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Cider With Rosie

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Changes are seen by the end of the decade as the landowning squire dies, motorized vehicles fill the roads, and former soldiers choose non-farming occupations. It is not a story told with any real angst or through rose tinted glasses it is just told as it was, plainly and matter of factly just as is the rest of the book. It is fortunate that Laurie Lee happened to be there to experience it and possessed the ability to document it with the vision of a poet before it disappeared. It is loosely linear, but organised in to thematic chapters, so pulls things out of full linear narrative to keep them together. Self-reflective, the village is a world within itself for Lee, and as a result impressions an indelible mark.

The counterbalance to this is the sense of tradition, of belonging, which has disappeared as modernity has spread to the most distant places of England and the world at large.

Because, of course, we are all the same, we all reject men and we're all cold and evil and have no feelings. For some reason I read this after "As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning", which is the follow up to this.

when he drank summer’s cider with the blooming Rosie, he felt rooted in an English Arcadia, at one with the ancients. Yet village life could be brutal, and he acknowledges its bitter side too, the grief and violence, the neighbours destined for the workhouse. On the other hand, there are long passages about church festivals and group outings that, while interesting, seem to plod on past their necessity.For me, that was a far superior read, looking at time he spent crossing Spain one year with little in the way of possessions.

They finally get to gorge themselves on the food laid out on the trestle-tables in the schoolhouse and Laurie plays his fiddle accompanied by Eileen on the piano to raucous applause.Cider with Rosie is also awash with fables and eccentric characters - folkloric and exaggerated, whimsical, and typical of rural life. Cider with Rosie is a wonderfully vivid memoir of childhood in a remote Cotswold village, a village before electricity or cars, a timeless place on the verge of change. Lee’s recorded memories of those early years are abundant, so rich in detail and so specific that it is impossible not to wonder at the truth of his story; there are parts of the book that read as a sort of self-mythologizing folk tale. There was a second BBC Television production for BBC One, directed by Philippa Lowthorpe, with Samantha Morton as Annie Lee, Timothy Spall as the voice of Laurie Lee, and Annette Crosbie in the cast, which aired on 27 September 2015. There is also a village outing on charabancs to Weston-super-Mare where the women sunbathe on the beach, the men disappear down the side-streets into pubs and the children amuse themselves in the arcade on the pier, playing the penny machines.

In the years during and after the First World War a village like Slad, deep in its remote Cotswold valley, was a small self-contained world. Summer, June summer, with the green back on earth and the whole world unlocked and seething – like winter, it came suddenly and one knew it in bed, almost before waking up; with cuckoos and pigeons hollowing the woods since daylight and the chipping of tits in the pear-blossom. The teachers were very different to those today, harsher and often brutal, they had little scope for tolerance, demanding only obedience.Here his world is large, scary, cosy and baffling, a world dominated by females and the language reflects this. Though he was sure that they wouldn’t be, Laurie Lee’s Slad and Stroud can still be found in small corners and brief moments; in the markets on a Saturday, when orchard owners arrive with cider and crates filled with apples; in the pubs, crammed full with locals listening to music, celebrating and commiserating, making plans and drinking pints; in the hedgerows, still heavy with ripe fruit as summer moves into autumn; at Christmas, when parades wind through the town, and parties and dances are held in the town hall; and in the distinctive curve of each and every street, in this town that I have made my home. I had previously read a Penguin 60 excerpt collection To War in Spain which took from Laurie Lee's As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning and A Moment of War. It was a small stone barn divided by a wooden partition into two rooms – The Infants and The Big Ones.

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