Ever since I was a child I have had a fantasy that one day I would like to turn a house into an ‘Other’ world – with every room acting like a doorway into a different realm. I imagine it must be quite a common fantasy. I can’t have been the only kid who used to climb into wardrobes desperately hoping that The Lion The Witch and the Wardrobe had been misclassified as fiction. I used to go to Battersea park where there was a funfair built for the 1951 Festival of Britain. There you could visit a grotto which wafted a strange incense-like smell into the air and had coloured bulbs hidden in niches to create eerie effects. It was all marvellously tacky and I longed to turn our house into such a place. If only my dad had been good with plaster and chicken wire (and mad and with time on his hands)!
Lo and behold I have just opened a copy of OBOD’s monthly magazine Touchstone and there is a feature on the Talliston Project – the crazy, wonderful and not at all tacky world of author John Trevillian, who has converted an ordinary looking semi-detached house into a magical world of its own – with a Voodoo kitchen , Haunted Bedroom, a Pre-War detective’s office and more. As John says ‘Talliston is a state of geography, it is also a state of mind. It is a place of imagination and delight. Somewhere extraordinary within the ordinary. ..’ To learn more about the project, and the exciting ideas behind it, see its website.