Thursday, 11 November 2010
Sometimes it's fun, isn't it, to travel your own country but to try and see it with a visitor's eyes. Just a small distance from home can become 'a foreign country'. I lived on the Nottinghamshire/Derbyshire border from birth until I went away to university aged 18, and it now seems both familiar and strange at the same time. As I said a couple of days ago, the countryside is gentler and more lyrical than my part of Yorkshire. But the landscape is also scarred by years of deep coal mining and the spoil heaps that produced. Away from the towns, in the villages and hamlets, there is evidence of the older agricultural way of life.
This cottage is in the tiny settlement of Ault Hucknall, which is supposedly the smallest village in England. (It's a village rather than a hamlet because it has a church.) Nowadays there is nothing there but the church, a farm and this cottage, though at one time it was believed to be a considerably larger community and I'm not sure why it dwindled. Anyway, I looked at this cottage with a traveller's eyes and decided it was just as photogenic, in its own way, as any I might see on my wider travels.