Intended primary for my Creative Inquiry on Woolf and Place (2012-2013)
and my capstone seminar on Virginia Woolf (Fall 2010),
this blog also contains an account of our Woolf trip in May 2012
as well as posts about flowers and gardens in the life and work of Virginia Woolf.

*Photo of Monk's House Garden taken from door of Woolf's bedroom*

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Houses and Parks

Day 2—Sunday, MAY 13, 2012

Started the morning off with a walk through Kensington Gardens.  Since it was a bright Sunday morning, the park was thronged with Londoners out to get a bit of sun.  It was also “dogs on parade” with dozens of animals galloping around, and lots of toddlers staggering with delighted ambition, across huge fields of unmowed green grass.  Strolled over to Round Pond, where we were delighted to see several small sailboats blown by the wind or radio operated. Families wi kids were clustered around groups of hungry swans. Everyone set a spell in the sling chairs by the pond, until someone came up and tried to collect money.  Wound our way down the Flower Path, under the weeping birch to the great read lace façade of Queen’s Gate, just a block from Hyde Park Gate.

Walked down the short culvert to No. 22—Virginia’s home from her birth in 1882 until her father’s death and the move to Bloomsbury in1904. Unfortunately the tall white house was under scaffolding to refurbish the stucco covering the grey-brown brick, so not really suitable for taking pictures. Meditated on how crowded it would have been with all those people in that comparatively small house and how little privacy Woolf would have had  Had forgotten that Winston Churchill’s house was across the street, or at least the house in which he died.   

Then we hiked down to the V&A, where we had a large nourishing lunch in the sumptuous rooms. Designed by William Morris, Gamble and Edward Poynter ,  I believe they are the site of a party in A.S. Byatt’s The Children’s Book.  

Carlyle's House
 Students wandered abt museum for 45 minutes while I raided the gift shop and had a bit of a rest.
With the help of a student with data roaming, we found the right bus to take us down to Chelsea, and walked through a series of winding back streets to Carlyle’s house.  Since we hadn’t been able to get into 22 Hyde Park Gate, Carlyle’s House offered a good substitute vision of what a typical Victorian interior looked like, aside from the intrinsic interest in the Carlyle themselves and Woolf’s fascination with them, with its front parlor, tiny bedrooms, totally plumbing-less bathroom, and light airy study built onto the top for the family patriarch to work in peace and silence.

back Garden Carlyle's House

From Carlyle’s house we found our way to Chelsea Physic Garden via the Chelsea Bridge and Embankment where we explored the medieval gardens (students are surprised at how much botany and art history they are being taught along with Virginia Woolf) and had a lovely tea. 

Bus to Victoria; then tube to Paddington to shop for various thing that had become needful.

Chelsea Physic Garden
All glad to get home early, but then a visit to discus tomorrow’s itinerary turned into long talk and it was suddenly 9:30 and everyone needed to go down to the lobby to post logs, check e-mails etc.

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