Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Laurie Lee

"I was set down from the carrier's cart at the age of three; and there with a sense of bewilderment and terror my life in the village began.

The June grass, amongst which I stood, was taller than I was, and I wept. I had never been so close to grass before. It towered above me and all around me, each blade tattooed with tiger-skins of sunlight. It was knife-edged, dark, and a wicked green, thick as a forest and alive with grasshoppers that chirped and chattered and leapt though the air like monkeys. I was lost and didn't know where to move. A tropic heat oozed up from the ground, rank with sharp odours of roots and nettles. Snow-clouds of elder-blossom banked in the sky, showering upon me the fumes and flakes of their sweet and giddy suffocation. High overhead ran frenzied larks, screaming, as though the sky were tearing apart."

Spent the day out today, went to Stroud to visit a little village called Slad, where Laurie Lee who wrote "Cider with Rosie" came from. I met him a few times at the local pub, "The Woolpack" when I was studying English...and his "Rosie" book. Nice bloke, I have signed copies somewhere about, I wanted to be a rock star in those days and he signed "To Doug may you make Top of the Pops"...happier days they were.

Laurie is buried in the churchyard in a lovely spot overlooking the beautiful Slad valley, his gravestone reads, "He lies in the valley he loved" which I think is wonderful.

If you ever get chance to read one of his novels or some of his poetry, take the time to visit this place and you'll get a feeling for what he was all about, his lyrical prose is so deeply rooted in this place.

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