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As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning

Camino(s) past & future
Portugués, Francés, Le Puy, Rota Vicentina, De Soulac, Norte, Madrid-Salv-Primitivo
#1
As I walked out one midsummer morning in the mid-seventies, at the same age as Laurie Lee was in the mid-thirties, I had his book with me as I set off on my own travels. 40+ years later I am re-reading it. What wonderful images his prose portrays of Spain before the Civil War. If you have ever stayed in one of those old buildings with a courtyard in the centre, now an albergue, you may sit there in the enveloping cool . . . close your eyes . . . and imagine how it must have been 80 years ago. Laurie Lee’s descriptions of the inns he stayed in are beautifully written. He walks through Zamora (on the Via de la Plata), Valladolid (on the Camino de Madrid), and Seville. You can almost picture in your mind the shimmering wheatfields and the intense, intense heat of midsummer.
A classic.
Jill
 

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Camino(s) past & future
Frances starting SJPdP Sept/Oct 2015, April/May 2017
#2
Loved Laurie Lee. In my thirties and well beyond my main travel inspiration came from either Dervla Murphy or Paul Theroux. Paul Theroux because his travels were achievable. Dervla Murphy because hers were the stuff that dreams are made of. Despite having no chance of walking the Hindu Kush in winter with a donkey and a 6 year old, she remains my favourite author to this day.
Thanks for the memories, Jill
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Many more in the future (hopefully)
#8
The Laurie Lee autobiographical trilogy (Cider With Rosie, As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning, A Moment of War) are classics. The latter two are about his travels in Spain. The first one is about growing up in a small village in the Cotswolds.

Another favourite is "South From Granada" by Gerald Brennan. A great and detailed description of life in a small Spanish village after the First World War.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015); Camino Norte/Primitivo (2016); Camino Frances (2017); Le Puy (June 2018)
#9
Splendid book! Homage to Catalonia is also worth a read. Try Bruce Chatwin or Robert Byron for something somewhat different but well written. I'm unlikely to follow them but interesting places.
Are all these recommendations in English? If not, I'm out of luck!
 

onwayhome

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances Ponferrada-Santiago,(c1986)
Frances SJPP-Santiago (2011)
Portuguese Porto- Finisterre (2016)
St Michaels Way (2016)
#12
Thanks for reminder of my favourite Laurie Lee book. Its difficult nowadays to imagine the extent of his adventure, a lot of it on foot- playing his violin for pesetas as he travelled down through Spain. I particularly remember his poetic descriptions of the impact that hallucinatory searing summer heat on a boy from rural Gloucestershire more used to lush green country lanes.
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Contemplating yet another "final" camino
Porto to SdC May 2019
#13
Jill, I have never heard of Laurie Lee, but you have piqued my curiosity. I just googled his books and plan to check my library first before ordering this book on Amazon.
Be careful - reading it might make you revise your packing list:

(He) carried a small rolled-up tent, a violin in a blanket, a change of clothes, a tin of treacle biscuits, and some cheese.
 
Camino(s) past & future
'Portuguese' ' Frances' ' Norte' 'Salvador_prim' ‘le puy’ ‘Inglés’ ‘CDM’ ‘Invierno’ ‘Fin_Mux’
#16
As I walked out one midsummer morning in the mid-seventies, at the same age as Laurie Lee was in the mid-thirties, I had his book with me as I set off on my own travels. 40+ years later I am re-reading it. What wonderful images his prose portrays of Spain before the Civil War. If you have ever stayed in one of those old buildings with a courtyard in the centre, now an albergue, you may sit there in the enveloping cool . . . close your eyes . . . and imagine how it must have been 80 years ago. Laurie Lee’s descriptions of the inns he stayed in are beautifully written. He walks through Zamora (on the Via de la Plata), Valladolid (on the Camino de Madrid), and Seville. You can almost picture in your mind the shimmering wheatfields and the intense, intense heat of midsummer.
A classic.
Jill
Thanks Jill
I haven’t read a travel book for some time. I hadn’t heard of Laurie Lee either ., but I’ve just ordered online - two of the books mentioned ..
Annie
 

Tincatinker

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Lots ;0)
#17
If you have ever stayed in one of those old buildings with a courtyard in the centre, now an albergue, you may sit there in the enveloping cool . . . close your eyes . . . and imagine how it must have been 80 years ago.
I'm minded of the municipal in Mansilla de las Mulas. Its been a few years now but I recall going through a door and rooms to left & right, one of which at least was a common room and where you met the hospitalera and did the stuff: and then out into a courtyard, full of pilgrim laundry and cats, and various rooms and buildings off it.

At the time it reminded me of a few Riads in Morrocco and a Posada in El Burgo, near Ronda, called Los Arrieros where, the livestock mired the cobbles while we slept up on the balconies. And where in the 1970's, a few hundred pesetas got me food, wine, a bed (and a few flea bites) stale bread, coffee and Brandy for breakfast - and the sound advice that only a 'loco' would go walking for pleasure.

