|Fireplace in the sitting room|
|Window group - yellow tray by Vanessa Bell or her daughter Angelica|
|The dining room at Monk's House|
|Pear in the garden|
It's fascinating that someone of VW's genius couldn't gauge her own success and/or brilliance. We make the mistake, I think, of presuming that succesful/brainy types are very aware of how good they are but, most likely, they are not really aware, objectivity being difficult and all that. Roald Dahl's wife was saying something similar about him on the radio this morning - he didn't fully realise his own popularity. VW talks a lot about praise in her diary, regarding her writing, and how it affects her.
|Juno on the bowls lawn|
All of the staff were informed and welcoming but unintrusive - basically you can walk the house and grounds at your leisure, which I really enjoyed. The house is furnished still with VW's belongings - and her husband Leonard's: painted furniture, book covers VW made for her Shakespeares, her sister's and other friends' artworks. The volunteers had fresh flowers from the garden in pots and vases; everything is rustic, homely and organic. All of it so earthy and pleasing to look at.
|The 1929 extension - entrance to VW's bedroom|
|Sitting room table, painted by Duncan Grant|
|Happy selfie in VW's glorious garden|
The garden at Monk's House is the real star: it is enormous, abundant and has fantastic views over the East Sussex Downs. It is set out in different areas: an orchard walk, an open lawn, glasshouses, a walled garden, and lots of country cottage beds.
|VW's writing lodge|
|You could make a portrait of VW - Juno's is bottom left|
So, apart from fruitful research for novel #4 and a magical trip to Monk's House, we drove a lot, found a pub-less town, went to a mini zoo in Tilgate Park, visited the wonderful charity shops for my beloved ceramics and glass (blogpost soon at Edna O'Blog), and, naturally, we ate cake, most notably in Pretty Things in Horsham - a great find by the husband when I asked him to go and find somewhere good. Score :) It was a gorgeous trip and I was grumpy coming home. But, back to reality and all that. And it's a sunshiney day in Ballinasloe, I wrote this morning, and I am going to take a walk shortly and think about the new scenes needed in Belle. All is well.
|Paddington 'meets his cousins' in Pretty Things|
|Raspbo & carrot cake and Choc Ganache cake|