“I had a farm in Africa, at the foot of the Ngong Hills…”
I was a teenager when I saw Out of Africa with my dear friend Erika. We both vowed to see Kenya someday because of this movie. Although our Kenya maybe only existed in the 1920’s, or only in Hollywood, but regardless–our Kenya was stunning.
The movie is just breathtaking and still, after seeing it at least half a dozen times, I can not watch it past the point where Karen unpacks the books towards the end of the movie…if you’ve seen it then you know why.
Alas, I have not been to Kenya, yet. Will I ever go and if I make it there will it exist as it does in my mind’s eye?
And then I went to Middleburg, Virginia.
Middleburg is known for its fox and hound hunts, horses, vineyards, and rich people. Apparently, famous people use to come here back in the day too, like Clark Gable, because no one cared if you were a celebrity and you could just blend in–with the other rich people. (Coincidentally this was all going on at about the same time that Out of Africa takes place.)
So there I was in Middleburg when I walked into the set of Out of Africa–sort of. It was a design store that specialized in what rich people do when not on a fox hunt, go on safari, and how to create that look in your home (2nd home of course). Perhaps I over generalize but whatever, you know I am just jealous.
Gentle reader, here is my Ode to British Colonial style meeting Meryl Streep in Out of Africa. (For more great images of the set please visit The Art of The Room–Cristopher Worthland does a beautiful blog post here and Hooked on Houses–Karen Blixen’s House in “Out of Africa”)
And Erika, as a side note, I guess our Kenya really does exist. We just have to pay for it. I look forward to meeting you there someday, my friend.
“I stayed in the room where I was born, and tried to remember the colors of Africa”. -Karen Blixon