an attack of nostalgia for all things English

24 Feb

It’s been three months since I last set foot on English soil, and I’m suddenly getting unexpectedly nostalgic for all things English. So nostalgic that I’ve been roused out of my recent bout of indifference to my blog to start writing again. (Sorry blog, I’ve been neglecting you.)

A few days ago, I had a random flashback to walking down a pitch-black country lane in the Lake District in the middle of winter, after a visit to  the Mason’s Arms, a quintessentially cosy English pub (wooden beams overhanging, jolly publican, a mighty fire roaring).

So there we were, staggering back to the cottage, feeling on a high – and all warm inside – after a few beers. Snow was on the ground, crisp, icy-cold fresh air all around, billowing steam from our mouths, pitch-black – no light pollution. Bright stars winking in a velvety sky – more stars than you’d ever see in your city-life. And total silence. Silent solemn cattle eyeing us up placidly as we walked past their fields (or am I imagining this – wouldn’t they have been indoors on such a night?)

Quite magical.

Then my English-nostalgia malady hit me smack in the face again yesterday:

I was listening to a wonderful BBC Radio Four podcast all about the Mr Men.

I LOVED the Mr Men and Little Miss books when I was little (and even when I was bigger). They were interviewing Roger Hargreaves’ son, and interspersed throughout the programme were clips of  the original recordings of the Mr Men stories. That strangely familiar narrator’s deep, musical, perfectly articulate English voice, recounting Mr Bump’s accidents, Mr Silly’s silly inventions, Mr Tickle’s bothersome tickles sent me into a frenzy of happy memories.

And the worst (best?) of it all was hearing the original Mr Men theme music again after all this time. I nearly started weeping shamelessly when they played that simple melody evoking so many good childhood memories. Have a listen and see if this doesn’t get you:

Incidentally, who was your favourite Mr Men or Little Miss character? (Mr Jelly, who was scared of everything, is a very strong contender for me – I used to be painfully shy when I was little…)


4 Responses to “an attack of nostalgia for all things English”

  1. Lisa February 24, 2010 at 12:22 #


    I love Mr Men too. My parents used to call me Miss Catastrophe when I was little.
    I’m not sure what is the english title for it!!! she was super clumsy !
    Bisous de London speak to u soon xxx Lisa

  2. Esther M February 24, 2010 at 14:11 #

    I’m with you on the Mr Men nostalgia. My favourite was Mr Strong who ate thousands of eggs for breakfast and then filled up an entire barn with water to put out a fire!
    And just by the by, I do hope you haven’t forgotten about Winnie the Pooh, Piglet and Tigger!

  3. Aliza Hausman February 25, 2010 at 01:22 #

    Miss Chatterbox. Lol. Obviously, huh?

  4. rivka February 25, 2010 at 05:00 #

    Oh we’re still doing Mr Men over here – my son loves them. He recently borrowed Mr Impossible from the school library and has refused to give it back for the last month!
    As for The Lakes, Rebecca, you just have to make a solid plan to visit them again …. I could never do without them myself … theyre one of the best things in England 🙂

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