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Maureen


Member

Posted Mon Feb 4th, 2008 10:53am Post subject: Norfolk
Hi - another new person to the forum, but a long time admirer of Mr Fry and his works. Thought it might be a bit cheeky to start by posting a new thread - then read the 'How to meet people' thread which suggested doing exactly that, so here I am...

I am immensely proud (sad I know) that I originate from Norfolk, and as I'm in the same age bracket as Stephen - slightly younger, but not much -I therefore share an upbringing, though not family background, with him.

So many things described in 'Moab', for example, strike a chord with me, from the primary school nature table and the cometitions inherent therein, to the village fetes.

And it was a great thrill for me to see his reference to the noble art of dwile flonking, which everyone I know thinks I have made up for their own amusement - it is great to be able to 'prove' its existence: Stephen Fry knows about it, therefore it exists!!

Anyone else share a rural upbringing?

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Anonymous


Unregistered

Posted Mon Feb 4th, 2008 6:08pm Post subject: Norfolk
i was a country kid, but i have a feeling rural oklahoma is very different from rural england.

or is it??

should we compare notes?

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Anonymous


Unregistered

Posted Mon Feb 4th, 2008 6:16pm Post subject: Norfolk
I grew up in a golf resort town in the middle of a desert, I suspect there are few overlaps! Tell us about your experiences.

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Maureen


Member

Posted Thu Feb 7th, 2008 6:05pm Post subject: Norfolk
Well, rural Norfolk is like a desert in that it is extremely flat countryside - you can see for miles (until you get to a town where you can only see the nearest housing estate!!)

Apart from that, the Norfolk of my childhood can best be described by Mr Fry himself - and I don't think too much has changed. I now live on the Isle of Wight which is another rural outpost of the UK and has many similarities. In between I lived in London for about 15 years, and my husband's a Londoner, so to judge from my own experience I would say the main elements of the rural life are:

parochialism - everyone knows each other, which is nice when you need some help but irritating since everyone knows your business; also lots of people stay in the same area all their lives and have a healthy suspicion for anything 'different' or 'foreign' (for my mother that meant anywhere further away than Norwich!)

awareness of nature and the seasons - you are confronted every day with trees, plants etc and you notice the changing seasons of the year more. Means you feel more in touch with the natural world but also, like Stephen says in 'Moab', you see the yukky side of nature - foxes, headgehogs, pheasants splattered across the road for example.

fatalism - country people, perhaps because they often (like me) come from farming families where for generations your income is dependent on the vagaries of the weather, tend to be fatalistic about life and believe if something is going to happen, it will (Thomas Hardy's novels are a good illustration of this attitude); whereas 'townies' seem to feel more in control of their lives and able to make or prevent things happening.

pace of life - although the industrial revolution has finally penetrated the British countryside most folk like to pretend it hasn't and there's a 'manyana' attitude - if you call out a builder to give you as estimate, he could turn up any time in the next week - in the city there's more competition and so things happen more quickly.

I'm sure there's more, but that's just my impressions....would be interested in other people's...

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Anonymous


Unregistered

Posted Fri Feb 8th, 2008 12:55am Post subject: Norfolk
that reminds me a lot of where i'm from, maureen!! X-D

the picture of my avatar is from the plains in oklahoma...though there are some trees along the creeks...that picture is from the tallgrass prairie reserve.

you can see for miles there too! but sometimes it's hard to tell just how far you can see. sometimes the tv would say there's a storm building in the next state and you could see it out the window.

i liked being around both sides of nature. there's definately some wierd things in oklahoma that aren't around in cities on the coast... like shrikes and copperheads and snapping turtles. and 180 lb catfish. (have you seen this sport?) there's the roadkill too like you said...usually armadillos. when i was a kid, one summer i spent every day riding to this spot in the road where a big blacksnake would sun himself and i would sit there and talk to the snake. (not too many other kids around to play with, i guess) and one day i got there and some person had chopped it into little bits because they thought it was poisonous.

some people there are slow paced, too. a lot of my friends call it "indian time" but i don't really know if that's a misnomer white people gave it or what. i can say from experience that if you go to a powow don't ask for a schedule of events, because it's useless...it's just not the point.

i don't know about a general attitude people have, though. i CAN tell you that when i was growing up, i didn't think i was all that tough or brave. but i've lived in other places now and i realize that it's all relative. i still get kind of overwhelmed if i visit manhattan, but i know new yorkers...BIG MALE new yorkers...who will bust my eardrums screaming if a bug lands on them.

i'm a bit embarrassed at the length of my message! i like talking about it; and i spent 8 years living away from there and i'm moving back now. (yeah, may sound crazy but my family needs a hand.) and i just started watching kingdom and a lot of it really cracks me up! especially the burger huts on the highway!! i would love to visit norfolk. it looks pretty.

