Kettle’s Yard House & Gallery

Currently closed until 10 February 2018.

+44 (0)1223 748 100
mail@kettlesyard.cam.ac.uk

Kettle’s Yard: Off site

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Kettle’s Yard: Looking Ahead

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Transcript

I suppose it’s fair to say that by then Jim had become almost a kind of father figure. You know, having spent time looking after the house, I remember in that last vacation before I left England I was in and out of Cambridge, I would spend nights at Kettle’s Yard because I no longer had a room in college and I basically had an open invitation to go and stay with the Edes so I used to do so. And I really got to know them terribly well. I got to know some of the quirks as well by then. The fact that, although there was this very, kind of, ascetic, self-disciplined exterior to Jim, he was actually quite a shy person who overcame his shyness essentially, as so many good teachers do, by talking about what really interests them and he was a very warm person and, in many ways, I think both he and Helen enjoyed their pleasures because their pleasures were so simple and so obviously shared. And there was nothing they liked more, after this very austere, almost invalid evening meal, that to sit upstairs as the light faded, listening to gramophone records. They had two indulgences – very dark bitter chocolate, eaten in very small quantities and half bottles of either burgundy or a very good claret, quite a lot of which was stacked in the cupboard under the stairs going up to the attic and of course, always sipped, again, in small quantities out of those marvellous 18th century tumblers and stemmed glasses in Kettle’s Yard.