Saturday, 24 October 2015

Sunday Times Where Was I? Holiday Competition

Near as I can figure it, through the possibly flawed perceptual filters of my own reality tunnel, the most likely answers this week, seem to me to be:

Q1. Berwick

Q2. Asham House

N.B. For question two, Asham house was also spelled Asheham House, at one time.

The initial clues seem to place us in the village of Berwick, which lies in the South Downs, in the county of Sussex. It is here that a church containing twentieth century murals, painted by some members of a very progressive proto Bonobo beatnik hipster collective, called 'The Bloomsbury Group', lies. The church appears to be called 'St. Michael and All the Angels' and after the windows were blown out by bombs and the chancel damaged c 1941, the local bishop asked the Bloomsbury artists, Duncan Grant (father, Major Bartle Grant), Quentin Bell and Vanessa Bell (born c 1879, died c 1961), to paint some murals to decorate the church.

Vanessa Bell, according to some of her biographies, was the sister of the writer Adeline Virginia Woolf (born c 1882, died c 1941). Bell lived with her sometime partner Duncan Grant, at Charleston farmhouse, c 1916, which is situated around two miles north west of Berwick village. Some of the aforementioned biographies claim that Vanessa Bell, was buried in the Firle parish churchyard on the 12th April c 1961. The ashes of the economist John Maynard Keynes, who also hung out with the Bloomsbury group, were scattered in the fields around Charleston farm, after he died from a heart attack, c 1946.

'Courage Sans Peur' can be translated as 'Courage Without Fear' and this appears to be the motto of the Gage family, who own the sixteenth century house at Firle Place. The blurb on their website says it is owned by the eighth viscount Gage. It also seems to be where the fruit called a Greengage got its name.

Traveling seven miles west of Charleston farm, would likely bring us into the vicinity of the village of Rodmell and the country home of Leonard and Virginia Woolf, 'Monk's House'. The Eastender had to look up what is meant by 'Weatherboard' but it seems to be thin slats of wood which are nailed to the outside of houses and the pictures of Monk's House that I looked at, certainly show that it exhibits this feature. Virginia Woolf had suicidal tendencies and bipolar disorder, which were possibly inherited and exacerbated by incidents of abuse during her childhood. She had thrown herself out of a window on one occasion and the poor woman ultimately drowned after putting some rocks in her pockets and jumping into the river Ouse, after hearing voices, c 1941. Some of her works were 'Mrs Dalloway', 'To a Lighthouse' and 'Orlando'. Leonard Woolf is said to have buried Virginia's ashes 'neath two elm trees in the grounds of Monk's House and there now stands a bust of the unfortunate author, by the artist Stephen Tomlin, to mark the spot, as the elms are no longer there. From checking Leonard Woolf's biography, he does seem to have died c 1969.

Monk's House is still standing, whereas the 'holiday home' in the clues, was said to have been demolished. Digging a little further turned up some references to the Woolfs having a house on the East bank of the Ouse (Asham House or Asheham House), c 1912 to 1919, which apparently once stood just off the road between Lewes and Newhaven, near the village of Beddingham. Asham house was believed to be haunted and seems to have been demolished on the 12th of July, c 1994.

N.B. Due to the number of people who normally write poison pen letters in green ink posting on his page, the Eastender has moved to moderated comments but rest assured, if you have a non abusive comment, which relates to solving the puzzle, he will endeavour to publish it.


  1. Hello. I am sorry to write but can I ask you please why so many 'c's? Most of the dates are known and can therefore be stated with certainty and do not need a 'c', which is only used when a date is not certain, hence circa (around).

  2. The Eastender is not certain about anything in this world and like Korzybski and R.A.W. does not like to say that things are absolutely this way or that way. Many of the dates can vary by a day or a year, depending on which source you check.

  3. Being a regular player I've heard a lot about the Thunderball lottery book mentioned about. I'll put away some money to buy it and hope it will provide tips to win. The last Thunderball results for 14-20 December were not favorable. I took part in all the draws of that week and won nothing.