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