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Another World

I have just come back from a long brisk walk in the country, I started out just as the first light grey streaks of coming daylight that seemed to hang there hesitantly for a while, as if to apologise to mother night, for daring to invade the quiet dark sanctuary of this lonely country road, before plucking up the courage to do so, pushed along no doubt by the impatient sun, way back there beyond the edges of this dark spectrum,

It was so very quiet and still, as I walked along with Jack, my Jack Russell, who is not so keen at being woken at this ungodly hour, to tramp the hard tarmac road, until we get to the soft grassy track of a field, that had part of its remnants of sugar beet ploughed in, to help retain the fibre of the ever hungry soil,

I unleashed Jack, and he started to run around in sheer delight, forgetting the hangdog tactics he had tried on me, from the deep bowels of his basket,

I gazed with critical concern at the results of this modern world, the huge machine had left its usual untidy and wasteful work upon the sugar beet field, no neat rows, with the beet tops expertly cut at the neck of the crown,

No neat rows of sugar beet heaps, the roots having been expertly flung by the bent figure of the toiler, who watching only the next root to be cut, yet tosses the beet with such precise precision, that very rarely did a root stray from the heap, and with practically every root carted away, now, just a muddle of half cut roots , still laying about in this field,

And the hedges, seemly neatly trimmed by another machine, but to the old time land worker, the sure evidence of a hedge that no longer served its original purpose, of keeping out and in all and sundry, the tell tale gaps appearing all along the bottom of this sorry imitation of a true country hedge, gone are the sheer delights of a hedge trimmed and laid, with expert precision, carried out with a casualness that belied the country mans sure fired skill, and a hedge that told the world , that it was indeed a hedge to be proud of, but sadly this is not the country mans world This of course is no criticism of the farmer, he has to keep up with today's events, the men want bigger wages to help cope with modern day demands, so sadly, he turns to big machines,

This is the world of get done quickly , today's farmer can not afford to pay a man for something that would take him a week, when he has a machine that will do the same job in hours, I correct that last statement , for it is definitely not the same job, but this is today, and not back there in the thirties,

Ollie the barn owl, floated silently to the right of us, he keeps his distance, not trusting us at all, unlike his father, who would sit impassively just a few feet away, listening to my wise morning speeches,

This Ollie will have none of it, perhaps already cottoned on to the fact, that I may know nothing about those worldly themes I rambled on about, he also seems to avoid coming down low over the public road, perhaps instinctively aware of the danger that struck and killed his dad,

Rabbits hopped a few feet away from us, and then carried on feeding, and a lonely hare casually loped of, confident of the knowledge that Jack posed no threat, Jack ignored the hare, and the rabbits, past experience telling him, he stood no chance of catching them, and even if he did, wouldn’t know what to do with them,

Today's world, so different from the world of yesterday, when every village dog worth its salt, knew how to hunt and catch, and kill,

A lady asked me a few days ago, whether Jack was a good ratter?, Jack Russell's are very good ratters, she explained, yes I know I answered, but I am afraid Jack has never so much as seen a rat, and if he had, wouldn’t know what to do with it, such is today's world,

I noticed the four roe deer, that frequent the golf course during the early hours, standing perfectly still, watching us intently, they are getting tamer, but still have that nervousness, and readiness to break into instant flight, should the situation call for it,

I saw no sign of the lone deer, that hid in the corn field the year before, I remember it plaintively calling for its mother, when we strolled on our way past, and hearing the answering call from its parents, who were anxiously waiting for us to get out of range, before feeding their young one,

I was puzzled as to why this young animal had not joined the four, it would be seen several times in the following months feeding all alone, perhaps the stag had decided it did not belong with the herd, now it is seen here no more, the ways of nature can be very cruel,weslowly made our way home, the smaller birds were beginning to twitter and move restlessly in their resting places, the odd lights began to spring forth from the little buildings nestling among the trees and gardens, as people began to prepare their breakfasts,

I thought to myself, this being Monday morning of the year 2002, is definitely not the Monday morning of the 30s, had I been retired then, and on my morning walk , there would have been lines strung from one corner to the next, and the dirty washing would have already been boiling away, some would indeed have been strung out, along those sturdy clothes lines, before it had hardly got daylight, all emanating from a little brick building to thr rear of the cottage, then known as, the wash house,

And it would have been on a Monday, no other day would have seen each garden clothes line flapping in the wind, only on a Monday, I remember as a kid, I hated washdays, the smell of damp washing hung in the air, and what ever we had to eat Sunday, the leftovers were dished out cold, so some things are for the better,

Gordon Langley

  Last Update: Tuesday 17 April, 2007 13:32
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