The room is small and simple, just two single beds side by side, and a chest of drawers with a fish tank on top. The beds are covered with quilted nylon bedspreads and we get shocks and see sparks if we turn over too quickly in the night. To the side there is a window, looking over the garden, the gate, and the field. This is where I bring home caterpillars and spiders in jars, and where I once kept an injured blackbird in a makeshift cage. It smells of sleep, and of dreams and wonder: it also smells of my sister, and furniture polish.
I love this room.
It is here that I first met Alice, where I lined up for the Lobster Quadrille, battled the Jabberwocky, rooted for Rikki-Tikki-Tavi; where I was scared by the antics of Blackbeard, and where I wondered about coelacanths. It is where I danced with the girl in the red shoes until I fell into exhausted sleep, and where I tried to give warmth to a little match girl. Where I cried for the lead heart of the Steadfast Tin Soldier, and where, shivering, I chanced upon Mr Tumnus. It is where I rejoiced when Charlie won the golden ticket, and from where I travelled deep into Middle Earth in search of a dragon, without telling my mum.
It is a place of a thousand adventures, and of a thousand questions, and a thousand more. It is a place I cannot leave, and it is the place I return to still.