We had a lovely week-end last week, spending time in Dorset with some of Mr Cocopopia's family who had travelled down from the Midlands.
We visited Cloud's Hill which was the rural retreat of T E Lawrence (otherwise known as "Lawrence of Arabia"). Until this visit, all I'd really known about Lawrence of Arabia was that Peter O'Toole played him in the epic 1962 movie (and that memorable scene of him sitting on a camel and getting very angry and shouting "NO PRISONERS!").
But then I discovered, like a diamond, there are many aspects to this man. From the impression I got, he studied history at Oxford and had interests in archaeology, he was good with languages (Ancient Greek, Arabic and French, in addition to his native English), he was a good military man and strategist. On a more private level, he appreciated art, music and literature (he was a writer himself), had a good sense of humour, was sociable and enjoyed the outdoor life including cycling and motorbikes.
But when he needed to retreat, he could be found at his tiny little cottage Cloud's Hill in the Dorset countryside. And then it became evident he was very practical and had really good design skills too, to make his cottage just how he wanted it. For instance, he made a ship's cabin bed for his guests, with drawers underneath for storage. He found an old piece of metal that someone had thrown out so he recycled it by getting an ironmonger to make it into a door-knocker. And when he needed some cups and plates, he apparently "threw a couple of items" at a local pottery to show what he was looking for.
Probably the only thing he did fall down on was food as he wasn't bothered about having a kitchen and just ate food cold from tins or perhaps a piece of cheese kept fresh under a bell jar.
But one thing I will particularly try and keep in mind is the inscription above the doorway in ancient Greek, which when translated means "Why Worry" - wise words indeed.