Who lives in the house on the hill?

I was seven years old the first time I visited the charming beach inlet known as the “Cala Retor.”

My mother thought it to be small enough to keep a close watch on my sisters and me.

I thought it to be the most magical place on earth.

The water was crystal clear and the surrounding rocks always proved to be a wondrous place to look for crabs, mussels, and clams.

My sisters and I spent many a summer day searching for unopened shells which might hold a beautiful pearl.

However, nothing held as much fascination as the house that stood atop the very rocks we climbed on.

My aunt told us that a once famous French movie director lived in it.

He had purchased the home from a wealthy family who no longer had the time or the inclination to care for it.

According to my aunt, the movie director’s wife had perished in a fire.

Consumed with grief, the devastated man had turned into a recluse.

The spacious home, with the heavenly ocean front, had been the perfect refuge for him to come to terms with his wife’s passing.

At the time, I was too young to question how and from whom my aunt had obtained this information.

I was too fascinated with the notion that night after night, the lucky man was able to step out onto his terrace and watch the sea slam against the rocks that lay below.

As the years passed, I embellished and added to my aunt’s story.

The widower was a billionaire who, consumed with the pain of having lost the love of his life, stood on the hilltop nightly and contemplated whether he should jump to his death.

The man wasn’t really French, but instead, he was a British secret agent who worked for MI6.
The mansion wasn’t really his home, but a covert center of operations for the British Intelligence Agency.

The Frenchman was really a super hero very much like Batman, who accessed a cave located underneath his property, and which was outfitted with state of the art gadgets needed to save the world.

The director was really a woman disguised as a man and who spent her days plotting her revenge against an unfaithful lover.

The older I got, the more detailed and imaginative my stories became.

This morning, as I lay on the sand gazing up at the hill, I pondered who truly lived in the beautiful house.

I sighed as my gaze fell upon the exotic mural displayed on the home’s facade.

I noticed how the bright colors intermingled with the blue and green hues of the sea.

I wondered who sat on the terrace sipping a “cafe con leche” in the early morning, or who gazed at the ocean while drinking a nightcap.

Before I knew it, my imagination had taken a life of its own and it was I who stood on the terrace, inhaling the aroma of my first cup of coffee.

Roxy curled next to me, soaking up the early morning Spanish sun.

It felt like we were finally home.

What stories did you make up when you were a child?

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62 thoughts on “Who lives in the house on the hill?

  1. What a wonderful house to fantasize about! I love that it still inspires your imagination after all this time.

    There was an abandoned farmstead tucked back off the road at a campground where my family always went on vacation. I loved to sit on the front porch and imagine the family who had lived there and maybe ghosts who still did. They tore it down when I was a teenager and I haven’t been back to that place for years, but I still feel sentimental about it.

    1. Shary, isn’t it incredible how we still hang on to the memories and stories we conjured back in the day? I find this happens to me in regard to many things–properties, things, and even smells! The farmstead sounds like it holds a lot of history! :)

    2. Shary, I like to drive through our town at night and watch the light peek through the windows of beautiful Victorian homes. I often ‘daydream’ about what the family is like inside those windows. So much history in every house that has been called ‘home.’

    3. Shelley, I too wonder what the lives of people of certain homes is like. I think it has to do with our need to create stories and explore our imagination. In my case, it’s like attempting to discover what the life of a book character is like! :)

  2. Bella! Fantastic! You are a natural-born storyteller, with an imagination wide as the sea. And I love that you’ve shot the house from so many angles and at different times of day. Why don’t you knock on the door and ask if it’s for sale? If you can’t buy it, at least you’ll know who is really inside. (Of course then it will no longer feed your imagination.) And BTW, why does cafe con leche sound more delicious than caffe latte? I wanna flit off to Spain for a while.

    1. Jann, I wish it were as easy as walking up to the front door. Unfortunately, the property is completely fenced off and visitors have to speak through an intercom. I seriously doubt they’d let me in. However, I wish I had the courage to ring the bell and tell them my story! And you’re right–cafe con leche sounds so much more exotic and enticing than caffe latte, doesn’t it? Thank you for your kind words, amiga. I am honored! :)

  3. **Before I knew it, my imagination had taken a life of its own and it was I who stood on the terrace, inhaling the aroma of my first cup of coffee.**

    aHHH, if oceans could talk. How sweet would it be.

    What a magical story, Bella (as only you could tell)
    It warmed my heart and imagination.

