There's something eerie yet irresistable about abandoned houses, that were once lived in until the owners passed away, and nothing more was done with the place. To see these places is to see the remnants of entire lives, and untold stories, and some degree of sadness really. And they all have weird nicknames. Calcott Hall was named Red Dress Manor by the media, and there's also the recently explored "Vanity House" named by those who have explored it. So imagine my giddiness at the prospect of getting to choose my own nickname because I stumbled across an abandoned cottage I'd never heard of having been explored before?
My giddiness turned into nightmares as I found myself surrounded by half finished, long expired and some spilled milk cartons, in what I later found myself referring to as the Milk Cottage.
Few people know this about me, although it's no secret, but one of my Mothers favourite games when I was growing up would be to force me to consume milk once it had gone off. Maybe referring to it as "force" is a bit mean, but her methods of persuasion had all the tenacity you'd expect from a sociopath. And as a result, all milk smells off to me now, even if it's fresh from the shop and has only just been opened, and my body has the tendency to regurgitate when it smells or tastes it. Over the years I've managed to control this, because there are far too many people out there who will offer a tea or coffee and then completely miss the part where you specify "black as mothers sense of humour, please" and to allow this to become an issue would just be awkward, and rude since these people have gone to the trouble of making me a coffee. So I'm glad to say that when it comes to milk, I can actually prepare a tea or a coffee, or breakfast cereal, without hurling, although I won't allow it to go in my body. If someone accidentally puts milk in my coffee I can fake a few sips before I put the cup down and pretend to have forgotten about it until it goes cold and a replacement needs to be made. It's all in my head, I know. But needless to say, when I found myself surrounded by cartons of long expired milk, I felt queasy.
But this was not going to stop me photographing the place.
Structurally the place seemed safer than the likes of the weak floored Calcott Hall, and the poor Vanity House which is a thunderstorm or two away from being a pile of rubble. However, I never touched the floor of the milk cottage, for all the clutter. The place was trashed, and yet a remarkably clean publication lay on top of a nearby fridge, dated September-October 2014. It seemed a bit too recent in comparison to the condition of the place. Someone had put that there. Squatters maybe? Although I can think of a million cleaner places to stay, but that might explain the milk.
Well thats not a pretty sight. There are some rubber gloves on the washing machine if anyone ever fancies getting on top of this.
The living room, in spite of the colossal piles of everything, was somewhat more photogenic. And it painted a much clearer picture of the owner of the property, and their interests. Although their whereabouts are unknown.
The letter is dated 2011, which is a more accurate estimate of how long the place has been abandoned. But then the letter was hung up, held in place by an owl ornament. It all seemed slightly staged.
Lots of pictures of animals. None of people. Drawers I might have rummaged in if not for the half finished milk bottle guarding it.
The clutter in the place was piled up to the point that the doors to the other rooms couldn't be opened fully, but I was able to take a peek inside.
Tins of beans in the bedroom.
So that concludes the Milk Cottage, existing within walking distance from Shrewsbury, although thats relative, since I love a good walk in the countryside. What happened here? How did it get so trashed? Has it been lived in by squatters? Why is all that money left on the side? Whats with all the unfinished goddamn milk??? Why can't they just finish the bottle, throw it out and buy a new one?
I returned home, the stench of milk stuck in my nostrils. I hadn't touched anything except the doors, and I still felt pretty filthy just because of the smell. The stench was in my hair and everything. My glorious mane contaminated with cow juice.
I shall not be returning, but it was a nice little find, nonetheless, and a fun adventure.