Chota

Chota

Sunday, 8 November 2015

{Chota House}



Our family has a tradition of naming our houses. Ever since I was a child I was filled with tales of the houses that my Dad knew in India... There was Brancepeth in Simla (where my Granny was born & raised) and Arnside in Coonoor. Then my family immigrated to Canada and my grandparents named their house in Bird's Eye Cove, Swoon Bhavan, and finally Mamre Oaks in Victoria. My parents then took on this tradition and what followed was Edgefield in Oak Bay and Craigmont in Rockland (among others) and finally they reside today in Gaudeamus in Nova Scotia. Of course the boats we grew up on were all named so as a child this just seemed normal. Even though we have lived in many houses all over the world, my parents have taught me that each one is unique, and that you make it a home, no matter how long you might stay there. The joys of renovating are seeing the results and making a mark on a place in time.
{my grandparents at Brancepeth, Simla)

{outside the printing press, MIK, founded by my grandparents in Lahore in 1947, where they also had their house (photo taken by me in 2005 (my parents in the centre); my sister Esther furthest to the right)}

{me outside a haveli in 2005, close to where my father was born in Peshawar, Pakistan}

{Edgefield, in Oak Bay, Victoria, BC, Canada}

{Craigmont, the fantastic Arts & Crafts mansion designed my Samuel Maclure in Rockland, Victoria BC, Canada}


{my parents house near Coveyachts, the marina they founded in Maple Bay, BC-check out their lovely jaguar!)}

{while I grew up on boats, this was our house on land for all of my childhood: 'the Carnsew House'}

So it seems only right that I christen this little house with a name of its own...

My house was built in the 1890s as a worker's cottage, for the workers who served a sand pit at the bottom of the street. It is thus a simple abode; a fairly small dwelling with some interesting old features, such as fireplaces in every room, and although they seem rather grand today, they were pretty simple for the time it was built.
For those of you who follow my blog regularly you'll know that it's called tinza because it was the nickname given to me by my four older sisters. It derives from tiny. So I had thought to call my house 'tiny's cottage' but somehow this didn't seem right. I imagine Tiny's Cottage to be less urban and to be more cottagey with beams and inglenook fireplaces... I wanted to also speak to my family's roots in India and to reference the fact that my returning to my ancestor's home here in England came by a rather circuitous route...from British India to Canada and then back to England. Chota came to mind as it means small or tiny in hindi. I could have followed this with Bhawan (or Bhavan), which means home or house, but somehow this sounded too foreign. So Chota House seemed like a perfect fit. It's a tiny house but also Tiny's House.
{a little water colour I did of the house!}

so...Chota House it is!: my new home in Bedfordshire which is getting a makeover and feeling more & more like home by the minute! I just need to get a sign made & then it'll be official! My parents arrive in just over a week-it's the first time they'll see it in the flesh & I'm setting them to work: they'll refinish the floors and build some bookshelves and wardrobes etc...
can't wait!
xo
L


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