‘Dolls House of words’

I’ve been looking at the strange notes I’ve jotted down, things I’ve overheard, read, observed, and for some reason noted them, presumably to write about them, or to use them in my other writing. The other day I commented on something I’d come across, which I had written ‘on that day no-one was sat by the window’. I couldn’t remember writing it, but couldn’t find anyone else who had either. I did at the time wonder about the grammatical correctness of it, but was writing about notes and jottings, not that particular phrase. Then a very dear friend who I’ve known since we were naughty girls at school together commented that surely it should be ‘on that day no-one was sitting by the window’. Now I have to say it is one of my bugbears, the sat/sitting thing – when people say ‘I was sat down’ instead of ‘I was sitting down’, but in this sentence did it actually mean someone was (or actually wasn’t) situated or placed by the window rather than they bent their knees and lowered themselves onto the chair.  I found this explanation: “It is just fine to say, “We were sat at the table in the restaurant” — but only if the waiter walked you over to the table, and indicated that you should sit there.”  This was from  https://mistakeswritersmake.com/  and I’ll leave the sat sitting thing for now as I want to mention another odd jotting I made and have no idea why I made it, or even what it was about.

For an unaccountable reason I made a note of ‘Dolls House of words’, just that, nothing more. Was it a dolls’ house I saw or read about which had some language connection, was it an unusual phrase or saying, was it a quote from somewhere, was it to do with ‘A Doll’s House the play by Henrik Ibsen? I have absolutely no idea now – so in this case, making a jotting for future reference was pointless, except I guess it does illustrate the difficulty I have with notes and note taking.

I read ‘A Doll’s House’ when I was still at school, not as part of the syllabus or as a set text; whether I heard an Ibsen play on  the radio, or read a review, or whether I just heard his name and was fascinated then as I still am now by foreign or different names, I don’t know. Maybe I was in the library in town or in school and saw the play on the shelf, but I borrowed a collection of his plays and read them. I thought they were marvellous, they really appealed to me and my favourite then was ‘The Enemy of the People‘. Maybe I should reread them and find out if I still enjoy them and which would be my favourite now.

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