Monday, June 30, 2008

This is part of a wall painting on show at the Weald and Downland Open Air Museum near Goodwood. I was there on Sunday with Fred Pipes and Maude Casey for an event organised by Mark Hewitt - an architectural picnic with music in the museum's unusual Gridshell building. The Gridshell has a roof as rolling as the Downs.

The Sussex Weald is a gentle landscape and just what I needed for a Sunday outing. Just looking over the fields and being outside on a perfect day is a balm but the museum contributed a hamlet of rescued old buildings smelling of woodsmoke, noisy geese and a working mill from Lurgashall producing stoneground flour. We ate Sussex goat's cheese, my home-made apple chutney and tomato mustard I bought on Saturday in Hove from a local producer. The sun shone and sheep slept under the trees. Feverfew, fennel and broad beans filled the cottage gardens.

We remembered paraffin stoves and the three day week when shops opened by candlelight. We talked of how the lifestyles on 'display' at the museum are barely a generation away from our own experience and in many parts of the world, still being followed. What I love about the place is the houses without possessions - as if by being there, you detox yourself for an hour or so of this angrily acquisitive century.

This is the wall of an old market place - saved and rebuilt. It's the size of a large bedroom.

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