June 14th, 2008


I've always loved Kipling. Always. Starting with the Just So Stories- which were read to me before I could read them myself- right through to the very difficult late short stories. I don't share his politics, but I reckon I understand them- and see how they might be accounted virtuous. He was a great writer; also  a very  good man- loyal, stoic, loving.

My granny was at Batemans during the First World War- with the Land Army- posted there to look after the cows. She was the person- more than any other- who turned me on to him.

I've been to Batemans several times. It's always a bit like coming home. The house was gifted to the National Trust by Kipling's surviving daughter- Elsie- along with all the furnishings and knick-knacks. Everything is just as Rud and Carrie left it in the 1930s- only tidier. 

P.S. You know the alphabet necklace from How The Alphabet Was Made? Well, it actually exists- and can be viewed in a glass case at Batemans.  I suppose Kipling must have made it himself- perhaps with a little help from the numerous artsists and craftspeople in his family. It's a lovely, ingenious thing.


Bateman's is in Burwash- an exceptionally pretty, little, Sussex village. The main street is planted with (what I think are) lime trees.  You can tell from the shadows what a very hot day this was. 

This white house (so-named) looks like its been flown over from France. Those shutters are not in the lest bit English. 

The church is 12th century. 

I got chewing gum on my jeans taking this final picture. What sort of an eejit discards chewing gum in a churchyard?