Facebook has kindly reminded me that Have Paprika, Will Travel has been randomly jotting about travel and other meanderings of the mind for exactly a year today.
It’s just a date – I know that it doesn’t really mean anything.
But I’m glad that Have Paprika, Will Travel is still here, with its 54th post. From a Spanish starting point of riding Extremaduran caballos, we’ve explored the water features of London’s Olympic Park, almost lost friends in a whiteout in the stunning Sierra de Grazalema, and admitted that family travel isn’t always what it’s beautifully photographed to be.
At Christmas we met the wonderful Queen of Tapas, then a couple of months later indulged in Elizabeth David’s flourless chocolate cake, and at the end of March we sent two boys to Brussels to have the best time ever with the Belgians.
But I do realise that sometimes it’s worth pressing pause at home too.
More travel for sure. And an action plan to find funding for this wanderlust (via Have Paprika, Will Travel related activities would be nice).
Today though, No. 2 has an inset day (for those not acquainted with British state school terminology – he’s got a day off school). So instead of grabbing the cheapest flight we can to somewhere else – we’ve clocked that we don’t have ample time – we’re winding down the sunlit lanes of Sussex in search of the place where Rudyard Kipling felt most at home – Bateman’s.
In 1902, Kipling was 36 and wealthy. As a hugely celebrated writer – the best known in the English-speaking world – he was able to afford the £9,300 price tag of this 17th century sandstone house with its 30 acres (now the estate has 330 acres). He loved its warmth and peace, and its Englishness, and felt it was perfect for his family.
We love it too.
Nobel prizes for 2016 are being announced over the next few weeks. Here is Rudyard Kipling’s own certificate – he was the first British writer to accept the Nobel Prize for Literature (in 1907) and he remains its youngest recipient.
We also learn of the personal tragedy that hit Kipling and his wife, Caroline. Heartbroken by the death of their 6 year old daughter, Josephine, in 1899, they later had to endure the loss of their 18 year old son, John, killed during the First World War. Their youngest child, Elsie, was always painfully aware of their sorrow.
We discover as much as we can in two sunny hours before the school run sweeps us back home. We talk about the man behind the famous words, and feel inspired to read them again.
A lovely day, and a bonus blog post. It’s been a fun ride since we got on the back of those Spanish horses.
More on Rudyard Kipling here.
Discover more about the National Trust and Bateman’s here.