It has been said that ‘time is the wisest counsellor of them all’ and I have to say I must agree. The period of time that it takes for thoughts to become things, relationships sealed and words expressed is heavily influenced by when those decisions were made. I find that in everyday life not everyone is patient enough to wait for the right time; in this hard and fast world, instantaneous everything is what's on the menu.
Is this greed or convenience? Perhaps both? Experience can only be gained over time. Feelings grow with time too. The benefits of taking one's time instead of rushing in without all the facts is perhaps the wisest decision of them all.
The historic nearby town of Lavenham is a rather magical place where time once stood still. In the 15th and 16th century Lavenham prospered greatly from the wool trade, in fact it was once one of the richest towns in England before it fell to the Dutch, who stole the town's business by undercutting their prices, as they were able to source cheaper raw materials. Unable then to develop and maintain its exquisite architecture, Lavenham became frozen in time.
As a result of this pregnant pause, we can now truly revel in Lavenham’s manicured Tudor dwellings and because of the wealth that has since been invested into this toy town of wonder with its dark beams, colourful palette and higgeldy piggeldy character, it is now a sight to behold.
Standing wonderfully wonkily, opposite where I spend my days working, stands ‘The Crooked House’. It's a rather special place that seems to have been a part of everyone’s life at some time or another and has been described as magical. Over 600 years old, ( some parts dating back to 1395), this house has been many things. The Crooked House, originally built as part of a medieval hall, allows us today to step right back into history.
The current owners of this very Crooked House, are the ‘Crooked Men’. With a penchant for everything Tudor, and being avid historians, they have harnessed the energy found within every inch of this mysterious, very wonky house.
The men share their space with a ‘crooked cat’ that belonged to a Mrs Carter who resided in the house in the 1960’s, a woman and child thought to be from the 1800’s, and 3 Tudor men! It is indeed a full ‘Crooked House’. Yes…. They are the ghosts, that roam about the place that was once their home.
There is a famous English nursery rhyme that is said to be written about this house...
“There was a crooked man, he walked a crooked mile, he found a crooked six-pence upon a crooked stile; he bought a crooked cat, which caught a crooked mouse and they all lived together in a little Crooked House.”
Without doubt, Lavenham is a special place that magnetically draws people to itself. The current owners of The Crooked House were city dwellers until recently, in fact it was the love of this crooked house that actually brought them together. After a speedy, lockdown love affair, they uprooted their urban lives and belongings and set their sights on heavy oak beams and uneven floors.
This beautiful ‘Crooked House’ now hosts the most amazing ‘Crooked Club’ dinners. Think ‘black tie’, a champagne reception, followed by a 4 course meal and even a bottle of vino to take home. The Crooked Men host a few of these dinners throughout the year, and they make for the perfect round table of friends, or a special venue in which to meet new and interesting people.The Crooked House is even available for private hire, for events or for filming.
Find out more about The Crooked House and The Crooked Men ....here https://www.crookedhouselavenham.com
Lavenham also has a way of tying us all together... Alex ( one half of The Crooked Men), hails originally from my fathers home town, Harborne., a leafy and lovely suburb of Birmingham. In fact, it’s where my Mum and Dad met many years ago, but that isn’t where this connection ends...
Upon my paternal grandmother's passing, I sat poring over my grandparents' photo albums. My Grandfather, originally a farm worker from down South, moved up to the MIdlands after serving time in the RAF during World War Two. Once resident in Birmingham, he loved nothing more than working as a horticulturalist and gardener. He saved hard for his holidays, and he loved to travel with my Grandmother. They had endless travels, far and wide across the globe, and that’s where I got my itch for travel. As I leafed through their carefully curated albums I began to recognise the buildings.... Flatford Mill, this was Constable country... as I turned the page, there it was, my Grandfather stood outside The Crooked House! This photo was taken in 1982, I would have been 3 years old. Fast forward to 2015 when I visited Lavenham to take on a short role as a Spa Consultant for a new spa directly OPPOSITE this rather spectacular house, and I’m still here 7 years on.
My Grandmother, still alive at the time of my moving to Suffolk, never once told me that she recalled visiting Lavenham, so to see my Grandfather in a photo, stood outside the house across the street from where I work... well, made me really think... is this all a coincidence?
Time. Precious, oh-so-wise time. I can’t help but think I am meant to be right where I am. If you’ve ever tried to rush time, moved too quickly or waited too long then you’ll know. Whatever you plan, it just won’t work.
I listen to my friends with children, full time jobs, they're the super heroes of our time! Their most treasured possession is ‘time’. Grown up time, time to theirselves, time to think, even time to go to the bathroom alone. It’s relentless isn’t it... this parenting thing? I dodged it (not intentionally), it just never really happened, but I'm happy in my role as the fun Aunty! After all, I can have them at their best, hand them back and then have my own TIME!
The concept of ‘the right time’ is something that I have had to learn to understand
I have tried to jump ahead, to cheat time if you will, to reach out and grab life... relationships, business... but then, time thinks I’m greedy. It won’t work. Now I wait, I wait for the invitation. I find that relationships with others are all based on timing. The time in your life that you meet each other determines whether you will have a future, or indeed whether you both just are dancing in the passage of time.
The White Rabbit in the book Alice in Wonderland, is the reason Alice runs around in its surreal world. Alice is searching for knowledge, whilst the White Rabbit reaches into to his pockets for his watch, always time conscious. Knowledge brings answers, but so does time.
In your life, do you have a white rabbit you are chasing? Or have you learned to allow time to pass? Do you move too quickly, or say too much? Are you where you are today because of a carefully considered, measured decision, or perhaps a gut feeling or a knee jerk reaction? I urge you to take some time to reflect on just how time plays out for you. Should you take a more measured pace, with less rushing in? Equally so, do you procrastinate and let time slip away as you struggle to finally make a decision? This is something you can change, by growing and crafting your thinking, after all, if you remember from my last blog... it’s actually never too late to change who you are, or even how you think.
What’s your perspective on time? Are you where you are today because of the time you took, or didn’t take.....?
I think it’s time for pink tights... and a dress...
Until the next time...