About Me

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Bristol , United Kingdom
I am co-director of the Leaping Word Poetry Consultancy, which provides advice for poets on writing, editing and publishing, as well as qualified counselling support for those exploring personal issues in their work - https://theleapingword.com. My fifth poetry collection, Learning Finity, is now available from Indigo Dreams or directly from me.

Saturday, 28 August 2021

A visit to Standen and the sea

'Hello,' said the NT volunteer at the lodge in the car park, 'have you been to Standen before?' 

'Yes,' I answered, 'about 28 years ago.'  

I didn't add that I was marshalling three children under five at the time, two of whom would be diagnosed autistic the following year. Needless to say, the visit was brief. 

I was unencumbered on this visit, apart from a need to be down on the coast by 6pm, which didn't give me masses of time, but it's possible to get a lot seen in a short while if you're on a mission, which I was. 

bee on salvia

I saw a tortoiseshell butterfly the other day that was faded and a bit ragged. This butterfly, on the other hand, is a National Trust tortoiseshell and accordingly immaculate. 

Standen was built from 1891 to 1894 by the architect Philip Webb, who'd built William Morris's Red House thirty years earlier, and is furnished largely with Morris & Co designs, which makes it a joy for lovers of the Arts and Crafts Movement, me included. I was so pleased to reacquaint myself with the rooms I loved, and in one instance, attempted to recreate, all those years ago. 

There are lots of guidebooks and websites with great photos of Standen, though, so I'll just post a few details that caught my eye. 

And if you think I was the only visitor, I wasn't, it's just clever angles and biding my time till I'm momentarily on my own.

Here's the second-hand bookshop, with a magnificent till. I didn't get to put any money in there, though, as if there were any poetry books (apart from Norton's anthology), I couldn't find them.

And then it was down to the coast and a little sit on the beach as the sun started to set, which was almost too much beauty for one pair of eyes. 

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