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TobiasMonk


Moderator

Posted Fri Feb 8th, 2008 2:51am Post subject: Norfolk
That sounds a bit like my part of Texas too Maureen, though as Banjo has said of Oklahoma, we have the snakes and the armadillos in the road, and our seasons are almost summer, summer, still summer and Christmas.

I cannot be awake for nothing looks to me as it did before, Or else I am awake for the first time, and all before has been a mean sleep.
Walt Whitman

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GasPoweredDiogenes


Member

Posted Sun Feb 10th, 2008 1:11pm Post subject: Norfolk
i was a country kid, but i have a feeling rural oklahoma is very different from rural england.

or is it??

should we compare notes?

I imagine there is more to do in Oklahoma than on the Isle of Wight where I grew up...

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GasPoweredDiogenes


Member

Posted Sun Feb 10th, 2008 1:13pm Post subject: Norfolk
The local pastimes were gawking at tourists and inbreeding.

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Anonymous


Unregistered

Posted Mon Feb 11th, 2008 8:11pm Post subject: Norfolk
oklahoma doesn't have tourists.

i have a feeling when mr fry comes through everyone will pull him over and ask if he's lost.

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Maureen


Member

Posted Sat Feb 16th, 2008 8:13pm Post subject: Norfolk
It's really interesting to hear your experiences.

We were out driving today and saw a buzzard hovering in the sky - my husband remarked on how many birds of prey and how much wildlife generally you see around the Isle of Wight - being a city boy he notices this; while as I said to him, it's an equally frequent occurence to see hedgehogs, kestrels or whatever in Norfolk - a rural area gives more food I suppose.

My husband lived in Texas for a year - he was astounded by the small town atmosphere as us Brits tend to think all of the US is like New York.

And I do notice kids brought up on the Isle of Wight are less streetwise than town kids - a lot of them think they're 'tough' but would be terrified if asked to walk down a London street. The upside of this is the relative safety of the Island compared to most places - I've been able to allow my kids more freedom than I would have dared to in London.

..and the Isle of Wight pastimes are also gawping at tourists and inbreeding - similar to Norfolk but there are fewer tourists in Norfolk.

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ysabella


Member

Posted Sat Feb 16th, 2008 10:22pm Post subject: Norfolk
My husband is from The Hague, Netherlands, and while they have quite a lot of birds there (lots of parks, woods, and water - loads of herons, etc.) he's been amazed by the animals where we live. We're an hour south of Seattle but in a much more rural county. Just around our house he's seen lots of little birds, a merlin, raccoons, a coyote, and bats. Driving to get groceries late at night (some stores here are open 24 hours) he's often seen deer. He volunteers at a wolf sanctuary, and there is a bird sanctuary near us full of owls and bald eagles.

West Olympia had a national news story last year with their "killer raccoons" - we think we've had some here, something tore the neighbor's cat in half. Either the coyote or marauding raccoons.

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TobiasMonk


Moderator

Posted Sat Feb 16th, 2008 10:28pm Post subject: Norfolk
My husband lived in Texas for a year - he was astounded by the small town atmosphere as us Brits tend to think all of the US is like New York.

It really is a small world! What part of Texas, if you don't mind me asking?

I cannot be awake for nothing looks to me as it did before, Or else I am awake for the first time, and all before has been a mean sleep.
Walt Whitman

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Maureen


Member

Posted Sun Feb 17th, 2008 12:25pm Post subject: Norfolk
My husband lived in Texas for a year - he was astounded by the small town atmosphere as us Brits tend to think all of the US is like New York.

It really is a small world! What part of Texas, if you don't mind me asking?

He lived in Canyon, Amarillo - he was a DJ for a while at the local radio station which at that time (we're talking early 80's) was KHBJ.

One of his anecdotes is just before he returned to the UK he went into the local store and said he was moving to London. The response was: 'London Texas or London Arizona?' When he said London, UK, the storekeeper was open-mouthed...

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Anonymous


Unregistered

Posted Sun Feb 17th, 2008 12:42pm Post subject: Norfolk
Amarillo?!

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TobiasMonk


Moderator

Posted Sun Feb 17th, 2008 4:48pm Post subject: Norfolk
Funny vid X-D X-D X-D

Amarillo is in the Texas panhandle, about 500 miles from where I am in East Texas. They have some cool Hoodoos near Amarillo. Norfolk looks like it has a beautiful shoreline.

I cannot be awake for nothing looks to me as it did before, Or else I am awake for the first time, and all before has been a mean sleep.
Walt Whitman

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