Friday, 6 June 2008

From a Coach Window

There is much to be said for traveling by coach. For a start, we were high up and could see over the hedges along the motor way for miles, which in a car is not always possible.
English motorways go through some beautiful countryside. (So OK, so do Welsh, Scottish and Irish motor ways.) I just happened to be in England.

As the scenes rushed by, I was reminded of Robert Louis Stevenson's poem, that I loved as a child. From A Railway Carriage.
It described looking out of a train window at all the passing things that whizzed by, and the last line ....... "Each a glimpse and gone forever."

The light caused everything to look quite striking, even though it was raining. Many of the fields were bright yellow with crops of rape seed flowers, which were in sharp contrast to the many greens of fields, shrubs, trees and hedgerows that we passed. The fields stretched out into the distance where the far hills were obliterated by mist in a blue grey haze.
Church towers snuggled behind tree tops.
Fields of brown earth invaded by hundreds of large black crows grubbing for food.
Occasionally a sparrow hawk was seen hovering silently and effortlessly as it stalked it's prey.
Every now and then small factories appeared like a scar on the landscape.
Tiny huddles of campers in tents and caravans.
Sometimes, we went over a river, gorged by the rain and saw a boat or two moored by the banks, men fishing.
We went through pig farms that seemed to stretch for miles on either side of the motor-way. Rows and rows of round topped huts, as far as the eye could see, reminding me of refugee camps for some reason.
There were black and white cows, but further up north, only brown ones.
Fields of lambs that were half the size of their mothers, not gamboling like the little ones do but grazing quietly and orderly.

Not everything was beautiful as we sped along. Huge pylons and ugly cables spanned the farmland and stretched for miles.
Ugly cream gasometers that couldn't be hidden.
Power stations with large, fat chimneys, seen for miles and looking quite sinister against the sky.
Road kills, mostly birds lying against the central barrier ...... a squashed pheasant and two crows, one lying on it's back with it's legs stuck in the air.
We came to some traffic jams where the roads were being repaired and cones everywhere. Other vehicles started to overtake us, motorbikes and fast cars. Some with sleeping babies and one with a child lying across the back seat, not even strapped in.
One car that went past, had a large breasted lady sitting in the passenger seat with an unusually large box on her lap. The box had large writing on the lid. "TAKE CARE- LIVE RABBITS!" 
Now, who do I know with rabbits?


Nora said...

You certainly have an observant eye, Maggie. It's too bad that we can't take the ugliness out of the landscape, such as those pig farms, which should be outlawed.

I would love to drive around in the English countryside, just to get a taste of it, but go on the byways and stop in the afternoon for a cream tea.

Mima said...

I miss all the views that you get when travelling. Sadly my wheelchair is quite high up, so looking out of the windows I get a great view of the verge, and not much more. When I am doing journeys I know well I shut my eyes and just use my imagination!

All the cows round here are black and white ones - but I think the honey brown ones are prettier!

Working mum said...

Ahh, I've travelled all over the world, but I love the English Countryside in Spring the best!

PS Thanks for your advice re the windfall, my mum taught me the same approach to windfalls and it's worked well for me so far, so I'll just spend half on the camera. I'm one of those 'take care of the pennies' people!

Suburbia said...

Hee, hee was it me on the way to the bunnie hotel?!! (large breasts and all!)

You describe the countryside so well Maggie. We are so lucky to live in this pleasant land.

GoneBackSouth said...

It's true you get a whole different perspective on the world from way up there.

family affairs said...

Thanks Maggie for your provocative post - fyi I too have done a "forgive and forget" post as a result of your thoughts....was quite therapuetic actually x

merry weather said...

I find changes in light can be very striking, particularly when looking at a panoramic view.

It's seldom I get the chance to sit and stare - because I'm usually driving - it must have been a pleasure for you to have time to reflect and enjoy.

So, where were you going Maggie?

Mean Mom said...

We see some very interesting slices of people's lives, as we travel around the British countryside. I think it's amazing that our countryside is so varied.

It's my birthday (7th June) and I'm having a 1950s virtual birthday party. Please call by if you can!

Stinking Billy said...

maggie, you see, you did that all by yourself, and so beautifully, *and* without David pointing the way to you!

Sadly, I can't remember the last time I travelled by either rail or coach, me being Miss Daisy's driver, an' all. ;-)

meggie said...

I would love to visit England& see the country side where my Grandmother grew up, & visit lovely little villages that are so different to our reality.
A nice trip with you.

Maggie May said...

Nora ............ Well if you want your bacon, we have to have the intensive pig farming. Netherlands is beautiful in a flat kind of way. Lincolnshire is like that but mostly we have hills where ever we go.

Mima ........ it is annoying when you can't see over the hedges.

Working mum .......... Glad you are taking my advice, saving half & spending half!

Surburbia ........... well I did have you in mind when I wrote about the rabbits! Or could have been mother of this Lot as her girls have rabbits!But huge breasts!!!???

Gone back South ......... I like to travel high up & look over the hedgerows.

family Affairs......... have been over & think it is a very good post!

Merry Weather........... Scarborough! I wrote a post about the journey up!

Mean mom..... Sure did have a good time at your virtual tea party! Thanks for inviting me & I do recommend others visiting!

Stinking Billy! Its not a question of needing to be pointed in the right way! Weekend Wandering is an invitation for different people to write a bout a given subject & compare notes & comments. Every one writes a different aspect usually! I have found the comments to be very helpful as a rule! I shall continue to write if it is a suitable subject!

Meggie ........ Britain is PACKED with little villages that are really beautiful! Maybe one day you will get to come over.

aims said...

What a wonderful trip! And I'm with Nora - you are very observant!

It's not me with the rabbits btw!

Anonymous said...

Maggie May,

I've just come across your blog via a comment on Kylie's blog. I have to say it looks fabulous! I shall certainly be back to read more. It reminds me of home (England), and I see something about Japan - I lived there for a short while....


Anonymous said...

and I see you like 'Abigail's Party' - such a wonderful play!! Isn't 'Nuts in may' another one by him??

Carolyn said...

Wow. You are so observant! Were you taking notes, or do you just have a great memory? Thanks for the visual tour in words. Good stuff.

Jeni said...

Your post made me feel I was right there, beside you, taking all the same sights in at the same time.

How old is your grandson you think might be on the spectrum for autism?

Thanks so much for stopping by my place and please, stop by, visit and chat some more!

Maggie May said...

Aims...... I had a note book & pen!

Peter ..... I visited yours & we do have some Japanese things in common! Come over again! Yes I love Abigail's Party & Nuts in May! very droll!

Carolyn .... Definitely took notes! Memory needs a jog these days!

Jeni ......... I have been over to your blog to answer these questions. The grandson in question is 12 for any one else who may be interested in the fact that he is now waiting for tests for autism.

imac said...

You really have a beautiful blog and your stories are very interesting.

Love your bridge from Csarboro.

Thanks for visiting my blog and your kind comments.

kylie said...

hi maggie may,
i have just realised i didn't address you individually when you visited my blog....normally there would be a welcome but i was so busy yesterday my usually relatively disordered approach to comments became even more so.
so "welcome"...well, you are at my place.
and since you asked who you know has rabbits, i do :)

Maggie May said...

imac........... Always good to see you!

Kylie ........ So you have rabbits too ;-) Good of you to come over!

Sniz said...

Thanks for the descriptions. You have a way with words. I LOVE that line...just a glimpse, then gone forever...!