The Book(s) : Cider With Rosie by Laurie Lee / The Well-Loved Stranger by Valerie Grove

I was set down from the carrier’s cart at the age of three; and there with a sense of bewilderment and terror my life in the village began. The June grass, amongst which I stood, was taller than I was, and I wept. I had never been so close to grass before. It towered above me and all around me, each blade tattooed with tiger-skins of sunlight. It was knife-edged, dark, and a wicked green, thick as a forest and alive with grasshoppers that chirped and chattered and leapt though the air like monkeys. I was lost and didn’t know where to move.

Thus, begins one of the most evocative and poignant memoir of a boy growing up in a Cotswolds village in the 1920s. We get to see a vivid and moving portrayal of village life through the innocence and wonder of the young Laurie Lee. The book managed put a smile on my face almost as effortlessly as it could move me to tears. It also transported me back to a place and time that had yet to be touched by the modern amenities and inventions which we now so easily take for granted. It was a truly enjoyable experience reading this little gem.

The book has sparked off my interest in Laurie Lee, and am looking forward to reading his biography, The Well-Loved Stranger as well as his most famous piece of work, As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning which accounts for his travels in Spain.

The Place : The Cotswolds, England

I had actually read the book not too long after coming back from my trip to the UK, which included The Cotswolds. Although I did not get to visit the village of Slad (the village where Lee grew up in), I think this photo below reminds me most of how I would imagine Slad to be.

Arlington Row, Bibury
A closer look.

Every little village and town has a unique flavour and charm of its own.

Our base, at Bourton-on-the-Water.
Bourton-on-the-Water, also known as the Venice of Cotswolds.
Pretty as a picture.
Happy ducklings.
Chipping Camden.
Don’t you just love the bicycle?
Broadway Tower (once a country retreat to WIlliam Morris).
I never knew there were such lavender fields in England.
Snowshill Lavender (we were there just in time before the harvest!)
The Old Post Office in Castle Combe.
A tree grows in Castle Combe …..
One of my favourite photos, taken at the Minster Lovell ruins.

The Time : Summer of 2010

Thomas at My Porch‘s recent blog posts on his travel adventures to the Cotswolds have stirred up memories of my own to the old world charm of the villages and towns that make up the Cotswolds. It lays claim to being one of the most ‘quintessentially English’ and unspoiled regions of England, a place where time has stood still for over 300 years.

I couldn’t agree more.


11 thoughts on “A Book… A Place… A Time… (The Cotswolds)

  1. Beautiful post. I love the way you tied the book into your trip. I will be travelling to South America in mid August for 5 weeks and looking forward to tying in books and reading matter I find there unexpectedly (hopefully) in with my travel side of the blog. You have given me some ideas on how to do that. Well back to my Penguins. All the best, Pam


    1. Thanks, Pam! I think your idea of a Travelling Penguin is really cool, too. 🙂
      All the best in your travelling plans come August! Looking forward to reading all about your exotic finds in South America. 😉


  2. Deliciously beautiful pictures. Loved them!
    And your description of Cider with Rosie made me place an order for it 🙂
    Thank you for the awesome review. you have a lovely blog. Following you now!

    Do visit my book blog and give me your feedback on the reviews


    1. Thanks Amritorupa, I hope you will enjoy the book as much as I did! I have already taken a peek at your lovely blog, and will definitely be back for more. 🙂


  3. Michelle, I love all your photos. It makes me feel like we missed so much in the Cotswolds. We did go to Snowshill, but it was raining so it was a very different experience. And Bibury was on the list the day the car decided it needed three new tires so we didn’t make it.

    Oh, and you won a tea towel at My Porch! So email me your address onmporch (at) hotmail (dot) com


    1. I enjoyed all your photos and narratives too, Thomas! Thanks for reminding me of how much I had enjoyed the Cotswolds. Feels good to dig them out again. 🙂
      Too bad you missed Bibury, but the next time you happen to go, do check out the Club Sandwich at the Swan Hotel. It was one of the best sandwiches we ever had! I somehow forgot to include that in the post yesterday. I think one post is insufficient to do the Cotswolds justice. Will have to rectify that. 😉

      Oh, and thanks for the lovely tea towel!! So thrilled to think that now we’ll have the Queen smiling at us everytime we have our tea. 🙂


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