Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Chichester, West Dean College

My friend Abby is now on a Post Grad course at West Dean College near Chichester. Since it is half term and since I haven't seen her since a year and a half ago when she came to interview at the school, I went to go visit. Oh my gosh you guys, I kept giggling the entire time I was there because it was so stunningly beautiful everywhere you turned that giggling was the only reaction I could have. It was either that or go light headed from gasping so much. May I suggest that you head over to her flickr site as soon as possible? Amazing photographs of gorgeousness.



This post will still be here when you come back.

Abby is there to study book conservation, but other people study ceramics, clocks, instruments, metals, furniture, and tapestries. It was like a post grad, English Interlochen. A tiny, gorgeous environment populated with creative, passionate people that you divide according to their majors. ("See that guy? Bet'ya he's ceramics...") Most of them live on campus in this idyllic country estate.

I went for a couple of walks (first by myself because Abby was in class) I wandered through sheep fields, alcoves made from trees, and corridors of autumn leaves. I took a short nap on a bench with the sun shining on my face and chortled to myself whenever I startled the pheasants. (Which was constantly as they are both abundant and easily startled.) Abby took me through the Victorian kitchen gardens and I kept delightedly clapping my hands and grinning. We ate apples from the orchard, went on an epic tromp to the trundle, ate delicious food (even if Abby's classmates complain that the cheeseboard has the same cheese every night. Whatever, the Stilton was lovely.) And fell asleep gossiping. The next morning I was allowed to watch their book binding class and was fascinated. What a delightful visit.

As a quick aside- West Dean College was founded by the estate of Edward James, who worked with Salvador Dali. When Abby took me on a quick tour through the main building we kept turning around innocuous corners and running into, you know, just random things. Like two of the lobster phones. And the original watercolour of the artichoke house. You know. Just things. (!)

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