The William Morris Gallery, Walthamstow, London
We were at Walthamstow's William Morris Gallery and park yesterday. The first real day of summer in London as we all came alive after the stop-start spring - and some of us emerged bleary eyed from the election result.
I love London parks - they always remind me of that line from W H Auden, 'August for the people and their favourite islands'. Not that it was August although the house where Morris lived from 1848 - 1856 has a moat and an island where the young Morris played in his suits of armour and already dreamt of things visionary and medieval.
It was a fitting place to be at the weekend we realised. The park wasn't just a people's park but the Georgian house became a people's gallery devoted to William Morris after the war. It was opened by the then Prime Minister Clement Atlee, who was also MP for Walthamstow.
It is a place that anyone interested in the art of the last century and more should visit. Textiles, wall coverings, stained glass, furniture, furnishings, paintings, writing and of course Morris's own brand of radical socialism when he saw that merely catering for the rich wasn't enough are all covered beautifully.
Morris died at the age of sixty three, according to his doctor, from being William Morris. With age came a different kind of wisdom that made him fight even more furiously against the status quo of his day. He had done it first in art, now he turned to politics - sometimes giving as many three lectures a day, his battered satchel strung across his shoulders.
And what Morris had to say about the state of things in the late nineteenth century yesterday had a resonance all the more powerful and shattering after Thursday's defeat.
As ever with Morris these are visionary thoughts, as true now as then and they might provide some inspiration in the times that lie ahead. They did for us:
'I do not want art for a few, any more than education for a few, or freedom for a few'
'The contrasts of rich and poor are unendurable and ought not to be endured by either rich or poor'
'Society today is like a wrecked ship where people eat one another.'
'Fellowship is heaven, and lack of fellowship is hell.'
'Well, what I mean by socialism is a condition of society in which there should be neither rich or poor, neither a master's man, neither idle nor overworked - in which all men would be living in equal conditions and would mange their own affairs unwastefully.'