Tuesday, 19 November 2019

Book Blog Tour Stop & Guest Post: The House That Sat Down Trilogy by Alice May.

The House That Sat Down Trilogy: Omnibus Edition by Alice May

A walk-in wardrobe at The House That Sat Down
By Alice May
It is an often brushed-under-the-carpet fact that, for a large family to function in any practical sense, there has to be at least one person taking overall responsibility for certain basic needs. I am referring, of course, to those duties that fall to the chief-cook and bottle-washer, as well as the general laundry and clothing maintenance factotum.
In the past, such a person might be referred to as the housewife - or indeed, the househusband - but I am reluctant to use either term because of certain sexist connotations. Suffice to say, that person upon whom the onerous duties outlined above fall in our family is definitely me; due entirely to the fact that I give in, and do what needs to be done, way before anyone else does.
Thus, when the house collapsed, the insurance company rejected our claim and we found ourselves living in a tent in the garden, it never occurred to anyone else to worry about how on earth we were going to wash our clothes. Admittedly, there were a lot of other things that needed dealing with at that time too; like how on earth we were going to find the money to rebuild the cottage, not to mention our lives, but let’s just stick with the clothing conundrum for now. (I have a word limit!)
From my self-imposed position as general dogs-body, my mind immediately started to melt at the practical pitfalls of a prolonged tented lifestyle. How on earth was I going to ensure the kids were properly turned out for school every day?
It was a logistical nightmare of epic proportions.
To begin solving this problem, my first task was to crawl through the wreckage of my house looking for clothes – specifically school uniform – and I will admit that this was a genuinely insane thing to do. After the initial collapse of two load-bearing cob walls, the part of the property that remained upright was still moving in miniscule increments. We had absolutely no idea if it might completely collapse at any given moment. Going inside to salvage belongings was utterly crazy. However, I challenge anyone to think straight under such circumstances. Don’t worry, though, we did have the good sense to keep the children well away from the danger zone.
I was determined to make sure that some semblance of normal life could continue for my chicks. How deluded I was! There was nothing normal about our situation, but, in some ways, focusing on the smaller details kept me from obsessing about the wider problems that we faced; problems we had no solutions for.
Eventually, I amassed a large pile of dusty clothing on the patio. The next job was to shake the worst of the dirt and rubble from these items before finding a way to wash them. This wasn’t going to be as tricky as you might think, because the one bit of the house that was still standing included our back door which opened directly into to a teeny, tiny utility room. This was where the family washing machine lived. Even better, that particular bit of our domestic plumbing was still intact and working. A minor miracle! The fact that we had no idea if this area of the property was actually stable wasn’t going to stop me from using that machine. I merely had to open the back door, lean in, shove clothes into the drum, add a dollop of non-bio and we were half way to having clean laundry.
Following that significant success, the rest of the job got a great deal easier. After all, the washing line is in the garden – a nice, benign location - and our tumble drier has always lived in the garage - a suitably safe and supremely stable structure. Thus, both drying facilities were several meters away from the collapsing house danger zone. Phew!
A kind friend lent me some temporary clothes rails and hangers, which meant that our clean, dry clothes could be hung up as soon as they came out of the drier.
In a very short space of time, I achieved a life-long ambition, because I then owned what was effectively a walk-in wardrobe. I had simply never anticipated that I would ever have such a luxury in my garage.
But then again, I also never thought that my house would fall down.
Life is full of surprises!

Love Alice x

Inspired by a true story, The House That Sat Down Trilogy is a tale of triumph over tragedy. It is an astonishing account of sudden, first-world homelessness in the heart of the New Forest, and the unexpected consequences. Written entirely from a mother’s point of view, following the collapse of her family's home, it is an uplifting and positive read in spite of the subject matter, with a thread of wry humour throughout. Follow this ordinary woman on an extraordinary journey of survival and self discovery as she reels from disaster, before picking herself up and coming back stronger and wiser than before.
Packed with humorous observations about what it is like to live in a tent in your garden with your husband and four children after a significant part of your house falls down out of the blue one day, this story takes you from the depths of despair right through to the satisfying heights of success against the odds, with lots of tea and cakes on the way.

Follow this crazy family as they cope with disaster in their own truly unique and rather mad way, and celebrate each small triumph along the way with them.

Amazon UK      Amazon US 

I am a multi-tasking parent to four not-so-small children, and I am fortunate enough to be married to (probably) the most patient man on the planet. We live in, what used to be, a ramshackle old cottage in the country. Our house began to fall down out of the blue one day, which resulted in the whole family living in a tent in the back garden for quite some time, while we worked out how to rebuild our home.
A few years afterwards, I decided to write a book and, once I started, I found I couldn’t stop.
Inspired by true-life events ‘Accidental Damage – tales from the house that sat down’ wouldn’t leave me alone until it was written.
Within six months of self-publishing my novel, I was delighted to learn that it had won two ‘Chill with a Book Awards’. This was a massive honour and motivated me to continue writing. Accidental Damage became the first book in a trilogy.
The Omnibus edition of all three books in the House That Sat Down Trilogy is now available via Amazon in both paperback and kindle format.

Twitter: @AliceMay_Author