Books, Personal

Strawberry Hills forever

Phew! It’s been an overwhelming couple of weeks at work, but I had a day off today. (A whole day off! Er, if you don’t count working till 2 am this morning. Which, let’s not for these purposes. Whole day off!!) So Cephas and I went to Strawberry Hill House!


Strawberry Hill House is basically a troll house. As in, Horace Walpole was totally trolling via the medium of architecture. This is the only conclusion I can come to about a house that has wallpaper that is meant to make the walls look like they are made of carved Gothick stone.

(The walls don’t look like they’re made of stone. What they do look like is super cheesy!)

Horace Walpole also had a tiny pretty room dedicated solely to fanart of his novel The Mysterious Mother. I wish I was rich enough to build a room dedicated to fanart of my work. I mean, it would be empty, but still, it would be such an optimistic thing to have.

Pictures under the cut!


Griffin and dog standing guard at an attractive staircase. There were a lot of dogs around the house. Only a couple of griffins, though.


We went to the cafe after our tour of the house, of course. Cephas probably wouldn’t bother by himself, but I do, not aspiring to his ascetic heights. Even when I really enjoy a museum or exhibition visit, as I did today, I always kind of slightly guiltily view the cafe visit afterwards as my reward.

It was a nice cafe. The coffee is not bad, and the menu is in cute period-appropriate language (“clawted” cream).


Close-up of the raspberry and almond cake. It was really nice! It doesn’t look as nice as it actually was. It tasted like a poshed up Pop-Tart. Only thing was they were a bit kiamsiap with the clawted cream. I don’t call that enough to eat a cake with, do you?

And now for a totally irrelevant picture:


My Out of Print T-shirts came! I got Watership Down, Their Eyes Were Watching God, and The Master and Margarita. I was reflecting on this later and analysing my choices, and while of course I did buy the T-shirts because I really love the books and also like the design of the covers/T-shirts, it is pitiably obvious how my choices were also shaped by how I wish to be read (ha). Like, obviously I want to be perceived as internationally minded, invested in the stories of non-white women, eclectic in my tastes (so liking books that range from the type of literature that gets published in those serious-looking grey Penguin editions, to children’s fiction), but also I want to indicate that I am still deeply attached to the British children’s literature that formed such a large part of my childhood reading.

Which are all fairly harmless things to want to signal to other people, but it’s not like buying T-shirts really means I am any of them. Oh well. They are really comfy, and serve as an excuse to reread all these books!


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