Knowing I was going to be sleeping in London tonight, we went to find more green today. Stanmer is much more accessible than Chanctonbury, and we were feeling lazy Sundayish. With beanie hat and impractical coat despite the optimistic sunshine we struck out.
Stanmer Park was once a private garden, now thrown open to the public. It’s busy. Everybody either had a dog or a child. I had Lou and she had me. We strolled through the remains of the landscaped gardens, drinking it in. I’ve needed to get some green into my eyes. It’s much harder to be glum when you remember how nature just gets on with it.
The house at Stanmer stands empty but not derelict or overgrown. There are people whose job it is to look after it. In the past perhaps it’s been event space, and catered for evening revelry and mealtimes. In this quiet time it is being refurbished ready for a world where parties are allowed again. We leaned up against the glass and peered intol the window at the paneling and paintwork, the curtains and chandeliers. Another huge empty home. Round the back, in what would have been part of the garden, stands a grove of ancient Cedar trees. Cedars are the wisdom keepers, often used for gateways. These ones, so near to Brighton, are likely well loved and ritually used. As we sat near them I got curious. A fenced off derelict atrium, overgrown with brambles but with a neatly cut entrance just begging to be explored.
Despite my cashmere coat I got in far enough to be disappointed. Broken glass everywhere under the skeleton of a pavilion roof just waiting to fall on my head. The ruins of what might once have been a cheap summer house. No wonder they haven’t bothered repairing the thing. I fought my way back out through the brambles and into the sunshine. Sometimes it’s worth going down the rabbit hole. Sometimes it isn’t. But you have to go down it to find out.
Lou and I found a place to sit and feel the sun on our face, out of the wind and backing onto churchyard, and that was that. We can both sit for ages with the sun on our faces. We did precisely that. We sat there. We sucked in the vitamin D, and breathed out into the day. Oh the sun! Every day closer to summer. This time of year I’d always prefer to be in the sun – as you well know. Just need to get that lead in a Spielberg so I can go to LA every January and make money out there.