“But you enjoy blogging” a friend said to me this evening. “Well I do, but it’s hard to keep up when there’s so much to blog about, and no time to write”. That’s been the problem in the last couple of weeks. I was in Dorset over the bank holiday, with friends, but no sooner had we come back to London than I leapt helper skelter into a crazy week that involved Ed Kluz’s fantastic exhibition opening, a lot of work and a lot of drawing. Then on Friday I went up to Scotland, to see our project up there – and back to London today.
Dorset last weekend was a dream. We visited a beautiful house, in Wimborne, just opposite the old Grammar School, called Dean’s Court – handsome mid eighteenth century brick, surrounded by gentle lawns and water meadows. But the astonishing moment was the beautiful ancient walled kitchen garden, with its softly curving ‘crinkle-crankle’ wall, and old box hedges and perfectly productive beds. Get there if you can – open from time to time with the National Gardens Scheme; and if not, here are a few photos.
It is Tulip time at the Old Parsonage – and the rain, and cool spring, have kept things looking pretty good. Am I the only one who doesn’t really mind the rain? I remember how parched everything was this time last year, already. I’m remaining vaguely optimistic about long grass and mown path success later in the summer. So the rain is a good thing – but not, it has to be said, quite as good as the glorious sunshine and warm days yesterday and today.
In Scotland, we’re working on one of the most exciting projects I can imagine. The family for whom we’re working on the new town near Inverness have asked us to help with their castle – which they have fairly recently inherited… a magnificent sleeping giant into which they are wanting to breathe new life.
Yesterday was a day of choosing paint colours for lofty neo-classical rooms, choices over which we have pondered in great detail until it’s almost impossible to pick between one shade of green-blue and another (I am sure you know the feeling); a day of driving across the estate, visiting the vast, grassed, empty former walled garden; a day of exploring in more detail the attics which have gathered fifty years or more of furniture moved in from other houses, brought up from downstairs rooms, boxes and things now completely forgotten crammed into a labyrinth of rooms.
It was all rather overwhelming, but at the same time achingly beautiful. The next few months are going to see us unpacking and dusting off everything, and finding what secrets and surprises these store rooms will reveal, as we begin the process of decoration in drawing rooms and bedrooms and ancient gurgling bathrooms.
I’m not sure I could be more excited! Do you know what I mean? Next weekend Ruth, from the architecture office, and I are off to Moscow – where we are doing a project out in Russia. And that’s another crazy story entirely. Too much to keep up with.