses and generally buildings needs to be genuinely accessible for everyone!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Your windmill sounds amazing. You have made me think of my own home. The previous owners moved because they needed a bungalow.. my house has a slope up to the front door.. when there is snow – we slip and slide out of the front door then get on to the front garden. Then jump of the garden wall down to the car park. My downstairs toilet is very small… my house is definitely not accessible.. one day I could be trapped here due to the slope outside. Not something we considered when looking for a family home.

    Anyway the Moomins I loved them, happy memories! Would be so different to live in a windmill!
    Yes the American houses seem to be so much bigger and on television when you see the people that own them they seem so affordable – King of Queens one example.. and yes I would love a kitchen island!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t think people take access into account when they buy or rent houses. If they don’t need to then there’s no need. But anything can change, friends, family or yourself may require access needs. We can’t always plan for the future though can we.

      I don’t know how these tv people, often students, afford such spacious homes!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. This is becoming one popular windmill but of course you can join us. Maybe I need to build a little windmill village!
      Ha, yes. Who knows what would happen if I were a terrible baker. The smoke alarm has been known to go off a few times, but I say it’s just over sensitive…

      Liked by 1 person

  4. You have painted the picture so perfectly. It’s somewhere I’d love to live, too. Can I come? Did you know there’ll be another Moomin world type place opening in Japan? Not that it makes it any easier to get to compared to Finland, but maybe one day it’ll make it over here to us, Gemma! You’ve made such good points about the accessibility, or lack thereof, with homes when house hunting. I’m always amazed at the types of houses on American shows, too. And the often ample driveways with oodles of space. Yes please to the kitchen island (and a far bar stools for me while you park up your wheels next to it or do laps around it)! We can but dream… 😀
    Caz xxxx

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I love your windmill home! If I ever become a wealthy philanthropist who goes around making people’s dreams come true (this is one of my life goals), I will find you and we will adapt a windmill to your needs!

    Liked by 1 person

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