When he'd found the set of rooms, he hadn't been thinking of anything in particular, that he was aware of. But the resemblance of them to his college rooms in the year he had spent at Cambridge was striking enough that he had occupied them almost at a whim.
The main door is heavy and slightly too low for modern comfort. It opens onto a room that is high-ceilinged and grand; large, but not too large to lose its cosiness. The walls are panelled, the wooden floor varnished and mostly bare, the ceiling painted plain white. On the wall, opposite the door, there's a tall, arched window that reaches almost to the ceiling, heavy burgundy tapestry drapes pulled back, to reveal a snowy scene. There's a cushioned window seat at its base, and it always seems to be winter outside.
The wall to the left of the window houses the centrepiece of the room - a large, tall stone fireplace with a small fire in the grate that is lit most of the time - a pile of small logs stacked on the hearth beside it. There is a large mirror over the mantlepiece and a small wooden carving of a green man propped up against a few leatherbound books of poetry. In front is a deep rug, an armchair, a small low table and a large leather sofa. The latter has a grey wool blanket thrown over it and a few cushions piled up against one arm.
Either side of the fireplace are heavy oak doors. One leads to a surprisingly modern bathroom and the other to a small study, lined with bookshelves and with an antique oak desk under the small, deep window - which also looks out on the same scene as its larger counterpart. On the desk are papers, a fountain pen, and a small laptop.
To the right of the window in the main room is a large wooden bedstead - the bed itself neatly made with a feather comforter and white sheets, a cover matching the burgundy of the curtains folded partly back over those. On one side is a nightstand, on the other, a rug and the doors of a small walk-in closet. On the nightstand is a small vase containing three dark pink, heavily scented roses.
On the same wall as the door is a bookcase and a long, low cupboard that houses some crockery and a small, built in refrigerator. On the counter top is an electric kettle and yesterday's copy of Le Monde. It is always there, and always the most recent copy. He has given up trying to understand how it happens.
The bookcase is filled with a mixture of law, history, philosophy and poetry books - some were here when he arrived, and some he has borrowed from the libraries he has found here. There is also a small stereo and a selection of CDs.
There are no personal belongings, save for the books and CDs, and a few things he has been given since he arrived. Woodsmoke, floor polish, coffee and tobacco mingle with the scent of the roses and the air in here is always slightly cool, as if winter is encroaching from the view outside.
"Still may Time hold some golden space
Where I'll unpack that scented store
Of song and flower and sky and face,
And count, and touch, and turn them o'er,
Musing upon them..." - Rupert Brooke