Saturday 6 September 2014

A Chronicle Of Village Life Gone For Ever.

I started reading: Cider With Rosie a few months a go.  I seem to only half read most books (too much time on the Internet) these days. They sit patiently waiting on a bookshelf or bedside locker, waiting for me to read them.  Anyway I was skipping through the TV channels last Sunday afternoon and by chance noticed Cider With Rosie, starring Juliet Stevenson.  So we cracked open a bottle of red South African wine and settled down to watch the film.

Guess what?  It's also on You Tube.  Some kind person kindly down loaded it for our viewing.  It lasts about one hundred and twenty minutes.  It's a chronicle  of Gloucestershire village life during the First World War and after it.  I found it incredibly beautiful, full of pathos and a joy to watch.

Laurie Lee writes with such wonderful poetic prose.  Here's a few quotes of his from Cider With Rosie:

"The prospect Smiler was a manic farmer.  Few men I think can have been as unfortunate as he; for on one hand he was a melancholic with  a loathing for mankind, on the other, some paralysis had twisted his mouth into a permanent and radiant smile.  So everyone he met, being warmed by his smile, would shout him a happy greeting. And beaming upon them with his sunny face he would curse them all to hell."

Laurie wrote the following about his mother:

"She was too honest, too natural for this frightened man, too removed from his tidy laws.  Shew was, after all, a country-girl, disordered, hysterical, loving.  She was muddled and mischievous as a chimney - jackdaw, she made her nest of rags and jewels, was happy in the sunlight, squawked loudly at danger, pried and was insatiably curious, forgot when to eat or ate all day, and sang when sunsets were red!"

Towards the close of his account of his childhood upbringing in the idyllic Gloucestershire countryside.  Laurie Lee says:

"The girls were to marry, the Squire was dead; buses ran and the towns were nearer.  We began to shrug off the valley and look more to the world, where pleasures were more anonymous and tasty.  They were coming fast and we were ready for them."

Enjoy the book or the film.


  1. You have fired me up.... Never read the book
    I will now

  2. Hope you enjoy the book, John. Thanks for your comment.

  3. Have put it in my To Watch folder on YT, and am going to treat myself by watching it later on today. Thanks in advance for giving me a couple of hours off from farm work!

  4. You will love the film, Vera. I have lots of weeding to do on the veg plot. But I keep putting it off. Thanks!

  5. Please do try reading Spike Mays, Fred Archer and Alice Taylor, you will love them also.

  6. Hi Irene. I know of Alice Taylor. She lives in West Cork. Will check the other two authors out. Thanks!


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