We have escaped the village and travelled through time and space to ........another village. This cottage was once two workers cottages, now knocked into one for us non workers and a dog.
It is very warm and comfortable now, central heating plus wood burning stove - jammed with unburnt anthracite [what is that doing there?] and old fag packets among sooty logs. Most people have lost the ability to fire raise I suspect. I light ours nightly at home in the winter, but I rely on prepared "fire lighters" to initially get the kindling and coal blazing.
The stairs here are very steep, with hardly room for a foot to step, did they have smaller feet then? Were people really smaller 200 years ago, the number of times I have bashed my bonce on the bedroom door lintel certainly seems to bear out the theory. Surely tho they had lots of fresh veg and lamb, organic even.
The garden round the cottage is very small, cottages and houses built higgeldy piggeldy from the soft buttery Cotswold stone, I guess there wasn't too much time for gardening then, or keeping the odd Black Spot.
What did the workers do? Farm land all around, woollen mills in the area. No mill workers now anyway, most lucrative industry seems to be herding tourists and housing retired persons. Dry stone walls snake around into smaller and smaller mazes of tiny new houses and even tinier gardens. old walls demolished and old skills resurrected in rebuilding them.
The indigenous villagers are not to be pitied in the main, as it is they who are selling off their gardens to make room for yet another house.
We all need a home.
Maybe the indigenous are no longer here anyway, moved away to the cities when the mills fell silent, and the middle classes moved out of the cities and put central heating into the refurbished cottages .............and sold off the gardens so they could move to bigger houses.
This is one of the wells from which the villagers used to get their water until the 1930s. Now it is a Grade II listed "building" preserved in perpetuity for the delight of the tourists.
It will do as a metaphor.