Friday, 27 May 2011

A Love/Hate Relationship.




Does anyone else feel the same way I do about cars?

When I was a child in rural Lincolnshire there were only two or three cars in our village. The rector had one, the doctor had one and our next door but one neighbour, who was a Painter Decorator, had a van.

My father as a boy could remember seeing his first car. He and his brothers had 'taken' a field for singling beet (in those days beet was sown in rows and had to be thinned out by hand. It was traditional for a family to take a field, do it all and then share the money between them,) As they were working in the field they saw a man with a red flag walking down the road - and behind him a rather grand motor car. They ran to the gate to watch it go past.

By the time the Second World War was over almost everyone owned a car or had access to one through a son - or maybe even a daughter, although girls were not emancipated like they are now!

So when we went to Finchingfield on the Suffolk/Essex borders last week it was with a sense of annoyance that I found all my photographs of this very pretty village
were totally ruined by all the cars lining the roadside. It is a much-photographed village and appears in lots of calendars. Somehow the photographer has managed to photograph it without the offending cars - no such luck from me I am afraid.

I would hate to be without a car. We would not have been able to go on our holiday had we not had one. Even shopping in our local town or at Tesco would be difficult without a car. We seem to have become entirely reliant upon them.

But they do clutter up the place, make a noise, pollute the air and generally detract from the beauty of the surroundings don't they?

23 comments:

John Gray said...

when I was collecting the oral histories so many of the older people commented that there was only ONE car in the village in the 1930s

coudnt live without mine...but like you hate it at the same time
x

Rare Lesser Spotted said...

Well you've hit the nail on the head Weaver, they are for some, a necessary evil. A retired colleague has a 'hybrid' car, a Toyota I think, the vast majority of the time he uses on battery power and currently gets a humongous miles per gallon. Is this the way forward? I don't know but it's an interim method before something else comes up. The quicker the better.
XX

H said...

I use my car a lot and couldn't go on holiday without it (we camp), but I hate being able to hear road noise almost everywhere in the UK. Even on the top of a mountain, it is often possible to hear cars on a road!

maggi said...

I could forgive them more if they were not parked in such a conspicuous way. Having said that, my garage is my dyeing studio! Unfortunately they are a necessary evil as public transport does not seem to be improving.

Elizabeth said...

My sentiments exactly!
Nice to see Finchingfield --cars or not.
Yes, we really find cars utterly convenient --then complain about them.
What are we to do?

Have a super weekend.

Pomona said...

I agree with you entirely - my daughter and I yearn nostalgically for the days of horse and cart. We are lucky to live on a very quiet lane, but as soon as you venture very far you can hear the endless noise of traffic. I'd happily slow down my life a bit for fewer on the roads.

Pomona x

SG said...

They certainly do clutter. I live in India, and in the last fifteen years, I have seen the exponential growth in the number of cars on the roads. And while it is true that they make life easier, a part of me has always wished them away.

Emille said...

Where I live, life would be very limited without a car (because the public transportation is not that great in Los Angeles!)
Also love your header with the dappled light, Weaver!
(can't remember if I told you, Emille is a new blog from Jeannette StG-from mysteries)

MorningAJ said...

I couldn't get to work without my car so I have to say that I'm in favour - but my motorway trip twice a day is no fun!

MorningAJ said...

There's a little present for you here

Dominic Rivron said...

Let's hear it for cars!

I like cars. I'm anti fast driving, cars as ego boosters, the whole TV programme Top Gear thing, but very pro utilitarian tin boxes with wheels and smallish engines. I think we have a tendency to beat ourselves up about anything and everything. Cars are an embodiment of freedom, much as horses used to be. Make the most of them.

I dispute the idea that cars detract from the beauty of the surroundings. We are as much part of nature as everything else. I don't know why a motorway streaming with colourful cars and lorries is any less beautiful than a beehive or an ant hill. It's easy to fall into the trap of celebrating the wonder and complexity of the rest of nature while denegrating our own wonderful complexity, which is no less a part of it.

(Having said which, I think it would be wrong to destroy our green spaces and develop less populated areas. I think we need them in order to stay in touch with the fact that we are, as I've said, as much a part of nature as everything else).

Pondside said...

I feel the same way, but know that we'd have to move to do without a car. There simply isn't the transportation system here. We have one small bus that comes up into our district a 0630, makes one sweep and returns at 1730. It makes it impossible to shop etc by bus.

Robin Mac said...

I know it would be more peaceful without cars,but impossible to live a comfortable life, especially for country dwellers in Oz - the distances are vast! We have very poor public transport in our regional city as well. I am enjoying your photos even with the cars. Cheers.

Jennifer Tetlow said...

It is an interesting idea, one car per village - and everyone share it - just highlights how dependent we have become. Or perhaps we can be encouraged to hide our conveniences away, for the sake of aesthetic. I think we do need better car designers.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Morning AJ is removing the cars with photoshop - it will be interesting to see the results. Thanks MAJ.

I think Dominic's view is a bit controversial, although I can see the logic of the argument.

Thank you for commenting.

Dartford Warbler said...

I would use my car less if "THEY" had not cut our rural bus service down to almost nothing!

I do agree with your sentiments though.

Dave King said...

Quite right. They are a plague and an eyesore - though that only applies to other people's cars, of course! The problem is: what to do with them? I suppose we could try asking for offers on a postcard...

steven said...

weaver i've never owned a car, never had a license to drive one, but i love the exotics, love the beautiful classics, i even wished to be an automobile designer and came oh so close to becoming one. but i am a cyclist and i am wishing as hard as i can for gasoline powered cars to come to an end and be replaced entirely and completely by cars fueled on alternate energy sources. steven

Frances said...

Living in New York, I am fortunate to rely on abundant public transportation via buses and the not very pretty but efficient subway train system. I also walk a lot!

Of course there are lots of folks driving cars all day and night through our city streets providing noise, pollution, traffic ... and perhaps getting their drivers and passengers to their destinations ... eventually.

Some brave folks use bicycles to get around New York. Horse drawn carriages take tourists for expensive rides through Central Park, as do pedicab entrepreneurs.

When I lived elsewhere I did own a car, and felt it was necessary. I am so glad to currently have excaped that requirement!

Best wishes.

Arija said...

. . . and the funny thing is, we were all healthier for walking or the fortunate ones, for riding a bike. Pat, an you remember also that we never needed all those things we now buy at the supermarket?

Crafty Green Poet said...

Living in Edinburgh, it's so easy to do without a car, as the buses are very good and its a small city. I guess if i lived somewhere rural i would need a car and would feel exactly like you about it!

Crafty Green Poet said...

We usually hire a car when we go on holiday.

Rachel said...

I like cars and I think places look more stupid where cars are banned. For instance in the town where I live, a very rural area where we all need our cars to get anywhere, car parking has been banned in the market square. Now we have a bare open space with bollards blocking cars out. It looks sterile and crying out to be loved and nobody can get near the shops. The square looks nothing without the bustle of cars parked here there and everywhere and people going to and fro. Cars, like people, are all part of the rich tapestry of life. In your photos I think the cars are ok because they are part of our lives. You wouldn't have banned a row of horse and carts from a photo in the 1920s would you? Same thing.