Some time back there was a Victorian hall chair in a house and the owner pointed out to us that it was designed to be sat on by one class (working) and looked at by another class (upper). The seat back was beautifully carved whilst the seat was flat and uncomfortable.
This wonderful gatekeepers cottage on the Cator Estate in Blackheath, London is the architectural equivalent of that hall chair. Outside it is a delight to the eye and we can imagine the upper classes enjoying the grandeur it creates as they entered the estate hurrying past to reach the vast early Victorian villas. Inside it is tiny. The gate-keeper and his family must have been cramped in such a tiny house. How do we know? One winters night we hurried past and looked fleetingly through the open curtains into the lit room. The living room was no more than eight foot square. A table and two chairs and it was full. The kitchen must only be four-foot wide.
We sometimes fantasize that the lodge cottage would be perfect transported to TheBigForest. Imagine a quick scramble up the steps to the ‘belle vue’ tower to look across the tree-tops to the sea sparkling in the distance. The small garden could be filled with beds of vegetables and sweet peas.
Today we have a creative to-do list as long as our arms – commissions, photographs for a magazine article, a new saw to cut out the backgrounds to our dog sculptures… no time for forest fantasies. And its raining too! Which for some strange reason fires creativity – at least for us. Right, what shall we make first…….?