Saturday, March 10, 2012

Here and Beyond: Faisal Pretends to Be Elsewhere

As usual, I'm reading books that take me elsewhere. The latest escape is to the Chilterns, in south-east England. Will I ever get there? Probably not.
This particular means of escape is 'Chilterns to Black Country', by W G Hoskins, number 5 in the 'About Britain' series, published by Collins in 1951 as a contribution to the then 'Festival of Britain'.
There will be others who know these better than I do. I'm charmed by ther effort to be comprehensive, by the priority given to their design, quite apart from the appreciation of country they reveal.
Much of the gardens I care for are looking less than their best now, at the end of summer. Most of my work isn't creative; it's hard slog.
Above is the shambles of Coventry Cathedral after its bombing during WW2. Whatever's gone wrong in my garden is nothing at all compared to such devastation.
There are roads leading out of wherever we may be. Perhaps they lead to better places?
 
I can't always trust the present I find myself in, though I will act as if I do. Do I know, at any point in time, the best road to take? Wherever it must be, I am not afraid. Let my steps be unhurried but sure.

12 comments:

  1. not all those who wander are lost

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  2. In fact, James, I feel it may be the case that assuming to know may indicate the knowing of little.

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  3. While I am not familiar with the Chilterns, I am most acquainted with traveling between the covers of a book set in another time and place. As I have grown older I have a greater desire to explore the past. You always send me off to explore a place or an individual on my own. Thank you!

    While it seems your summer in winding down, everything is bursting open here. Bonnie

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    1. Hi Bonnie. I suppose gardens and books operate in similar ways to me, offering 'other' places to go to. Your outlook is refreshing, It's me who should be saying 'thankyou'.

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  4. I think the best road to take, is the one of books. Brilliant travels of the mind, cannot compare with anything... and you are good at choosing exceptional books Faisal : )


    Enjoy your week. Best way you can

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    1. Thanks, Demie. I hope you're getting just a little more of your spring.

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  5. Hello Faisal:
    Oh yes, we do know this series quite well and agree with you that they are absolutely charming. The photography and the text conjure up a country and a life, the like of which we are certain will never be seen again.

    If you enjoy these books, then you might also be amused by the Britain in Pictures series. Thin volumes with card covers and they deal with a multitude of subjects. Published in the 1940s, there are some wonderful titles written by people who have since become iconic figures. For example, 'English Cities and Small Towns' written by John Betjeman. They appear from time to time in second hand bookstores in England and are usually very inexpensive. we think that they are a treat!

    How pleased we are to be here......our computer finally made it through.... so we hope that all is well and that you are free of Gremlins.

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  6. Hello Jane and Lance,
    I'm thrilled you can get through now! There must have been a concerted effort after WW2 to restore morale.
    I know the Britain in Pictures series too.
    I just got something else yesterday: Strolling through Cottage England by W S Percy - you might know it?
    The Gremlins have gone but my computer still switches itself off without warning, so I'll stop now!

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  7. For sure Faisal you never will get to the Chilterns as described in that book unless you manage a bit of time travel. Changing the subject... Zara and I have such a lot in common now ... what a coincidence!

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    1. Catmint, a very observant comment! Pergaps I AM heading back in time?
      I hope you're healing as well as Zara has. My very best to you for a full recovery.

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