Monday, 12 January 2015

Better or worse?


This is Nottingham from the east ca. 1695, painted by Jan Siberechts. Idealised of course, but still just about recognisable and startlingly different to the Nottingham I commuted to for two decades.

The post title "Better of worse?" is not a question to take too seriously. I have no great wish to return to the late seventeenth century, not even this fairytale version. Commuting would have been easier though.

Yet even discounting Siberechts' fanciful eye and the rose-tinted mist of nostalgia, there remains a certain sense of loss. Nothing is for nothing as they say and we certainly gave something away during the industrial revolution.

Three centuries ago England would have seemed achingly beautiful even to our jaded modern eyes. A country of winding lanes, clean air, clean rivers, thatched cottages, small towns, tiny villages and buildings all built to a human scale.

Best seen from a distance no doubt but still beautiful.


Demetrius said...

In the late 1940's I saw a Test Match at Trent Bridge. It was all a bit grim then. But I always liked Nottingham Victoria Station. It must have been wonderful country 300 years earlier.

Demetrius said...
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Sam Vega said...

"Commuting would have been easier though"

Not with the cost of oats and horseshoes.

James Higham said...

Commuting would have been easier though.

If the roads stood up.

A K Haart said...

Demetrius - I think it probably was wonderful if you had some kind of position.

Sam - oats were the biofuel of the day - food used for transport.

James - mostly okay by horse I imagine.