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Oh, Pooh!

We drove home by an odd, roundabout route yesterday, trying to avoid a certain traffic bottleneck out of London. This took us into the Ashdown Forest, where I have never been (and where there doesn’t appear to be much forest, at least where we were).

When we got to the little town of Hartfield, I said, “look at that — there’s a tea room called Pooh Corner!”
And Uncle B said, “no, that’s probably the actual Pooh Corner.”
And I’m like, “fuck off!”
And he’s like, “no, really!”

Turns out, we’re both right. The Milnes lived at Cotchford Farmhouse, which is about a mile outside Hartfield. But Hartfield was the town they came into and it looks like this cottage — the website is a bit ambiguous on this point — might have been the shop Christopher Robin and his nanny always stopped into for sweeties.

Anyhow, they sell souvenirs. And tea. And maps to all the local landmarks which feature in the Pooh stories.

Meh. Not a big Pooh fan, me.


Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: August 4, 2010, 10:14 pm

Q: Why do they call him Pooh?

A. Because he stinks.

And don’t get me started on Alice and the guards (there’s an exceedingly coarse version of that song…)

The interesting aspect of all his (for me, who loathes ‘English Whimsy’ – epitomised by that moronic bear) is that Brian Jones, the founder of the Rolling Stones, died in Milne’s house, under circumstances that have still to be fully explained.

Indeed, it is rumoured that the Jones met his doom, not from the vast cocktail of amusing chemicals he had imbibed, but at the hands of a dodgy local.

So much for Rock and Roll romance!

Me? I’d rather he’d died of whimsy. God knows, I frequently have.

Comment from Mrs. Compton
Time: August 4, 2010, 10:17 pm

For a moment I read that as Crotchford.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: August 4, 2010, 10:17 pm

Still, good to see Christopher Robin’s Satellite Dish. Hate to think Pooh does without Sky.

Comment from Scubafreak
Time: August 4, 2010, 10:39 pm

I’m not really a pooh fan either. After all, I have to clean up after 6 dogs and a cat………

Comment from Mark
Time: August 4, 2010, 10:41 pm

That’s not REALLY a satellite dish. It’s just another one of the ubiquitous CCTV cameras watching everyone everywhere. Coming soon to the US if Bloomberg and Daley and… have their way.

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: August 4, 2010, 11:08 pm

Interesting comment Mark – I kept pointing out the overhead cameras to Our Great Leader, as we drove through London.

I swear, yesterday, we made more footage than Clark Gable ever did.

If Erich Honecker had had at his disposal the technology thrown over London by the Communist mayor Ken Livingstone, the Berlin Wall would still be there.

What’s tragic is that the helium lightweight ‘Conservative’ who replaced him, Boris Johnson, flattered to deceive. London is still in thrall to ‘no emission zones’ and ‘charging zones’.

Meet the new boss – same as the old boss.

Comment from Allen
Time: August 4, 2010, 11:10 pm

“We took the long way home and found Pooh Corner.” If you go Harry Potter on us I’ll lose it. Please Weasel, my hold on reality is tenuous as it is.

I saw a unicorn the other day and he handed me stimulus dollars with a magical multiplier effect attached. See, it’s happening again…..

Comment from Cobrakai99
Time: August 4, 2010, 11:14 pm

With the current admins in both countries I am more of an Eeyore fan myself.

Ohh bother.

Comment from Gromulin
Time: August 5, 2010, 12:01 am

To develop a true distaste for all things Pooh you need a few years of endless replays on DVD. They only got worse as time went on.

Pooh = Selfish, thoughtless, glutton.
Tigger = ADHD with a touch of Meth thrown in.
Eeyore = Needs psych meds STAT. Might have a future as a blogger.
Piglet = Meh..Anxiety disorder, but overall tolerable.
Kanga and Roo = Fairly normal for a single parent household.
Rabbit = Hard working, conservative, plans ahead…only to have his whole stash eaten by that selfish prick Pooh. I grew to like Rabbit.
Christopher – Obviously schizoid from some horrible childhood trauma..lives in a fantasy 24/7

Like I said…it takes an endless loop of Springtime with Roo to generate the hatred I have for all things Pooh.

Comment from EZnSF
Time: August 5, 2010, 12:56 am

Cool photo.
Looks like a model for UB’s model railroad.
Have you seen this guys work? Looks a lot like that.

Comment from Scubafreak
Time: August 5, 2010, 1:04 am

Grom, you should pen the Politically Correct Winnie the Pooh collection. You’d make a killing, such as it were, with hippie parents the world over…. (no offense, Stoatie)

Comment from Can\\’t hark my cry
Time: August 5, 2010, 1:13 am

Not a big Pooh fan, me.

For what it’s worth, neither was Christopher Robin in his adult years. I read his book The Enchanted Places years ago, and he was quite clear that he thought his father had exploited him. Which, of course, is not atypical of artists and those they love. Christopher Robin also said a lot of negative stuff about his mother. . .

