Churchill’s Chair

Now there was a man who knew the value of work-life balance.

Whilst he laboured on the international stage, he always had Chartwell: a sturdy house in red brick, looking over one of the most sublime views you could imagine – the Weald of Kent. When there was time to spare, he stepped away from his office where he would labour until all hours of the early morning, and would walk, and sit, and paint, in this most breathtaking of settings.

You can see his chair, sat by the fish pond, where he used to go to think.

On this, the 50th anniversary of Churchill’s funeral, I’d like to take you there. To briefly step away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. To learn that it is wise to switch away from the dire and sometimes terrifying problems which can arise, and look at the beautiful.

It restores the spirit.

Which, I think, is Churchill’s final, great, secret.

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14 thoughts on “Churchill’s Chair

  1. Oh, what a glorious post and great tribute to the most remarkable figure of the 20th Century. When in London we visited the Imperial War Museum and Churchill’s rooms. I was struck at how sparely he lived; his bed was not much more than a cot. I’ve seen photos of Chartwell before but yours are exceptional, Kate. Thank you.

    1. Pleasure! It is an exceptional place, Silver, and the message at the core of the place is that we must all have something very beautiful in our lives. Such an endearing hero, Winston.

  2. . . . and now, dear Kate, you have restored my own spirit, which has been sagging of late. Thank you.
    What a wondrous spot to visit. Your photos are splendid and capture the mood of Chartwell, giving me yet another spot on your tender island to one day visit – and sit.

    Have a grand weekend, Kate.

    1. You too, Penny. Has it stopped snowing yet? It is definitely time for reading The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. I thought of the snow when our news channels informed us that a mystery family of beavers, which has settled on the River Otter in Devon, will be permitted by Natural England, the government agency which decides such things, to stay in the wild. Lewis’s Mr and Mrs Beaver are once again resident in the UK, though our snow has been most sporadic, especially here in the south. The White Witch would have a damnable time trying to get her sleigh to operate smoothly here. I suspect she would fare much better where you are.

      But I ramble.

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-31019595

  3. Dang you for taking me back to this place. I remember your writing about it several years ago, and I dreamed of stepping across those stones and staring at that garden-ringed pond. Churchill knew how to find balance. Would that more of us could follow his example.

    1. Andra, you simply have to come over. For a decent spell. Perhaps promoting Not Without My Father (BBC Radio 4 Woman’s Hour would love you). Then we can go to Chartwell, and Windsor Castle, and all the other places, and take photos and it will be grand.

      Or perhaps some magnificent Welsh Castles are in order. Me and my friend Lydia are plotting to climb Snowdon….

  4. Just beautiful.. in my other life in Kent, (years ago) I worked with Churchill’s housekeeper’s son. (are those apostrophes in the right place?) He was the groundskeeper and I was the Nanny in a wretched pile of a place close to Tunbridge Wells. Curious. Interesting fellow. And i do agree, seeking beauty is balm for the soul. have lovely day. c

  5. Surely, if a great man such as Churchill who faced some of the greatest ordeals of his century can take a break and then, the rest of us with our comparatively petty problems can. The photos are lovely, the reminder to take a few moments and observe beauty is heeded. Thanks, Kate!

  6. I’d love to visit Chartwell. Your photos are so enticing.

    Here there is a store in Midtown Manhattan called Chartwell, which carries only books by about about Churchill. They have numerous first editions and signed copies of his works. I don’t get to that neighborhood often, but when I do I could browse for hours.

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