Ireland’s Small House Tradition

Once, Ireland had Big Houses. Before they were set to the flame in the name of civilisation (or fell over for want of Big Incomes) every Big House contained a Small House. A Georgian mansion, fully furnished by minuscule furniture craftsmen.

Every little girl in Ireland wanted one of those Dolls’ Houses.

Eventually, those little girls became mothers to little girls of their own and were intent on making those dreams come true. Until they discovered (a) there is a reason Dolls’ Houses were found in Big Houses. They are fucking enormous. And (b) they cost all the money there is in the universe. It is possible Dolls’ Houses caused the fall of the Ascendancy classes, like front hinged Easter Island heads.

The solution: The Cardboard Dolls’ House.

Doll House Box

Doll House Box

Folds away flat, it assures us. Check out those All Mod Cons decorative choices. Check out the grammatically mysterious promise; “A Charming House Any Child Will Wish To Own”.

Check out, above all, the gender neutral Child:

Dungarees are for everyone

Dungarees are for everyone

The problem with replacing boring old wood with thrusting and modern laminated cardboard is that… well, let’s just say that entropy increases.

Cardboard Doll's House from the Front

One Careful Owner.

The once verdant foliage has bleached to a cold and eerie blue. The roof, held in place with slots and tabs, sits askew on the building, speaking of a thousand indoor storms.  Even the upstairs windows are weeping at what time has wrought. But there is worse to come. There is the interior view.

Interior Cardboard House

The Old Murder DollsHouse

Oh Lord. This is where two generations’ dreams have gone to die.

(by Simon McGarr)


3 thoughts on “Ireland’s Small House Tradition

  1. Jo says:

    Jesus. There’s no happy ending in this post, is there?!

  2. fústar says:

    I’ve tried to make sense of the mysterious “A Charming House Any Child Will Wish To Own” but it’s boggling my mind. It’s either gibberish, or so carefully worded as to allow for no complaints when the contents don’t actually live up to that which was (or wasn’t) wished for. Or something.

  3. It feels like a normal sentence, but then you reach the end and look back and find you took some sort of mobius strip flip and you’re on the other side of a different statement alltogether.

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