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Autumnal sightseeing

It’s been a hustle-bustly time! Once again, I’ll beg you to send me luck, good vibes, and sweet wishes. I have submitted all of my documentation to be certified in a new coaching practice, and now I hold my breath while they evaluate my submissions and make a decision. Fingers crossed that I will hear good news in the next few days.

Now that Robin’s back and his eyesight is tip-top, we decided to go out and do some sightseeing again. We chose to visit a location known as 78 Derngate in Northampton.

This home is a masterpiece of Modernist architecture that was remodelled by Charles Rennie Mackintosh from an early 19th-century terraced house, and it has been called his most significant work after leaving Glasgow. Not only is 78 Derngate Mackintosh's only house in England, but it was also his last major commission before his death in 1928.

If you ever heard me kvelling about the wonderful Mackintosh sites I adored in Glasgow, you’ll know why I had to visit this place. It makes my extraverted sensing function sooo happy! You can ogle it yourself here:

Mackintosh's patron was Wenman Joseph Bassett-Lowke, a successful manufacturer of toy models. His story is rather intriguing too. One tidbit is that Bassett-Lowke was friends with George Bernard Shaw, and we were assured that Shaw spent a few nights in this guestroom.

A couple of the rooms were highly impressive (one of them the guest bedroom shown above), but it didn’t hold a candle to other Mackintosh properties we’ve visited. Still, it was a nice outing, and fun to connect with Mackintosh once more. He always makes an impact.

Afterwards, we made our way to St. Mary of Great Brington. This 800 year-old church has a lot of fascinating history tied up with it.

For one thing, the family affiliated with this church are the Spencers, as in... Princess Diana Spencer. An entire chapel is located to the left of the photo above with memorials galore for the wealthy and influential Spencer family. (There’s even a myth that Diana is secretly buried outside in the family plot.) Unfortunately, the chapel was locked up and alarmed so I could only gaze longingly at it over the top of a gate and snap a few distant photos. Phooey!

As it happens, the Spencers paid for the gorgeous stained glass window behind me. And guess what?! It’s another William Morris.

But none of that is why we came here.

We actually came to pay our respects at the grave of Lawrence Washington. Does that name ring a bell? It should! He was the great-great-great grandfather of the first President of the United States, George Washington. This was a bit of an American pilgrimage.

The Washington coat of arms is found in a few places in the church, such as on his memorial stone and a carved wooden poppyhead. Do they remind you of anything?

YESS! These stars and stripes are echoed on the American flag!

I’m not going to run down all of the “begats” for you, but it’s crazy to think the American flag has an originating relationship with this little stone church in the U.K. and a man who died in the year 1616. Crazy I say!

In other news, I’m adding type assessments to my practice shortly, so if you know anyone in the market for an expert type facilitation, please send them my way! I’m planning to make it a fun and lively experience so a good time will be had by all.

Speaking of fun, I can’t resist one more picture of me sitting in one of my favorite Mackintosh chair designs.

Talk to you in a week!


-Dr. Vicky Jo

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