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 ...

32 comments:

Sue at Dollytub Cottage said...

I also watched the Richard Wilson programme. It is also available online at BBC IPlayer.

A Thrifty Mrs said...

I have that series saved to watch later in the week and I'm really looking forward to it!

Oh I have a new blog by the way and this is the link - http://thefurtheradventuresofathriftymrs.blogspot.com/

Devon Dumpling said...

Sounds like a super programme...I shall have a look on iplayer! x

Floss said...

That sounds a great series! Because we live in France, and have made the decision not to get cable TV, we tend to buy a few good British series on DVDs each year, and then slowly work through them. That might be one to look out for!

Do pop over for my Franco-Scottish giveaway if you'd like to!

5ft Inf said...

I used to travel around in a 2CV complete with blanket...and cake sometimes and you can still find a quiet out-of-timeness in the Lake District...hire a traveller and go!!!
x Philippa

The Whispering Poppies said...

I see you mentioned "Whitby"! I have plans to move there on day! (Heehee - "dream" would be a better word!)

Rowan said...

Lovely post, I must watch the Richard Wilson programmes, they sound just my kind of thing. Like you I'm a Mapp and Lucia fan, we went to Rye 2 or 3 years ago specifically to see all the places in the books and we went into Lamb House. I've also just ordered the Persephone Books version of 'A Fortnight in September! If you go on the journey in a Morris Traveller with a tartan blanket and homemade fruit cake can I come too please? I'll bring my own coffee - I don't drink tea!

Pipany said...

I love Rye though have only been there once. I only saw one episode of Mapp and Lucia, so would be good to see it. Gorgeous pillow x

Lisa said...

I only caught the last 15 minutes of that programme the other night, but really enjoyed the snippet I did manage to watch. What a fab car to travel around in. Let us know when you're this way in your travels and we'll meet for tea and cake!
Lisa

silverpebble said...

Nothing wrong with pictures in the head - they get me through the day sometimes. I think the flask might just have to be tartan too!

Lovely post Kim - I shall have to tune into that series

xx

Bobo Bun said...

Pure escapism is what gets most of us through this age I think. A really thoughtful and lovely post as always. Didn't know about the programme, but it sounds great, will definately have a look. Hard choice between repeats and Jonathan Ross trying to hold on to his youth.

Lisa x

Melanie said...

We are the same with the tv, I always look in the tv mag first, to save flicking through the channels, and if there's nothing on we watch a dvd (we have an online dvd club on the go, there great!) xxxxx

Cowboys and Custard said...

I can't wait for the next episode.. there is a next episode isn't there?
I would so love to turn the clock back to the days when one could pootle around the country in an old charabanc without fear of road rage and knowing that the friendly AA man was just around the corner..
Now why did you have to go and mention chocolate!!??
Dxx

Carol said...

So would I love a little tour of the British Isle in that car! check flask an' all! I am missed that programme, must rry to remember to watch this week.
Carol x

Gill at Lucy Locket said...

Ooh yes we watched the Richard Wilson programme too, wasn't it lovely, like stepping back in time. Often there's not much on tv I agree, but as I'm obsessed with Come Dine with me I'm always up to re-watch an episode of that!

kay said...

I would love to be able to see the Richard Wilson programme, but I'm not sure if I can get it here in Australia. In 1956 my Mum & Dad went to the UK for 1 year on a working holiday and I recently found all the letters that they wrote back to the family here in Oz! What a treasure trove it was to be able to read about all their adventures travelling around the UK, it was like opening a time capsule, and seeing what life was like back in 1956!!!!
If you would like to view my blog and comment, or contact me, I would love to hear from you. The link is
http://sweetasparadise.blogspot.com/
I love seeing pictures and hearing all about the UK, and hopefully I'll get to go their one day and visit all the places Mum & Dad went too.
xxxx

Thimbleanna said...

If only we could travel back in time!

Melanie said...

Hi Kim, thank you so much for leaving a kind comment on my site, it means alot to me. xxxx

Shabby Chick said...

That was a lovely post to read. I love the little pillow and the story behind it. I enjoy learning about people and what they did as well. My husband is the technical one and I am the people person!

Mel xxx

Mrs Boho said...

Thanks for the link to the Richard Wilson programme. Just my cup of tea.

Hope you are having a lovely week ... :0)

Pondside said...

Mapp and Lucia have long been two of my favorite characters - it might be time to take the series out from the library again. I love your idea of a road trip in a vintage car!

Nostalgia at the Stone House said...

Hi Kim,
I'd virtually given up on TV too...and I didn't spot the Richard Wilson programme...sounds like just our kind of thing as well...
The Martin Clunes Island programme is quite interesting, but there's not much else to watch!

Enjoy your evening - wine and chocolate sounds perfect - TV or no TV!
Niki x

Alison Boon said...

Sounds like a really gentle programme to lose yourself in. Ihope it gets aired on UKTV sometime soon.

lou said...

It sounds lovely Kim; I will look out for the program now.
I hope your daughters exams are going well, Ben has finished all of his course work now, just the exams too go now.
Why is it he is so calm and I’m not??? What it’s like to be young again!!! ;0)
Have a lovely weekend…love Lou xxx

Poshyarns said...

Oh gosh I love Mappe and Lucia and as soon as I saw your photo I thought of them too!

The Richard Wilson series sounds like my sort of thing, I will have to wander off and check it out now.

JUDY said...

I JUST FOUND YOUR DELIGHTFUL BLOG THIS MORNING. LAST YEAR WHEN I HAD MY HOLIDAY IN ENGLAND, THE MAPP AND LUCIA SERIES WAS PLAYING AND I JUST LOVED IT. I WILL HAVE TO BE ON THE LOOK OUT FOR SOME BOOKS.

Simone said...

Thank you for the Richard Wilson programme recommendation. At last - something worth watching!!!x

Mary Poppins said...

ohooo I love Richard Wilson and thanks for sharing the link, i shall so look forward to it as shall my in-laws i know it.

I am glad there shall be something worthwhile to watch on the little box, We have been thinking in the Poppins house to give it all up, though I do love BBC4 and often stumble across an interesting watch on there.

X

carolyn said...

I used to like going out on Boxing Day because the roads were empty then of course they aren't now. Once we thought of doing Lands End to John O Groats but I fear sitting in endless traffic jams.

Helen Charlton said...

I saw that programme, it was lovely wasn't it? I love Whitby, we have a cottage there and I love all the scenary Richard was describing. However when I was 18 my dad let me drive his morris minor and the handbrake was very unreliable!! Also I can't think how many times my friends and I had to "push start"it!!

violet ~ creme said...

I absolutely loved the Richard Wilson show! So delightful and simple.

On your recommendation I've ordered the 'Fortnight in September' from the Persephone website. I adore their books anyway, so this will another one I can stroke lovingly.

Thimbleanna said...

Hmmm. I have a question about the missing strawberries in a bucket. ;-). Can you keep them in the bucket over the winter and will they come back the following year?