Wednesday, 18 November 2015
A House In The Country
Old, impractical and expensive. Somehow these ancient buildings figure highly on the want-list of many lottery winners or those who are wealthy by more traditional means, as well as being a dream for many who will never inhabit such properties. The one above claims on its sign to date from "circa 1480" and I have no reason to doubt it.
In the UK there are hours of daytime television dedicated to programmes that have no more purpose than to display these dwellings in all their ageing splendour and to stoke the smouldering dreams of rural bliss that seem to lie in the hearts of so many. Although I seldom watch TV and certainly lack the economic means to ever own such a place I can't help pointing my camera in their direction as I pass by.
Be sensible, John, you wouldn't want to have to cut all that grass, would you? Perhaps one might employ a little man to undertake the task at reasonable rates......?
Come on, how could anyone not be tempted to live in a house called Middle Bear? Unless you're Goldilocks, of course, when Little Bear would be "just right".
And Little Bear stands next door, for these three houses stand together in Standon in Hertfordshire. Daft but somehow rather quaint.
Much as I love to see these old buildings kept in good condition, I know full well that they create a problem in our countryside. If an overwhelming proportion of homes become occupied by wealthy retired people and the young people of the village find themselves priced out of the property market then the village becomes, to all intents and purposes, dead.
The newer inhabitants have friends and families elsewhere and have no ties to their new neighbourhood; some even just use the cottages as weekend homes. Very few are left to work in the village and to keep the essential services running. Lack of young families means that schools close down......
But who can see a place like this and not want to dwell behind the front door?