Wednesday, 14 August 2019

Wednesday 14th August 2019 - The Tooth, Ham House, Ironwork

The Tooth has been fixed. We set off for the dentist yesterday morning, both of us playing at being 'Joe Cool' but He was concerned for what I might be about to undergo, and I was equally apprehensive. I'd slightly calmed my fears by googling 'cracked front tooth', and discovering a dentist who puts up lots of 'before' and 'after' pictures on his blog of the most alarming broken teeth, along with a short comment along the lines of 'this looked pretty drastic, but only took 30 mins to repair'. I pretended to myself that this might possibly try, and, to my surprise, this is exactly right!

She poked around, discovered a broken filling that I knew nothing about, repaired it, and then did a whole load of 'this and that and the other' to my front tooth using about a zillion different implements, pastes, lights and gadgets. She showed me the result in the mirror. Howzat!

We went on to visit Ham House, in Richmond.

It is in the most beautiful setting, in a tiny rural village in the middle of suburban London.

This is the tea room in the kitchen garden where we had lunch before going round the house.

The house is full of good things to look at - here are a few things that particularly caught my attention.

We spent a while examining this window catch, which must date back to when the house was built very early in the 17th century. It is clearly hand-forged by a blacksmith.  If you turn the round wheel, (all knurly so you can get a grip) you align a slot with the spike fixed into the windowsill, then you can use the sticking up handle to bring cross bar towards you, inwards, as it were. It is hinged at the right, so it will clear the pin you can just see at the right hand edge of the frame. You then use this bar to push the window open (it is hinged on the left.). Then you will fill the room with the fragrance of the formal lavender planning in the garden below. Of course we didn't actually do this - the windows were sealed and alarmed.    

The whole wall of this apartment was hung with this embroidered panel. What an extraodinary thing of beauty.

The steward was non-plussed by the recent arrival of this forte piano, made in 1801 (Everything else in the house is in keeping with the 'Caroline' period of the property. 'Caroline' in this context means pertaining to the reign of Charles I - there a new bit of knowledge for me).

Of course I was desperate to try it out, but the steward began to look nervous at the suggestion. It is a Broadward piano, DESIGNED TO TO LOOK LIKE A SOFA-TABLE. What! The keyboard, and the little music drawer can be pushed back and under the table top, and who would ever know that it was a fortepiano? There must be a tricky bit of mechanism in there to make it playable.

Ironmongery was a bit of a feature for me during our trip round France;  

These locks and keys were part of a room full of such like objects at the Palais Benedictine in Fecamp ( a whole load of accents missing from all those 'e's).  

This iron fence divided a secret garden and miniscule house from the narrow alleyway somewhere in Rouen

A bracket, fixed to a house in Honfleur;

This is a modern (I think) bit of decoration on the walls of the Chateau Guy de Rochon, a beautiful chateau where Rommel had his headquarters, and where the plot to assassinate Hitler was planned;

The gateway
I thought the tendrils on the ironwork reflected the rural setting of the village and the chateau, the work to restore the gardens, and also the memories of wartime so poignantly.

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