A common man marvels at uncommon things. A wise man marvels at the commonplace. CONFUCIUS

Tuesday, 11 September 2007

Heritage Open Day (1)

Back from another long weekend in Suffolk. This was a weekend of Heritage Open Days throughout the country - meaning free access to many National Trust and English Heritage sites and properties which are normally closed to the public or charge for admission. We made the most of this, visiting, on the Saturday, Valley Farm at Flatford (see photo on left), a 15th century open hall house with a crown post roof and huge fireplace; and Thorington Hall near Stoke by Nayland (see photo on right), a beautiful 17th century timber framed farmhouse with a splendid limewashed oak staircase and six-stack chimney. The novelist and travel writer Nicholas Wollaston had been tenant here for 30 years until his death in May. I've never read any of his work, but Graham Greene described his book Red Rumba (1962) as perhaps the best travel book since Patrick Leigh Fermor's The Traveller's Tree. His widow Deirdre, who was there to welcome the visitors, told us that he was unable to find a publisher for his last 2 books - a reminder of how authors and styles of writing can go in and out of fashion just like everything else. Read here Wollaston's Observer article on how it's difficult to get published if you're not young and trendy.

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