Sunday, 31 July 2011

Country House

In case you wondered - the book I slaved over on Wednesday did make it home safely with the recipient after the retirement do - and he rang me not once, but twice, the following day to say how delighted he was with it, so I'm pleased that I persevered.

I said I'd show you the last pictures of my holiday.  After I left the others at Beachy Head, I went to Charleston, a lovely country house tucked away at the end of a little lane, which was the weekend retreat of the Bloomsbury Set.  It was owned by Vanessa and Clive Bell, having being found for them by Vanessa's sister Virginia Woolf

I had a guided tour and the inside of the house was really unusual, in that virtually every surface was painted  - walls, tabletops, doors, furniture, plates - everything was decorated with painted images and patterns. There was no photography allowed inside, so you'll have to take my word for it, or, even better, I recommend a visit if you are ever in the Sussex area.

I did take some pictures outside though
Felt a bit sorry for this poor girl - I'd have liked to have pruned the rose that was grazing her nose
And this guy clearly has something to look grumpy about
And the flowers were glorious
And as for the Bloomsbury Set - a bit of a strange arrangement.  Soon after Vanessa and Clive Bell moved into Charleston, Vanessa became infatuated with artist Duncan Grant, and moved him and his male lover David Garnett into the house.  Vanessa and Duncan did have an affair, (I'm surprised any of them had time for gardening) resulting in their daughter Angelica, born in 1918, although for many years Angelica believed that Clive Bell was her father.
Angelica subsequently married David Garnett, her biological father's lover, and 26 years her senior. They went on to have four daughters.   Mmmm.  Life get's complicated, don't it?
Must have been an interesting childhood, so I'm about to read the book 'Deceived with Kindness - A Bloomsbury Childhood' by Angelica Garnett.

Country House - BLUR


  1. What a shame you couldnt take pictures inside, the ones you took out side whet my appetite to see more ,but you describe it all so well ,and yes what a different life style Hmm I have made a note of the book ,I want to read that one too ,thanks for the Jan xx

  2. P.S. Hey ,Guess what ?...I have just down loaded the book to my kindle , again Jan xx

  3. Wow that sounds like an interesting read I may have to get that book.
    It looks a great place to visit.

  4. How lovely... Charleston has been on my list of places to visit for years yet I've not managed it yet.

  5. Very interesting, I'll have to try and get that book. Thanks

  6. Now I'm even more determined to go - it's on my List of Birthday Treats!

  7. I love the work of the Bloomsbury Group and researched them a bit when I was at Uni..very strange arrange3ments but hey, they produced some amazing stuff. Maybe they had the right idea!! Love your hair too, just spied it down the page!!