Oh, and did you ever read Dorothy Parker’s “Constant Reader” review of The House at Pooh Corner? She didn’t like it, and expressed her dislike in splendid prose culminating in the immortal line “It is that word ‘hunny,’ my darlings, that marks the first place in The House at Pooh Corner at which Tonstant Weader fwowed up.”

Mind you, I was, and am, very fond of the books. Hated the movie, of course. . .

[OK, I checked the actual quotation, and corrected this.

Stoopid backslashes.]

Comment from J2
Time: August 5, 2010, 1:29 am

had to paint my Daughters’ room “Pooh Green”……

all I can say is ….

shoulder down,,,,
stiff upper lip….

shit… the slope is slippery

Comment from Gromulin
Time: August 5, 2010, 1:29 am

Scoob, Heh. Nah…I’d have to find a way to blame all their problems on Bush to sell books to hippies.

My daughter went though an All Pooh All The Time phase around three years old. To this day I still cringe when I hear Carly Simon (she did the theme for one of the horrid DVD’s) and I had to delete the Loggins and Messina Live CD I used to love…just in case “House on Pooh corner” might accidentally come up in the rotation.

The Pooh music. It haunts me.

Comment from Scubafreak
Time: August 5, 2010, 2:06 am

Grom – Just use the Politically Correct Bedtime Stories book as your guide.


Comment from Steve Skubinna
Time: August 5, 2010, 8:07 am

Gromulin, the movies cannot be considered canonical.

Incidentally, I’m calling bullshit on the photo. Not a real house. Admit it, you got a David Winter Cottage and shot that, right?

Comment from Carl
Time: August 5, 2010, 11:16 am

Re the lack of trees in Ashdown Forest.

The ‘Forest’ in places like Ashdown Forest, Epping Forest, the New Forest, etc. doesn’t necessarily imply trees. It’s a hangover from ancient times when a Royal Forest was a large area of land reserved for hunting by the Norman rulers. Any Anglo-Saxon peasants caught hunting there would be executed.

Comment from Bill (still the .00358% of your traffic that’s from Iraq) T
Time: August 5, 2010, 11:45 am

Never read anything Milne wrote until, when I was fourteen, Mater and Pater gifted me with Winnie Ille Pu at Christmastide.

I read one chapter, decided JC’s Commentaries were less incomprehensible, and read *that* instead.

Comment from Mrs. Peel
Time: August 5, 2010, 5:34 pm

Hey Sweas, there’s an article in the Daily Mail about some guy named Bamber who may be innocent. The comments are passionate. Since you are interested in murders and all, how’s about a post on this modern-day Lizzie Borden? I hadn’t heard of the guy before today.

Comment from Web
Time: August 5, 2010, 8:46 pm

a purty picture you might like


Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: August 5, 2010, 8:57 pm

Dorothy Parker is my patron saint, Can’t Hark 😉

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: August 5, 2010, 10:08 pm

Not much to say, Mrs P. On the whole, I suspect it probably was his crazy sister, but the ones with the question marks over them make me nuts. (For the record, I’m pretty sure Lizzie did it).

That’s one weird pictures, Web. I’d have an easier time believing it’s a Photoshop, without his accompanying story.

Comment from dfbaskwill
Time: August 5, 2010, 10:42 pm

When a toddler, my daughter was always looking for Pooh houses and found them everywhere. The guard houses in the square used as information booths became Pooh houses. My favorite was the reconstructed huts used by Washington’s soldiers at Valley Forge. Pooh houses all. Just now I showed her your beautiful photo of the “real” Pooh house. Her retort was “oh, wow.” Where has that toddler gone?

Comment from Can’t hark my cry
Time: August 6, 2010, 2:09 am

Uncle Badger–My, you have good taste! Although we already knew that, based on who you married. . .

I’ve never read much of Parker’s prose. I stumbled across that review in College and remembered it because, as an admirer of both Parker and Milne, I was stunned to see one vilify the other–pretty much the same as when I read the essay in which Raymond Chandler trashes the ending of Dorothy Sayers’ Busman’s Honeymoon. That happened at roughly the same age, and together they taught me a valuable lesson about how people differ.

Parker was one of the 4 poets I read obsessively in high school (the others being Kipling (duh!), Housman, and Fitzgerald’s translation of the Rubaiyat). I still love her verse. . .

“My land is bare of chattering folk;
The clouds are low along the ridges,
And sweet’s the air with curly smoke
From all my burning bridges.”

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: August 6, 2010, 12:52 pm

A branch of civil engineering at which she excelled, I gather, Can’t Hark.

I remember some long while ago reading a short biography of her and being appalled by her politics. Later, I grew-up and realised that had no bearing on how well she wrote.

Comment from Can’t hark my cry
Time: August 7, 2010, 12:11 am

Yup. If I tried to vet the politics of the authors I read, I’d miss a great deal of pleasure.

Comment from David Gillies
Time: August 7, 2010, 12:19 am

A. A. Milne himself grew to detest his creation. He wanted to be an auteur, you see, and having written stories for kiddy-winks no-one would take him seriously.

P.S. Am in Blighty at the moment. Surprisingly warm.

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