Me, on our doorstep

I grew up on a council estate. And I miss my doorstep.

Me, on our doorstepThis afternoon, as my little boy took a nap upstairs, the sun came out.

It flooded our front room – warm beams of light I barely recognised after a long, cold winter.

I wandered out to the garden, but there’s never any sun out there at this time of day. I peered down the alleyway in the hope of a stray chink of light, but there was nothing.

So I opened the front door and stood on the doorstep, basking in the golden glow. The daffodils in our front garden had all turned their heads towards the sun and we stood, silently, for a good minute or two.

Then someone walked past. And I realised I looked like a nutter, shut the front door and scuttled off inside.

The thing is, on the council estate where I grew up, we didn’t have front gardens. Your front door just opened out onto the street. And if the sun came out and it wasn’t in the garden, you’d just sit on the doorstep. Or pull a patio chair through the house and pitch up out the front. If you walked down to the bus stop, you’d pass about 50 per cent of your neighbours on the way, doing just that.

The more I think about my old doorstep, the more I miss it.

It’s where our first dog, Buttons, waited when she wanted to come in (there was no such thing as walking the dog – you’d let her out, she’d take herself off for a wander, then later you’d let her back in again).

It’s where my best friend from 5 doors up and I held jumble sales, selling bits of tat from each other’s houses. To each other.

It’s where the video man delivered the evening’s knock-off viewing.

It’s where I waited for friends to finish their lunch and come out to play.

And it’s where we basked in the sun, if that’s where the sun happened to be.

These days, if my doorstep could talk, it wouldn’t have much to say. We live in a nice area. Doorsteps are strictly for postmen, newspaper deliveries and general thoroughfare – a half-way point between the house and the car.

Certainly not for basking in the sunshine, anyway. Not in a nice area like this.

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