"It was imprudent of us, in the first place, to become authors. We could have become something regular, but we managed not to.
We were lucky, but we were also determined." Roy Blount Jr

"I don’t change the facts to enhance the drama. I think of it the other way round, the drama has got to fit the facts,
and it’s your job as a writer to find the shape in real life."
Hilary Mantel

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

How the Works Work

I'm offering up more of Hampton Court, to shield my current activities.

I will tell you, though, that my lunch with my friend at Tom's Kitchen was beyond satisfactory. I've read plenty of reviews recently, as it's a fairly new addition to the South Ken and Chelsea dining scene, and wondered whether it would live up to the hype. The food was very nice, the choice of wines excellent, and the company superb! A couple of authors dishing about publishing--and writing--can talk at length, and in no sense did I get the impression that the staff were in a hurry to see us off the premises.

Hampton Court has a series of lovely decorative entrance gates--Cardinal Wolsey, the palace's builder, was determined to assert his power through architecture. Before he lost his power, surrendered Hampton Court to the King, and died in disgrace while bound for the Tower of London.

On arrival, we were disconcerted to see that the middle gate was wrapped in plastic, imprinted with Henry VIII's proud image.

No, this is not a new decoration scheme. There's work being done.

I chose to regard my passage between Henry's vast legs as a moment of religious significance. It's fair to say that the burning in his loins was directly (albeit only partly) responsible for the birth of the Anglican Church.

On Henry's other side, from the inner court, one turns to see the great clock, which nomally looks like this:

(photo taken in May, 2006)

Now, dismantled and moved from its perch and arranged on one side of the courtyard, it looks like this:

I had the Chap photograph me with the lunar calendar/zodiac portion to give a sense of scale. Mind you, I'm not right up against it, but fairly close.

I adore photographing Hampton Court (in case you haven't noticed). I spent the rest of the day shooting pictures that didn't show the plastic-wrapped clock tower.

A view of Tudor chimneys, taken from the gardens.

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