17 1 min 12 yrs

Politics? Pah.

Whether or not it’s the 12-mile stroll through England’s glorious countryside that has put me in a chipper mood, I do hope everyone has been playing nicely … scrolls down … oh dear.

Ah well, your humble correspondent has been following in the footsteps of greatness today, and this is what I came upon, feet burning and feeling quite knackered –

 – splendid eh? (despite the dodgy camera skills). The Bumper Book of British Heroes is on its way to whoever recognises the painting.

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  1. Pete:
    Glad you had a good day out.

    It looks like a Constable to me.

    But then most do.

  2. I agree with Pinky, it’s a Constable – he often painted that cottage beside the river Stour in Suffolk.

    A remarkable picture.

  3. I see we have some culture vultures among us.

    That’s indeed the Stour, the point where Constable painted the Haywain.

  4. Mike, I thought that too, but then I think the "Hay wain’ that I remember has higher walls and more/different trees.

    Also while I still think it is a Constable- the familiar brush strokes of a typical Constable are not evident in Pete’s picture. The camera?


    I am tempted to google, but I won’t til we see who can answer.

  5. Beautiful, nobody with a heart in his breast could think all that’s not worth preserving.

    Pete, because you gave us this fine post and picture, and because your concept of your country is – despite everything – a rather nobel, if tragic, one, and because we’re facing into a week that could turn out to be even more tragic for Britain, allow me quote this great poem at length, which was written for people completely different but which in many ways could have been written just for you.

    You that love England, who have an ear for her music,
    The slow movement of clouds in benediction,
    Clear arias of light thrilling over her uplands,
    Over the chords of summer sustained peacefully.
    Ceaseless the leaves’ counterpoint in a west wind lively,
    Blossom and river rippling loveliest allegro,
    And the storms of wood strings brass at year’s finale:
    Listen – can you not hear the entrance of a new theme?

    You who go out alone, on tandem or on pillion,
    Down arterial roads riding in April,
    Or sad beside lakes where hill-slopes are reflected
    Making fires of leaves, your high hopes fallen:
    Cyclists and hikers in company, day excursionists,
    Refugees from cursed towns and devastated areas;
    Know you seek a new world, a saviour to establish
    Long-lost kinship and restore the blood’s fulfilment.

    You above all who have come to the far end, victims
    Of a run-down machine, who can bear it no longer;
    Whether in easy chairs chafing at impotence
    Or against hunger, bullies and spies preserving
    The nerve for action, the spark of indignation –
    Need fight in the dark no more, you know your enemies.
    You shall be leaders when zero hour is signalled,
    Wielders of power and welders of a new world.

  6. Noel,

    That is an amazing likeness to Pete Moore, I agree.

    The poet is buried near to one of my very favourite British writers, the great Thomas Hardy.

    (I think I have said here before- One of my favourite works of British Culture is Henry Purcell’s ‘Dido and Aeneas.’ I really do think Henry Purcell is one of the very best composers and gets little to no mention in world cultural discussions. He is one of the foremost opera composers, and gets little to no credit for being instrumental in the movement away from Elizabethan type compositions toward pure operatic compositions. I am sure there are technical terms for this, I just don’t know/can’t remember what they are called.).
    Anyway, give him a listen sometime.


  7. That’s an intersting and thought-provoking poem. I do not seek to be a wielder of power or welder of a new world, but if the cry should go up …

  8. Ah, the sentimentality of it all!

    Doesn’t the house look as though it has been empty for a while? – the garden is unkept, and the grass unmown. The pond, or stream looks stagnant, with scum and – is that a plastic bag or two I see, floating at the edge? or perhaps a beer can.

    And of course it wouldn’t be England without a pot-holed track to trap the unwary.

    Am I being overly cynical about this modern version of the pastoral scene? or perhaps it just raises a flutter in the bosom of those who remember and dream of what used to be?

    The clouds look pretty good, – are they the ones with ash in?

    "Refugees from cursed towns and devastated areas;
    Know you seek a new world, a saviour to establish
    Long-lost kinship and restore the blood’s fulfilment."

    Doesn’t that just about say it all in this our election week?

    I think it’s a pic of the small pond in Finsbury Park!

  9. I guessed the Hay Wain. We used to have a print of it and it has fond memories.

    But the poems are way above my pay grade.

  10. Beautiful photo, Pete.

    No Bumper Book for me.

    I love this photo though – it evokes a sense of adventure, something bright and new and at the same time warm and cozy.

  11. Pete, A bit late seeing it but the Haywain without a doubt. A beautiful picture of England as we like to see it. Hope the feet have recovered.

  12. EDDIE –

    I did use a camera. It’s a Nikon D40. One day I’ll learn how to use it properly.

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