Catherine Goodman (6)

My early morning walk to Flood Street made beautiful by the early morning sun.   Peter Jones looking like a transatlantic liner:

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The Royal Hospital looking, as indeed it was designed to be, like a French chateau:

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Here is the plaque to Bram Stoker without the 1960s mini parked in front of it:

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And here is some of the brickwork detailing of Rossetti Studios:

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Since I don’t feel able to ask Catherine if I can take a photograph of the inside of the studio, even when she’s out of the room, I try to memorise it instead:  the pale lime green Smeg refrigerator;  the ladder needed in case of escape;  the two pictures of women seen from the back of the neck, one a drawing of a young girl with plaits, the other of an older woman swan-necked (the back of the neck is so expressive);  a bowl of three oranges;  an ancient tin of Yorkshire Gold tea; souvenirs of India, including joss sticks;  and the boar’s head.   I have to avoid her gaze as she stares very intently, sometimes screwing her face up as if to get me in perspective.  I’m pleased to say that the portrait is apparently beginning to look like me although I’m not sure this matters. Everything has nice light droppings of oil paint and there’s a tin trunk full of plastic bottles of turpentine.   She keeps her tubes of paint on top of a surgical metal trolley which has Alpine layers of paint encrusted onto it.   Catherine tells me about the history of the studios.   Dylan and Caitlin Thomas lived in hers, making love in the tiny boxroom bedroom in a corner of the studio.   Henry Lamb and Augustus John set up Chelsea School of Art in the three studios at the end.   Now it’s been bought by developers, who are jacking up the rents.   On the way back, I can’t help wondering who lives in the stately houses of St. Leonard’s Terrace:

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3 thoughts on “Catherine Goodman (6)

  1. I have discovered, which I probably should have known, that amongst the residents of Saint Leonard’s Terrace in the second world war were Logan Pearsall Smith, Bernard Berenson’s brother-in-law, and his sister Alys Russell. They held a literary salon, which included the likes of Cyril Cononley and Raymond Mortimer. No blue plaque though.

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