“This bedroom. Where she knew the pattern of cracks in the ceiling better than any other fact of her life.”
Shipping News, p.54
Reading this, I realised I also remember the patterns on the ceiling above Mum and Dad’s bed in the big bedroom in Bangor Street, where my sister and I also slept in bunk beds. As I lay, falling asleep with monkey held close, the pattern above seemed like the face and shoulders of some giant that had slept in the attic and left his impression in the plaster like the smaller dent in the sheets when I got up in the morning.
I had forgotten it, but I can see it now, patterns upon light green woodchip ceiling paper, as clear as the sky and grass before me where I am sitting now, and mornings with tea from the Goblin Teasmade and Dad bringing up marmalade-laden toast cut in triangles before, workman-fashion, he sipped hot tea from the saucer.