Tuesday, 12 May 2009
A sense of time and place
Our Friday evenings have been the same for years - a bottle of wine, bar or two of chocolate, curled up on the sofa watching TV, relaxing into the weekend. Recently this little routine has been interrupted by a game of pass the remote control. It doesn't matter how many channels we have, the hunt for something good to watch has been fruitless.
Just as were giving up hope, we spotted this -
featuring Richard Wilson driving around Britain in a Morris Traveller using routes from favourite 1950s travel guides - I was sold. This episode took us across the Yorkshire Moors from Scarborough to Whitby, had the most beautiful scenery and gave the kind of snippets of social history that I love. Nostalgic holidays by the sea sitting beside modern day goths living in Whitby. It was lovely TV, gentle and entertaining, just the kind of thing to welcome in the weekend. (Oh dear am I sounding like a bit of a Victor Meldrew)?
I love to find out more about places, how they were, what they looked like, what people got up to - everyday things really. I love piecing together information and building up a picture. A few weeks ago I was able to find some treasure. Not pretty, pretty, sparkly treasure, something much more personal. An old copy of one of my favourite books The Fortnight in September with a gorgeous dust jacket. I wrote about it here and haven't stopped recommending it to friends to read.
A little while back I found some vintage fabric featuring the very same pier that's mentioned in the story. Another little piece for me to add to my story. I made it into a little pillow to put in my etsy shop. I can almost see the family from the book walking along the seafront together...
I have just finished reading the last of the Mapp and Lucia books. I laughed all the way through them. Having visited Rye, the village in the stories, Tilling, is based on Rye, I had lots of images in my head already of what the streets, shops and houses would look like. E F Benson paints the scenes so vividly that there is no need to visit the place to enjoy the stories.
A few weeks ago I found this little vintage guide to water colour painting. I bought it, not because I wanted to learn how to paint (I know my limitations!), but because the cover reminded me so much of Lucia and George on one of their painting excursions. Daft I know, but my bookshelves are full of little stories like that, pictures that I like to group together to pad out the stories I've read. If you click on the photo you will notice in one of the postcards, a lady walking along with her basket just as they do every morning in the Mapp and Lucia stories - she's on her way to the grocer's for a chat I think ...
I would love one day to take a car journey around Britain in a Morris Traveller with a tartan travel blanket, flask of tea and homemade fruit cake. But of course the roads would have to be completely empty, the shops vintage and the sun always shining! I guess I'm going to have to make do with making up little pictures in my head ...