Monday, 8 September 2008

In the countryside

After two hours on the train from Paddington I arrive in Devon.

My family live about an hour's drive north of Exeter.

In my opinion, Devon is the most beautiful place in all of our United Kingdom. I have awarded it this accolade for the following reasons:

1/ In Devon nothing ever changes.
The country road leading to my aunt and uncles' house is exactly as I remember it as a kid.
You can live your whole life, get married, get divorced, have kids, go bankrupt, fight in a war, lose a limb and escape a hungry crocodile but you come back to Devon and it will be exactly as you left it.

2/ All the tourists fuck off to Cornwall and leave Devon alone.

3/ I can't really think of any more.

Here is a picture of the little village where my mum's family live.

See that church tower?

My mother was christened in that church, so was my sister. And my aunt. And my two cousins got married in it. And so did my uncle. And when my mum was a teenager she used to play the organ in it.

And you visit it now and it's exactly the same as it was about 300 years ago, when the church was built. They reckon that there's been a place of worship on that site since the 1100s (When Madonna first started singing).

The far end of the grave-yard is overgrown and makes for a good picture.

Here are two random pictures, one of a house that hasn't changed...

And here's a view from the end of the garden at that house that hasn't changed either.

On Monday morning I take a quite stroll around the village where old women natter on the street corner and tractors roll through.

I wander past the charity shop which always makes me smile. Here's the shop.

The reason this makes me laugh is because a few years ago my cousin threw a huge tantrum.

A few years ago I was at my auntie's sitting reading a book when this enormous commotion comes through the front door. My cousin has come home with bags full of stuff.

She stomps into the kitchen area and at the top of her voice bellows; "mum, that is the last bloody time I am doing this!"

Although Emma is my age, she wants to keep all her old books and toys for when she has children. My aunt thinks otherwise.

I go "Emma what's wrong?" and she goes "my fucking mother... that is the last fucking time I walk past the goddam charity shop and see all my old books and toys in the fucking window. I am sick of buying all my fucking stuff back!"

Today I look in the window and there are a few moth-eaten tea cosies and an old puzzle. No Barbie Ferrari or My Little Pony then. I guess my aunt has stopped doing it.

Suddenly it's Monday afternoon and I am back at the station and the train arrives and then I am in London.

The Bakerloo line stinks, I get a londonpaper thrust up my nose and some man is eating Tandoori chicken at Baker Street which makes me want to hurl. I miss the countryside.

8 comments:

Dirk Muir said...

I'm in Canada, but I know what you mean. I visited Ely (near Cambridge) once - relative of a friend. Everything was so old and unchanged. I sat in a cathedral that was 1000 years old for a concert! Truly amazing. And so quiet and local.

Bobby Cox said...

Dirk: Oh I've been to Ely to - it's v. v. pretty yeah. Next time visit Devon - I'll give you a map...

fleetmonkey said...

Wow. Your a Janner and a Saffer. I went to Uni in Plymouth was very much a them and us arrangement; think the Slaughtered Lamb in an American Werefolf if you went into a non student pub.

Did you need the Valium before you got back?

Based on your comments about returning to London - given your current search for career change - could you bare to go regional. You could be Fred Dineages fluffer on Meridian tonight - or whatever regional show they get down that way.

Oliver said...

I've spent about 20 years in the unchanging countryside, and I have to say that I might need 20 more before I can appreciate it without intravenous help.

Bobby Cox said...

Fleet: Yeah I swing both ways. I took three Valiums and I was only there for two days. Apparently those boys in the South West are dirty fuckers but I wouldn't know this.

Never before has a boy wanted more: One day you'll appreciate it, I know... there's something amazingly comforting about it. Especially from the outside in.

Superdrewby said...

OMG how funny!

The last time I was at St Davids station was almost this time last year and I was so fucking drunk!

OMG - Sigh as much as I moaned about it last year I do miss living in Devon too, it's such a love hate relationship.

Bobby Cox said...

Drew: The thing about Devon is that it's fabulous in small doses. After a while it would drive me up the wall in a BIG way. But EXD is exactly the same as it was. Including that terribly homoerotic mural of the muscle-men in shorts on the wall near the platform...!

Superdrewby said...

OH God stop!

Now I need a couple of days in Devon!