16 Jul 2011

And Then There Was Nostalgia….

For Mr. Puddlecoat and all who were in Stony Stratford today, please, when you're in the pub after, enjoy the piece below. It's not strictly on topic, but just about close enough for jazz.

See the date? He was talking of things almost 'lost'. You have to wonder what he'd make of stuff today.

So, each generation, we each loose something we thought of as 'better then than now', be it childhood days, old pubs, the high street, even newspapers. Let's not forget all the 'little' freedoms we've all lost and are continually loosing.

Time passes, things change. For the better? Not very often I would suggest. But that's looking at things from the old age angle and less timid times of course.

There are still a few village pubs, as I remember them, out there, nestled away. You have to smoke in the yard in a bucket of course, but that's only common sense, according to the timid.

Never mind, it's a nice rhymie thingy.

‘The Village Inn’
John Betjeman, 1954

"The village inn, the dear old inn,
So ancient, clean and free from sin,
True center of our rural life
Where Hodge sits down beside his wife
And talks of Marx and nuclear fission
With all a rustic's intuition.
Ah, more than church or school or hall,
The village inn's the heart of all."

So spake the brewer's P.R.O.,
A man who really ought to know,
For he is paid for saying so.
And then he kindly gave to me
A lovely coloured booklet free.
'Twas full of prose that sang the praise
Of coaching inns in Georgian days,
Showing how public-houses are
More modern than the motor-car,
More English than the weald or wold
And almost equally as old,
And run for love and not for gold
Until I felt a filthy swine
For loathing beer and liking wine,
And rotten to the very core
For thinking village inns a bore,
And village bores more sure to roam
To village inns than stay at home.

And then I thought I must be wrong,
So up I rose and went along
To that old village alehouse where
In neon lights is written "Bear".

Ah, where's the inn that once I knew
With brick and chalky wall
Up which the knobbly pear-tree grew
For fear the place would fall?

Oh, that old pot-house isn't there,
It wasn't worth our while;
You'll find we have rebuilt "The Bear"
In Early Georgian style.

But winter jasmine used to cling
With golden stars a-shine
Where rain and wind would wash and swing
The crudely painted sign.

And where's the roof of golden thatch?
The chimney-stack of stone?
The crown-glass panes that used to match
Each sunset with their own?

Oh now the walls are red and smart,
The roof has emerald tiles.
The neon sign's a work of art
And visible for miles.

The bar inside was papered green,
The settles grained like oak,
The only light was paraffin,
The wood-fire used to smoke.

And photographs from far and wide
Were hung around the room:
The hunt, the church, the football side,
And Kitchener of Khartoum.

Our air-conditioned bars are lined
With washable material,
The stools are steel, the taste refined,
Hygienic and ethereal.

Hurrah, hurrah, for hearts of oak!
Away with inhibitions!
For here's a place to sit and soak
In sanit'ry conditions.

Quote; Doris Lessing.

"The great secret that all old people share is that you really haven't changed in seventy or eighty years. Your body changes, but you don't change at all. And that, of course, causes great confusion."

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