This morning was taken up with a trip out to the suburbs on work-related stuff, out past Ealing. The little railway station seemed to have preserved quite a few of its pre-war trappings (the black-on-white enameled signs in the written equivalent of BBC English were my favourite); that, plus the greenery, aged brick semis, gently pruned hedges and odd feeling of semi-rural quiet made me think of Rupert Bear:
Growing up in Scotland, Rupert Bear's hometown (or Daily Express idyll of a green and pleasant village) was pretty much how I imagined all of England to be. Nutwood (City Limits) was a large part of my frame of reference, and discovering it in the London suburbs gave me a little jolt of childish pleasure. For the briefest of nanoseconds, I thought, "hmm, might be nice to live out here". Then I thought, "apart from it being, y'know, boring". And, when I play back the YouTube videos, I'm reminded that not only was Rupert an insufferable little prig but his family, friends and everyone he knew was stiflingly middle-class. Of course, as a north-of-the-border kid, I didn't find that stifling but oddly exotic.
I still have a certain cheesy affection for this, though:
Bum. Bum bum. Bum. Bum bum. Bum bum bum bum bum.