Last week I visited a care home with a relative - it had been recommended to us and we wanted to check it out. Not bad at all until we went up to view the bedrooms and found that all the windows were at shoulder height - in other words, you couldn't see out unless you were standing. What kind of lunatic designs bedrooms in a care home with windows which nobody but the hale and hearty can see out of?
Novelists know all about the importance of windows. What is a novel but a window on a fictional world, a particular view of a particular set of circumstances and characters. Look no further than the opening page of Jane Eyre to find a character who is trapped inside and wants out. In crime novels the predator is on the outside wanting to come in. Lovers wait at windows. One of my best ever holiday weekends was when we took our young son to Skegness during a football final. He was glued to the match, I sat in the bay window of our guest house watching those on the outside battle with a tearing wind on the beach. I love windows and sitting in them, that moment of stillness while others pass by. A window frames the world beautifully - it is the fourth wall in other people's worlds.
My mother loved autumn afternoons when the light dims outside and people put on their lights but don't yet want to draw the curtains. She loved peeking into other people's lives. We are human and we need to take imaginary journeys into other worlds.