Town Mouse

Find­ing our­selves at sea

Country Life Every Week - - Town & Country -

THE Print­works in Canada Wa­ter, SE16, a for­mer in­dus­trial build­ing now con­verted into a night­club, made a mag­nif­i­cent set­ting for the con­clud­ing din­ner of the Lon­don Fes­ti­val of Ar­chi­tec­ture. Its vast, spotlit in­te­rior, once the set­ting for print­ing presses, ac­com­mo­dated the long­est ta­ble I have ever seen for the oc­ca­sion. From most an­gles, the sea of glasses and cut­lery punc­tu­ated by tall can­de­labra seemed to van­ish into in­fin­ity. The staff served the din­ner with aplomb and when I thanked a waiter at the end, it seemed that he had en­joyed the evening as much as I had.

Ear­lier in the week, one of the chil­dren en­joyed a school trip to the sea­side. Along with pre­dictable quan­ti­ties of sand, there was de­liv­ered home af­ter­wards more flot­sam and jet­sam than I would have be­lieved a neo­phyte beach­comber could even carry. The col­lec­tion in­cluded sev­eral blocks of chalk (all now ac­ci­den­tally smashed), a shrub­bery of rot­ting sea­weed, some peb­bles, a hunk of rust and more than a dozen crabs’ legs. There was be­sides a suf­fi­cient num­ber of shells, whole or bro­ken, to fur­nish a small grotto. To my great re­lief, a flint the size of a foot­ball was ap­par­ently re­fused pas­sage on the coach home. What would E. E. Cum­mings have made of it all? JG

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