Anna adored the three-storey town house she bought with the proceeds from selling her mother's house. She'd fallen in love with the building as a child when it was the doctor's surgery – before they built the swanky new annex to St. Pity's hospital – so when it was listed for sale she snapped it up without a viewing, just one question of the estate agent: "Does it still have the original staircase and bannister?"
The roof had cost her several thousands she hadn't anticipated, necessitating a mortgage she'd hoped to avoid, but she borrowed thirty thousand against the value and cleared off her debts with plenty left over to refurbish the building to its former Edwardian glory.
It still had the original stained-glass windows and the woodwork was mostly authentic but for a couple of the doors. What she remembered most from her infrequent childhood visits, though, was the three storey, single span oak bannister without a single newel post from bottom to top. Whoever had built the house must have had a child's mind for it was possible – with a good deal of practice and utilising the thighs as a deft braking manoeuvre on the hairpin twists at each floor – to slide from the top of the house to the bottom in under ten seconds.
Anna loved it, and the one hundred and twelve steps from the front door to the top floor kept her fit.