At Last I am Someone – Plus A Few More Carpets and Gardens

Saturday 27th July 2019

I quite forgot to mention Joshua Baring’s exasperation: he said to Robert Nevil, ‘Have you been harassed recently?’ To which Robert Nevil goes, ‘No, I’m not hard of hearing.’ ‘Oh the pleasure of older friends!’ Joshua Baring scolded, shoving Robert Nevil into a cupboard under the stairs.

Meanwhile, I observed recently some older men passing down my street. ‘You know that TV station, Dainty Lady?’ one of them remarked. ‘Well, one of the regular reporters, he lives in that house there.’ To have one’s residence pointed out! I quite saw that it would have spoilt it had I leapt out. And they would surely have thought I was Robert Peston.

Furthermore Joshua Baring told me that an important Cond√© Nast wife had remarked on my pieces to camera: ‘Very harsh.’

I was very taken by Felbrigg Hall although there was nothing Royston could do for it except make a big noise about the Rainbow lanyards in the ticket office. Anselm knew the woman in charge who was only too delighted with her Rainbow lanyard but other volunteers at that property had not been so keen when asked to celebrate 50 years of Gays a few years ago and more particularly the supposedly Gay last owner of the Hall. I have some sympathy because you’ve got to be a certain kind of prancing, bantering individual, enthusiastic for outrage, to wear a Rainbow lanyard properly. Those with little or no sexual being, whether Gay or Straight, would naturally shy away from such a manifestation. In a remote parlour, Royston subjected the volunteer to a ferocious grilling re: what they knew about the last owner’s sex life. I was all for leading him away, but she was quite up to it: ‘It was a letter to Princess Margaret that decided it,’ she said decisively. I was more worried about how the grubby fingers of the public were to be kept away from the Chinese wallpaper. We conferred and agreed that a sheet of perspex would mean making holes in it which would defeat the object.

Felbrigg was just the kind of house I like, although a wheeny bit nooky and heavy with plasterwork – late 17th, early 18th rather than later which is lighter! But a wonderful feeling of age and accumulation and absolutely heavenly carpets. The one in the upstairs library had been recently re-made and you were even allowed to walk on it. Flowers on a choc ground!

In the afternoon we went to East Ruston Vicarage Gardens. Vast acreage, compartment after compartment, walls, gazebos, rills. Only started in the 1970s. Incredible achievement. At last we met one of the owners and were away: how to secure East Ruston’s future? ‘You must establish a Trust now,’ Royston advised. The other man of the not young (but still gorgeous) couple had appeared by now. Not keen on Trusts but it seems you set it up without putting anything in it, or not a lot. That’s what Royston said. Get it ready to take over. And brown signs. Where were they? Royston wanted to know. Igor could surely do something, with his Council connections. Get more visitors in with brown signage. ¬†These Gays can hardly have known what had hit them, as 3 other Gays descended with influence. The younger of the two complained that upon being introduced to Sir Royland Strong for the first time, the former Museum Director had asked, ‘Are you kept?’ We rewarded ourselves with a huge cake tea after all our work securing East Ruston for the future. I expect those owners had massive G&Ts.

Felbrigg Hall: Grand but Homely

Felbrigg Hall: Grand but Homely

Felbrigg Hall: Heavenly Carpet

Felbrigg Hall: Heavenly Carpet

East Ruston Old Vicarage Garden

East Ruston Old Vicarage Garden

East Ruston Old Vicarage Garden

East Ruston Old Vicarage Garden

East Ruston Old Vicarage Garden

East Ruston Old Vicarage Garden

Garden: Memories of the Queen Mother

East Ruston Old Vicarage Garden: Memories of the Queen Mother

 

 

 

Posted Saturday, July 27, 2019 under Adrian Edge day by day.

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