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Cultural Concubine Blog

Neither here nor there…

The moving back staircases at West Dean...

I really have had a wonderful time at West Dean College last week.
I attended the second installment of the Building Conservation course, this time focusing on Architectural Metalwork.

I never knew it would be so much fun to learn about corrosion and cathodic protection… Playing with a blowtorch applying patina and hammering in the forge really made me re-appreciate the basic material facts of life.

The college is a magical place, somewhere between Hogwarts and New York City High School for the Performing Arts.
Some days there are Baroque appreciation classes chiming from the Music room, while the quilting ladies gather for tea in the dining hall in their colourful aprons.  All it really needs is an occasional flock of wispy giggling ballet girls streaming down the main staircase…

In the middle of all this excitement I was reading my email in the Oak Hall after breakfast, when Fraser sat down at the piano and played the following:

It really is true that gardens need birdsong

…and buildings need life and music.

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