On my visits, today I came to view this abandoned mansion that's about to be demolished. It sits forlornly atop a hill with beautiful uninterrupted views across the rolling countryside of Hampshire. The pool sits in the front lawn and still has water in it, so I was happy to see a couple of ducks putting it to good use. Oh yes, I could see myself living here, (if I were a millionaire) but I'm not. So I shot my reflection to put me in the scene. Very arty huh?
What's that all to do with Design and Decadence? Well, the house is an awful monstrosity that deserves to be demolished. But I suspect what might replace it, won't be much of an improvement. What I would prefer to see built is something with flair and adventure. Something like the Castel Baranger in Paris by Guimard for instance. This delightfully eccentric art nouveau building is a poke in the eye to the traditional Paris architecture. What fun! What outrageous decadence! But I guess I'm a bit soft on art nouveau. Especially when I had the chance to photograph and handle some original Mucha art and was entranced back when I was an imressionable young man in my twenties. I think this encounter with art may have given me a lifelong romantic vision of women, embodied with flowing sexuality and of course, tragically wistful. But don't tell anyone.