The blue paint had almost completely peeled off the wooden window frames and the once white-washed walls were green with mildew. The garden looked no better. A windowless wooden framed greenhouse surrounded by brambles and stinging nettles. And it looked as though the silver birch in the corner was the only thing holding it up.
She stopped in front of the wooden panelled door and looked for the bell. There was none, nor even a knocker. She banged on the door timidly with the side of her right hand and watched the flecks of blue paint fall onto the stone flags. Taking two steps back she waited. The door opened slowly and she glimpsed a withered old man in the dim light. She heard him croak, ‘Come in my dear, let me put the kettle on.’