    Who lived there? Did they write a novel looking out over the terrace? Did a famous actress live there….Bridget Bardot?

    Perhaps you will live there one day, dear beautiful kind Bella.

    Please go up there and knock on the door and get a photo of WHO LIVES there….Put it on your next blog.

    I’m dying to know.

    Love Love Love. Kisses for Foxy Roxy.

    1. Kim, I think that while I won’t be able to ring the doorbell, I can still stake out the property and see who comes in and out! I shall try it and see if I am successful! Thank you for your sweet words. You always manage to warm my heart! Hugs and kisses for you from Roxy and me! :)

  4. I can see you and Roxy there – no problem! You deserve the best. Oh my gosh, what stories DIDN’T I make up as a kid! My brother and I could play for hours with just our imagination and whatever was in front of us. I remember dreaming I was going to grow up to be a famous artist who was also a famour singer. I could sing and draw so why not be famous at it, to boot? LOVED THIS STORY – loved it.

    1. Nan, I am so pleased you liked the post! Thank you for your encouragement! I grew up wishing I had an older brother. I have two sisters but somehow, it was a brother which I thought was the only thing missing in my life. Nevertheless, like you, we also played and acted out make believe scenarios. We were princesses, villains, witches, fairies! Ah, the innocence of childhood…How I miss it! :)

    1. Brynne, my love, well said! What are we if not but our dreams! I love your imagination and creativity, my friend. You always inspire me! :)

  5. What an interesting house, Bella — and how wonderful of you to share it and your imaginings! We would have gotten along well as kids — I, too, had a vivid imagination and plenty of imaginary friends, to boot! If I hadn’t been drilled in my Catechism, I’m afraid I’d have been the biggest “story-teller” in my family, hehe!

    1. Debbie, having grown up in a Catholic household, I know exactly what you mean. My mother always scolded us for telling tall tales but nana never disapproved. She said a child’s imagination was limitless and she encouraged us to make up stories as long as they didn’t involve real people in compromising scenarios! The house is wonderful, lady. And you’re right–methinks we would have been great friends! :)

  6. Growing up in a dysfunctional home, my stories usually revolved around getting away from my parents, my father in particular! Children have wonderful imaginations don’t they and I can see this gift has stayed with you throughout your life, as you have a great one. Thanks for sharing your imaginings about the house on the cliff.

    1. Elizabeth, you make an excellent point–imagination is oftentimes the best sort of escape from our troubles. Thank goodness for our ability to imagine ourselves in different circumstances. As you know, I often escape to my alternate reality but I can see how a child would also find this to be an excellent coping tool. I also have to thank you for enlightening me to the fact that the house rests on a cliff. And here I thought it was a hill! ha! Methinks I shall change the title of this post! Thank you! :)

  7. I love your take on the occupants of the house on the hill, Bella.

    I buried myself in stories as a child. I read incessantly, because that’s where I was safe. When I wasn’t reading stories, I was writing them. I can still get lost in stories – through both reading and writing – but for much better reasons now. :-) xoxo

    1. Oh, Ellen, doesn’t reading help to carry us off to faraway places, far from our actual circumstances and reality? What I most love about reading is that it provides the opportunity to take on the life of our favorite character; to forget about our troubles for a while and to be someone else. I’m tickled pink you liked the post, by the way. Hugs to you from Roxy and me! :)

  8. “The widower was a billionaire who, consumed with the pain of having lost the love of his life, stood on the hilltop nightly and contemplated whether he should jump to his death.” — you crack me up, Bella! LOL

    I used to fantasize that I was a member of the cast of The Sound of Music lol I wanted to be among the seven children in the movie hehehe

    And that is really a beautiful house! I could daydream daydreaming in its terrace all day long! :-D

    1. Irene, you’re so right, my friend–this house does inspire one to daydream, doesn’t it? I’m overjoyed that I make you laugh, lady! The Sound of Music is one of my favorite movies. I always wished I was Julie Andrews! As a child, I wanted to run and sing like here, with such carefree abandon. Sigh. :)

    1. Una, this afternoon I took Olivia and Roxy on a walk past the grounds where the house resides. The house is fenced in with a security gate and we didn’t see any signs of life. I will continue my stake outs, however, and hope I see some signs of life before i leave. I promise to report any new findings! :)

    1. Ariana, a trip to Alaska sounds wonderful! They say the ratio of men to women is 7 to 1. Is that still true? If so, I’m booking a flight! hee hee! How was your trip? My Spanish getaway is going wonderfully. The Son arrived yesterday and I was overjoyed to see him. Three weeks without my boy was a long time! :)

  9. Hi Bella, what a beautiful photo! I think I like the second version best. Looks like I’d find a young and lithe, Grace Kelly in one of her elegant swimsuits coming out of that place, along with Mr. Debonair himself, Cary Grant.

