Saturday, 25 August 2007

Fragments from the Golden Time

It was some twelve years ago when I read Laurie Lee's beautiful Cider With Rosie, his lusty, twinkling account of his 1920s Gloucestershire childhood. Last year, for a fortnight, I was enamoured by Flora Thompson's similar poetry Lark Rise to Candleford, which detailed her formative years in late-victorian rural north Oxfordshire. Today I'm reading Lifting the Latch by Sheila Stewart as told to her by Mont Abbott, a countryman born in 1902 who treats the reader to his memories of his life on the land around Enstone, Oxfordshire.

Some may label these books sentimental old claptrap, but I love them a) because I love sentimental old claptrap and b) because in reading these wonderful memoirs, I have a huge sorrow in the world we have lost. I'm not wearing rose-tinted spectacles, and these accounts show the brutality of the society they portray as well as the wonders.

It was an organic world these writers recalled, not the synthetic one we've inherited today. A natural one, not a plastic one. It was a world of a thousand islands of culture against today's cultureless world. And it's one I'd opt for over the Disney shops in the bland, souless McWorld we live in today hands down.

For a world of ten thousand flags!
Death to Global McCulture!
Death to the New World Order!