And that memory brought me to another book to recommend to the rambling inclined: North from Grenada, by Roy Nash. If you want to know how to recognize that you've strayed into a closed military zone in Spain (hint: its all the rabbits and deer) try Roy. And if you want to know why, sometimes, guide books come in handy - try Roy.

And a final thought for a night of a Full Moon, a Blue Moon, and a Blood Moon...

This is at least the third recent thread about books, blogs and stories - why aren't we walking?
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
St Olav/Francés ('16)
Baztanés/Francés ('17)
Ingles ('18)
#18
This is at least the third recent thread about books, blogs and stories - why aren't we walking?
Because it's not time yet. ;)

And a final thought for a night of a Full Moon, a Blue Moon, and a Blood Moon...
It was quite sometthng over here (especially the going red part, which I didn't have a good enough camera for)!
IMG_8529.JPG
 

Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
#19
This is at least the third recent thread about books, blogs and stories - why aren't we walking?
Some of us are! I just spent a fortnight walking on the Via de la Plata - finishing off a camino I started last year. Partly to prove to myself that my arthritic knee still works well enough for long-distance walking. The day after returning home I booked a flight to Osaka for a two-month trip to walk the Shikoku 88 temple circuit and perhaps one of the Kumano Kodo routes too. I fly out from London on Wednesday. Winter is an excellent time to walk for those of us who like a quiet time :)
 

yaying

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
somehow someday...
#20
why aren't we walking?
At my younger years this questions frustrated me and I ended up 99% messed up getting what I want, been to but still felt so far...as I got older patience sharpened and every tiny step tingling cracking my excitement... my eyes may never see it by my hearts vision it.
 

Glenshiro

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy - Burgos, Camino Frances (2012 - 2018)
#21
I have never heard of Laurie Lee
I nearly fell off my chair when I read this - and then I checked and saw that you live in Illinois. Laurie Lee is an iconic (if not always reliable with the facts) figure in postwar English literature for both his poetry and prose. Cider with Rosie, his account of growing up in the rural west of England between the wars, was for many years a set text for 16-year-old schoolchildren studying English. He died in 1997, in the village where he had grown up, aged 82. A friend of mine, in the area on a camping holiday in the 1980's, met him in the local pub, and Lee recounted how he had been asked several times by visitors to the area to "show them Laurie Lee's grave."
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP to Santiago de Compestela in May(2016)
#22
I remember reading his account of crossing the Pyrenees into Spain and being arrested as a spy because no one would be daft enough to do that in winter!
i have also been to Slad, the village he grew up in, and drank in his local pub. He used to phone up the landlord from the garden to order more beer.
 
#23
My grand dad ran the pub in the village during Laurie Lee period, my family has a get together every year at the pub. My grand dad is buried in the same church yard across the road, there is 2 old photos in the bar of grand dad and family. Next time I walk the Way, I must take time to walk in the footsteps of Laurie Lee, has anybody got a list of the places he visited
 
Camino(s) past & future
Portugués, Francés, Le Puy, Rota Vicentina, De Soulac, Norte, Madrid-Salv-Primitivo
#24
Cider with Rosie, his account of growing up in the rural west of England between the wars, was for many years a set text for 16-year-old schoolchildren studying English.
I grew up near the Cotswolds, about 30 miles from Stroud, where Laurie Lee went to school. I did read “Cider With Rosie” when I was about 16, but I can’t remember if it was a set book at school, or just that it was popular at the time. I think it is time to re-read that one too! I re-discovered “As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning” in a local second-hand bookstore quite by chance. So glad I did.
Jill
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015); Camino Norte/Primitivo (2016); Camino Frances (2017); Le Puy (June 2018)
#26
I grew up near the Cotswolds, about 30 miles from Stroud, where Laurie Lee went to school. I did read “Cider With Rosie” when I was about 16, but I can’t remember if it was a set book at school, or just that it was popular at the time. I think it is time to re-read that one too! I re-discovered “As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning” in a local second-hand bookstore quite by chance. So glad I did.
Jill
And I thought you were from South Africa. :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Portugués, Francés, Le Puy, Rota Vicentina, De Soulac, Norte, Madrid-Salv-Primitivo
#27
And I thought you were from South Africa. :)
I was born and grew up in England. Left home (one midsummer morning :)) and several years later ended up in South Africa, where I fell in love and stayed :). I have been in South Africa over 40 years now, became a citizen (so I could vote), and it is now my home and where my heart is.
Jill
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015); Camino Norte/Primitivo (2016); Camino Frances (2017); Le Puy (June 2018)
#28
I was born and grew up in England. Left home (one midsummer morning :)) and several years later ended up in South Africa, where I fell in love and stayed :). I have been in South Africa over 40 years now, became a citizen (so I could vote), and it is now my home and where my heart is.
Jill
Sounds very romantic. You could probably write your own book. :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015); Camino Norte/Primitivo (2016); Camino Frances (2017); Le Puy (June 2018)
#29
I was born and grew up in England. Left home (one midsummer morning :)) and several years later ended up in South Africa, where I fell in love and stayed :). I have been in South Africa over 40 years now, became a citizen (so I could vote), and it is now my home and where my heart is.
Jill
In your avatar, are you walking with a Maasai?
 

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