Years ago, in a university English department that was shaded by leafy jacaranda trees in summer, the most earnest and cleverest of boys (it was always the boys) would push their glasses against spotty bows, call upon notes made feverishly in the small hours and make grand pronouncements that generally included words like ‘intertextuality’. Being broadly less studious, I’d roll my eyes and gaze out at the mauve blossom in the neighbouring courtyard, for the belief was that if a flower fell on your head you’d pass all your exams…I stood beneath a lot of jacaranda trees that year.
However, in the same very, very loose way in which I approached most of my English essays back then, intertextuality popped into my head earlier this week while I looked through the website of St Jude’s . I had come upon this pretty fabric, ‘Painswick’, designed by Ed Klutz:
Do you see those lovely follies clever Ed has drawn? Well, they come from here, Painswick House, which has a rather fun garden in the Rococo style. At this time of year it is full of snowdrops and is a pleasant place to spend an afternoon, as we did last weekend. Of course, it is impossible to visit the garden without noticing the follies, particularly those which are painted a stark and rather hard white…perhaps the colour is historical but Ed has done them rather a favour in this fabric. Also, in the small orchard, there ‘grazed’ several fibre-glass sheep which looked realistic from afar but on closer inspection brought to mind the MPs’ expenses scandal of some years ago. Duck houses are so passé these days, don’t you know?
This, my favourite folly, not painted white, was tucked away in a woodland walk. It made a super focal point at the end of the long walk, which I’m tempted to call an allée, but I don’t think it’s quite that.
And a few flowers
You might notice a faint watermark on these pictures. It’s an experiment inspired by the current infatuation with Pinterest – I’ve noticed that, in most cases, by the time an image has been repinned for the third or fourth time, all attribution has been lost. I’ve resisted this kind of labelling in the past because I felt it seemed selfish, miserly even, but I’m going to give it a go and see how I get on.