    When my kids were young, there was a donut shot nearby, run by a very old Korean woman. I’d make up a story about this woman and her donut shop that included her family and how they all ran the shop together, but made their grandmother work the front. The place was called Krispy Donuts. So I called them The Krispy family. My kids got a kick out of it, and believed me for a while. It was great fun, this conjuring thing.

    1. Monica, now that you mention it, I can totally see Grace and Cary in that second photo! I love your romantic spirit and I love the story of the Krispy family! How utterly adorable to have that make up story with your children! I Love it! I can imagine how this must have been quite an enjoyable activity for all of you. As mothers, it’s these kind of memories that keep us going, right? :)

  10. Nice photos of the house!
    Remember all those stories about a prince or a boy rescuing a girl? In the stories i made up as a kid, I was the one doing the rescuing, saving the world and so on. :)

    1. I’m delighted you like the photos! I like your different take on who rescued who! Now that’s what I call initiative! :)

    1. Kirstin, I wish you could see it in person! It has such charm! And did I mention it has a killer ocean front view? :)

  11. A beautiful property in such a location… how could it NOT stir one’s imagination! I used to play on an air mattress in the water and pretend it was a huge sailing ship. Oh the place that air mattress went (until my dad deflated it)!
    Lovely post!

    1. Astra, with your wonderful imagination, I can only imagine all the wonderful places you visited on that air mattress! I bet you the sky was the limit! Am I right? But you’re right–the location of this house makes it all that more special. And can you imgaine how wonderful it must be to fall asleep to those ocean waves? Pure bliss! :)

  12. There was an empty house on my way home from school and I used to fantasise about running away and living there on my own. Not because I was ill-treated, I hasten to add, but there were a lot of people in my house and most of my fantasies involved a room of my own. Twice in my school career I had to design houses as an assignment. They were both ENORMOUS and every room had its own bathroom. The second one also had a hidden library, complete with chesterfield couches, floor-to-ceiling bookshelves and book ladders. It had a gym too, but I know which room I would have actually used! ;)

    1. Imelda, if ever I have the money to build my own house, I’m thinking of buying those floor plans you designed as a child, if you still have them! I love the idea of each room having its own bathroom! And a library with Chesterfield couches? Sign me up! :)

  13. If you move in, I’m coming too. I call the East Wing!!!

    Can’t say that I made up stories like that, at least that I can remember. I did, however, choreograph dancing and skating routines to every TV theme song we could record with our Cassette Players and taught the routines to all the little girls on our street. These were Epic Shows…. ha!

    1. Lori, it’s official–the East Wing is yours! hee hee! And for the record, my sisters and I put on dance shows as well. How I yearn for the days when being silly was a part of every day life! Methinks you and I would have been the best of friends! :)

  14. Oh, I would be so tempted to inch closer, and closer, and closer. And closer…

    I’m reminded of a particular house that I loved as a child. It belonged to my mother’s best friend. It was Tudor, and had in it all of the requisite period details – a minstrel’s balcony in the living room (which had twenty-five foot ceilings), windows that overlooked the living room from several upstairs rooms, walnut wainscoting, and a playroom in the attic that had lots of gables and nooks and crannies. It was mysterious and dark in some places, as much of it went unused. It would be perfect for an Agatha Christie setting, as the yard – excuse me, grounds – were landscaped to compliment the house. Sigh.

    My dream was that I would live there. Sigh again.

    Now, that house above? I’d take that thing in a New York minute! A glass box on the ocean? Trumps Tudor every time! 8)

    Idea: maybe you could arrange for Roxy to “run away” up there near the front door. You’d just *have* to knock… ;)

    1. Eloise, I love, love your plan of Roxy “running away” as a strategy to discover who lives in the house! And I love the description you provide of the Tudor house! It may not have had an ocean front but it sounds pretty great. I think the house on the cliff would be a perfect fit for you! Imagine sitting on the terrace whilst writing your blog posts! :)

    2. If I had that house, I’d sit out there and write blog posts *all day*! Woo hoo! That house is just amazing. It looks like a ’60s modern. Wonder when it was built. Fascinating, just that one house there by itself. It’s to die for!

