Friday, October 2, 2009

My Pemberley moment

Anyone who has read 'Pride and Prejudice' and/or seen one of the dramatisations will remember the Pemberley Moment. It's where Elizabeth Bennett sees Mr Darcy's pile (ahem) for the first time. Curiously attracted to Mr D but put off by his haughty manner, the cynic might wonder at her falling for him completely once she sees his great big gaff in Derbyshire. Jane Austen means us to see the house as a metaphor for Mr Darcy's taste, discretion and suitability for Lizzy but she was never one to balk at issues of money - indeed P and P is fundamentally about money - so I don't doubt that she meant it as a bit of a joke too.

It was as I turned into a field in West Dorset recently that I had my own Pemberley moment. There it stood - a beautiful cream and brown showman's trailer - standing proudly by the hedge. How could I not feel my heartstrings twang as I saw it there in all its pikey glory.

'And to think of all of this I might have been mistress...' I thought. Oh OK I didn't think that at all. However I did think that once the faint smell of wee and rather stronger smell of fags subsides and it's been buffed up and in some places gutted, it could be rather nice.

Fortunately for its owner, my regard is not based on how smart his gaff is being less mercenary than Lizzy (poor Lizzy didn't have a lot of choice really) and a modern woman. However even in the 21st century I felt a certain frisson as he strode 'manfully' around his trailer (well you can only do about seven strides but you get the picture) fiddling with his oil fired heater and thinking about where best to site a Rayburn.

Yes, there's nothing like a man with his own caravan to get you going!


Sara said...

Ha, ha! Hilarious!! Purely in the interest of research, I demand to know whether the field in Dorset has its own lake and whether its master wears tight britches?

Jenny said...

Sadly no although I'm on to it!

Through A Woodland, Craftily... said...

But is it *actually* a showman's trailer, or is it a 1980's beige/brown towable monstrosity, the likes of which my nana would happily drag around the Welsh lanes at 15mph?

My dad's family were all pikeys, in all sense of the word. I'm so proud 3)

jenny.spacedog said...

It really is a showmans's trailer. I'm going to send you a pic. xxx