Wooden Coal Box by the range.
Fifty-Six Eden Street was the home of Janet Frame and the rest of the Frame family (her parents, 3 sisters, 1 brother and Grandpa) from 1931 – 1943. In my mind Katherine Mansfield and Janet Frame are New Zealand’s two greatest writers. I studied Janet’s work, yet for some reason hadn’t remembered that the 'Kingdom by the sea' in To the Is-Land was Oamaru.

Ralph Sherwood was our tour guide and the official Curator of the house. He is one of the most passionate JF supporters that I’ve ever met. Although, given JF’s incredible ability to mix words, and create memorable phrases, it is not hard to see why he is so addicted.

Ralph explained that house is a mixture of ‘truth, memory and imagination’. It has been altered over the years, however, the Janet Frame Trust has worked hard to furnish the house and create the world of the Frame family. I was magnetically drawn, to the coal box beside the range in the kitchen which is where Janet used to read, and her original desk and typewriter in the back room. For the $5 entry fee this is a house really is the embodiment of the old school cliché ‘Hidden Gem’.

The coal box beside the range where Janet used to read.