    3. Eloise, you’re right–a house like this, sitting on the cliff like it is, inspires one to write! Imagine us sitting out on the terrace, a glass of Chianti in hand, watching the sea. I’m already inspired to write and I’m not actually sitting there! hee hee! Sigh. If only… :)

  15. Dear Bella, because I have had a similar experience, I really liked your story.I wondered who lived in it and why it sometimes seemed abandoned. The whole story resonated with me. Wonderful pics!I wish I could own the house! Greetings to you!

    1. PR, how wonderful that you’ve had a similar experience with the house on the hill! It’s a wonderful piece of property; one that I’m sure you would enjoy very much. Imagine falling asleep to the sound of the ocean waves! Greetings to you! :)

  16. What gorgeous photos, Bella. And how wonderful that you enjoyed such magical experiences as a child — it’s heartwarming to hear. There’s definitely something about the sea that evokes all kinds of fantastic imaginings — it also has therapeutic qualities (no wonder the Frenchman aka secret agent sought solace in that seaside home). :)

    1. Joy, I’m tickled pink you like the photos! Thank you! I feel the same way you do about the sea–and boy does it have therapeutic properties! I sit in front of it in the early morning while my mother walks on the shore and just listening to the sound of the waves is soothing! You’re right–I’m not surprised the French movie director decided this would be “the place” to seek peace and quiet. Imagine waking up to that view! Sigh. :)

  17. It’s a beautiful house, and I am sure spurred the imagination of many a child! I used to believe that there were fairies living in the creek or in the forest in my backyard. They were just waiting to whisk me away to be one of their own :)

    1. Laura, you’re so cute, any colony of fairies would be lucky to have you! hee hee! Your comment made me smile. It’s so you, my friend! :)

  18. Bella! So wonderful of you to write and visit..you are SO kind. What a wonderful post – I think it’s perfectly fitting for you to embellish and you and Roxie are the ones in the lovely house. Now I wonder what the real story was. Every house has a story, doesn’t it..and with that comes the line,”if only these walls can talk”. : ) Hehee! I hope you are well, dear Bella!! Have a lovely week ahead and I will visit soon!

    1. Shirley, I would love to learn the real story behind the house on the cliff! The other day, whilst walking Olivia and Roxy, I saw an elderly lady, and get this, eight cats in the front yard! I’m definitely going to have to go back and take photos of whoever steps outside! hee hee! Thank you for your lovely visit, lady. I hope you’re having a lovely summer! Hugs! :)

  19. Lovely story Bella, My grand’s house was an old historic community and when visiting her I always used to make up fanciful stories, especially because of the old creeks and sounds it had when a door closed or trotting up the staircase. Hope you’re having a splendid week dear. -xx

    1. Lady, hello! I squealed when I saw your comment! I’ve missed you! Your grand’s house would have been a treasure trove for made up stories–scary, spooky ones too! hee hee! My mind is already busy thinking of the scary stories I would create come Halloween time! Wishing you a lovely week, my friend! XOXO :)

    1. Hi Chloe! There’s no doubt in my mind that your wonderful imagination allows you to create many a scenario! Good for you! And for the record, I squeal in horror movies! hee hee! :)

  20. A beautiful story Bella. It’s amazing how words can take you to their own world, when they are written perfectly. And you are an amazing writer. It’s very easy to create our own stories but to give them life with words is a really difficult job. And you always do that with your writing. And the pictures are really beautiful.

    1. Arindam, and your kind words are like a soothing balsam for the soul! Thank you! I’ve been a bit absent from the blogosphere due to the difficulties I’m experiencing with the Internet but I’m anxious to write and am keeping notes on all that I see, smell, hear, and taste. I’m hoping to be successful in making the sightings I’m experiencing just as tangible. Many thanks for your encouragement and support! :)

    1. Kelly, coming from you, I am honored! Thank you, lady! I’ve always thought you are a wonderful and extraordinary story teller! :)

  21. The old, abandoned houses we passed when we were travelling were the greatest sources of imaginary wandering for me. Still are. I wonder who built them. How they felt when they first moved in. Who finally abandoned them. And likewise, their feelings as they did so. Endless sources of stories.

  22. I love this, Bella. I totally made up stories like that when I was young.

    One time, I was on the monorail at Disney with my family. I looked across from me and an attractive man sat down, alone, staring out the window. He looked sad. All I could think about was why the man was so sad and alone in a place that was all about family and happiness? I made up stories about him for ages after that.

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