charleston revisited

[statue in the garden]
they were high summer days, such as the ones we're living right now, when bell and i stayed in sussex, uk. in london we’d fallen prey to a thunder storm that flooded paddington tube station and the corridor in our hotel, just short of our own door. it was a dramatic build up indeed, towards visiting both virgina woolf’s and vanessa bell’s former dwellings in the southdowns.
in order to reach charleston farmhouse, bell and i had to accustom to the heat. we got lost a few times in the bends and twists of the swirling firle countryside, after mounting a ridiculously hot double deck. we got ourselves ludicrously chased by a macho men filled sloppy land rover, before finally reaching the farmhouse, via an unsignificant road sign dangling from a concrete post. it urged us to the left, past a few dilapidated barns, into the farmhouse grounds. Trust us for wanting to make a bit of an entrance.

[charleston farmhouse - entrance path]
the house felt like a refuge after the swelter outside. it saved us from our locked and overheated minds. the shaded garden paths lead us to a tiny thirst-quenching tearoom, where I set off, in search of a make-do well. a friend visiting charleston a few months earlier had hidden a terra cotta shard for us to find. I probed the earth and found the morsel, as bell was sipping tea and frowning at my gestures. to say the very least though, our trip ported magic.
absolutely no warning (we are pretty aloof to warnings anyway) had us prepared for the treasures hidden inside the house. it is whilest reading vanessa&virgina today, that once again i am strolling along harrowing corridors and over winding staircases; peeking inside gloriously sunlit rooms, lovingly showcasing examples of omega art and where to this day lingering philosophy and domestic entanglement team up effortlessly, probably just like how it used to. the drama of the place, witnessed in decorative murals, colourful paintings, stunning bloomsbury shades and curtains through to the creaking floor boards…. all of it, quite simply every inch, sprinkled with colour from vanessa bell’s paint brushes. you have got to see, in order to believe.

[vanessa bell's bedroom]
feeling a little uncanny, threading into the artists’ long swept up foot steps, i am just now remembering miranda richardson and nicole kidman playing the parts of those feisty women, working, playing and fighting in the well kept (kitchen) gardens, rooms and studios of charleston farmhouse, trying hard to make a living of their exuberant lives, breathing hopes and frustrations, passing THE HOURS of a passionate, creative life.


  1. adventurous story in a lyric style, thanks anyway

  2. i'd love to hear more. like a sweet book wanting the pages turned more delicately. a walking wander in a new place. drenching rain cleanse. virginia woolf and all she brings. soul. meaning in noting. eyes in everything. restless. desperately sastisfying. xx
    (wasnt nicole great)