30 May 2016

map again

The tea with Duffy Ayers (cf. the Post the week before last) in her house in Bloomsbury; the sad death last week of her exact contemporary Malvina Cheek whose exhibition is currently up at Persephone Books; the forthcoming Bloomsbury Rooms exhibition in Bath; and the beauty of Bloomsbury in the summer: all inspire the Post this week  (and next) – aspects of Bloomsbury. First of all, an old map – it’s 1920, before the Foundling Hospital was demolished,and is exactly the kind of map Virginia Woolf would have used when writing eg. Mrs Dalloway or Jacob’s Room. Jacob lives in Lamb’s Conduit Street and looking out of the window (beginning of Chapter 5) he reflects that ‘the rashest drivers in the world are, certainly, the drivers of post–office vans. Swinging down Lamb’s Conduit Street, the scarlet van rounded the corner by the pillar box in such a way as to graze the kerb and make the little girl who was standing on tiptoe to post a letter look up.’ (But our post-office van driver, who arrives every day at 4.30, is not a bit rash; and if we need to post something after he has arrived and departed, we say – just going to Jacob’s post box.)