Third and Last Attempt to Keep a Blog

January 24, 2012

Having looked at a few  blogs I realise that photographs and not much text are the most enjoyable…for me, anyway. I’ve always found it difficult to be brief with pen in hand, so I hope this approach will reform me. Here is a photograph of my front door, a suitable beginning.

The date stone (unreadable because it’s only about the tenth photo I’ve ever taken) is 1633. In this year (for those who were staring out of the window during lessons on the Civil War) Charles I’s enemies were just grumbling in dark corners.  Charles’s second son (James II) and Samuel Pepys … who were to have so much to do with each other … were born, 8 months apart. Also in this year the Pope obliged Gallileo, under threat of torture, to retract his assertion that the earth orbited the sun rather than the other way round. (In 1992 the Vatican admitted they had been wrong.)

Our house, though called The Manor House, is really just a farmhouse.  The double height porch is typical of the early 17th century.  Traditionally the little room above was where stewards or agents did their book-keeping.  For 13 years I’ve been meaning to remove the winter jasmine around the door because it’s too rampant and dreary for 46 weeks of the year. But then, in the coldest weather the little yellow stars come out so I let it live. Also it covers a bodged bit of 20th century  grouting.  Not an impossible eyesore to correct and I can’t think why I haven’t. Could this be the year?  The front door is painted in Farrow and Ball’s Castle Grey.

6 Responses to “Third and Last Attempt to Keep a Blog”

  1. Liz Collinson said

    Oh Victoria, thank you for sharing this with us. What a perfectly delightful doorway. What a lovely house you have. Just right for keeping your writing energies high!

  2. Leone Raffaele said

    What a wonderful home…I can understand your passion for beautiful gardens and magnificent homes.You take me to a different place when I read your books… and I live the story with the heroines.I loved Stormy Weather and cherish it with all of your other books.I have not found many modern authors who can continually grab my atention and keep it for the whole book.Keep the photos coming ,please..I am fascinated,fondest regards..Leone

  3. Melanie Barthelme said

    Oh bliss! Thanks so much for sharing this. I am just now finding your renewed blog and have left a super-wordy response to another of the entries, but now that I’ve found this first posting I have to say how wonderful your house looks. Something worthy of you.

  4. Annegret said

    Today, March 5, 2012, is the first day on which photos are accepted for Farrow & Ball’s competition to find THE best Farrow & Ball exterior door in the world. Sadly, our own doors here in Eastern Canada – front, back, side – don’t qualify … But yours … ?

  5. Allison Appelquist said

    I like the jasmine. It looks like an unkempt moustache. (The lintel looks like one long eyebrow.)

  6. Annegret said

    From Lightenings


    Shifting brilliancies. Then winter light
    In a doorway, and on the stone doorstep
    A beggar shivering in silhouette.

    So the particular judgement might be set:
    Bare wallstead and a cold hearth rained into-
    Bright puddle where the soul-free cloud-life roams.

    And after the commanded journey, what?
    Nothing magnificent, nothing unknown.
    A gazing out from far away, alone.

    And it is not particular at all,
    Just old truth dawning: there is no next-time-round.
    Unroofed scope. Knowledge-freshening wind.


    Once, as a child, out in a field of sheep,
    Thomas Hardy pretended to be dead
    And lay down flat among their dainty shins.

    In that sniffed-at, bleated-into, grassy space
    He experimented with infinity.
    His small cool brow was like an anvil waiting

    For sky to make it sing the prefect pitch
    Of his dumb being, and that stir he caused
    In the fleece-hustle was the original

    Of a ripple that would travel eighty years
    Outward from there, to be the same ripple
    Inside him at its last circumference.


    (I misremembered. He went down on all fours,
    Florence Emily says, crossing a ewe-leaze.
    Hardy sought the creatures face to face,

    Their witless eyes and liability
    To panic made him feel less alone,
    Made proleptic sorrow stand a moment

    Over him, perfectly known and sure.
    And then the flock’s dismay went swimming on
    Into the blinks and murmurs and deflections

    He’d know at parties in renowned old age
    When sometimes he imagined himself a ghost
    And circulated with that new perspective.)

    Seamus Heaney (1939 – )

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