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