Interiors and Exteriors
Art and Design
Objects and Antiquities

Monday, April 21


Just another lonely boy from the city finds his way back home
sit in quiet down by the river
wait and hope for my luck will change
sit in silent sounds in the mirror
watch my twig slowly drift away..

An hour outside of London is the city of Winchester: known for its namesake cathedral, the former capital of England, and the location in which the Domesday Book was compiled.  Twenty minutes further southeast and you will find yourself in Bishop's Waltham.

I traveled there to visit Loopy, a darling friend who runs the award-winning Bowman Ales Brewery and who appointed himself my de facto tour guide through Hampshire. 

One of our first visits was to the New Forest, a surprisingly large area of pasture, heathland and forest to be found in such a densely populated county. We found a modest Canadian war memorial dotted with flags and faded photographs; according to Loopy, the New Forest was the international site for D Day preparations where tens of thousands made camp and prepared for their call. The heath is now populated by indigenous ponies and donkeys who happily graze in peace.

Nearby in the tiny town of Fritham is the most marvelous of pubs, the Royal Oak. Its timber walls and thatch roof frame two cozy rooms, a fire roaring in its hearth and ramblers sipping pints of best bitters well before noon

Across the parking lot we found the site of the Schultze Gunpowder Factory. Suffering rapid decline in business during the early twentieth century due to anti-German sentiment, all that remains of Schultze is a metal post box. 

We next ventured to Pagham, a seaside village in the country of West Sussex. As we walked along the beach, Loopy explained that it was the site of massive coastal erosion. An ever-growing spit has displaced the entrance to the harbour, and is forcing an aggressive tide to flow parallel to the beach. Last year during a storm the tide rose up to the door of the yacht club, and residents were panicking about the lack of interest and support they were receiving from the government. After our walk we continued our beer tour at the nearby Kings Beach Hotel, named for King George and also under threat of purchase by a supermarket chain.

The next morning I was left to my own devices, and was intent on finding Hazelholt Farm. My parents were tenants in a servants lodge on the property (the other lodge apparently occupied at the time by a German POW), and it was there that I had spent some of my earliest days on this earth. I set out across a public access footpath and wandered from farm to farm, eventually relying on the kindness of strangers to guide me. The quaint little lodge was deserted, bucolic, and predictably not at all as I remembered it.

-Henri Fabergé

1 comment:

  1. Dear Henry

    Thank you for taking us down memory lane.

    Love Uncle Tim and Auntie Sheilah