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Saturday, August 14, 2010

Doors, Walls and Pubs

Don't ever tell me that English society is founded on democratic principles stemming from Magna Carta that progressively evolved over time. This is the official view.

In my opinion English society is founded on three major pillars: doors, walls and pubs. I discovered this secret during a trip in Peak District in June. I was told this from above. I wish I could do a PhD on the topic but I have to wash the dishes later.

If you go hiking in Peak District get ready for opening and closing doors. These are really good, stable doors with a cute closing mechanism that makes a nice 'clic' . I suspect producing doors in the UK is a serious business listed on the stock exchange. Forget about blue chips. Focus on doors, field doors.

A door to be opened and closed

I presume that opening and closing doors is a symbolic act all British kids exercise since tender age. Imagine the positive impact on their minds, imagine the problem solving skills this develops - one always breaks away from closed spaces, one always finds solutions. And then one carefully closes the passage to the past and continues forward until the new obstacle comes.

Properly working doors also strengthen your belief in the system. Things are not falling apart as the pessimists predict. These are not doors that are drooping sadly, difficult to close, bloated by the rain. These are lean, clean doors that make clic, clic, clic.

Wall and a bee-hive

I don't know if you ever thought of that but doors in the fields live in harmony with walls. You need a wall to have a door despite the saying that in some countries laws are like locked doors in an open field.

I think that in the UK, walls delineate private property which, they say, is very very important. It is important because it created the illusion of immortality. Otherwise, it also gives incentive to work a bit more.

Walls also keep sheep from straying away in the wilderness or into some motorway. And no one wants to see sheep invading the cities.

Playful steps and a wall

The interaction between private property and doors is called 'right of passage'. It is a fundamental English law giving the right of the public to cross private territories. Isn't it the pinnacle of civilisation? Have your own land, work it, improve it but please be kind enough to let all good willed wanderers cross it. I read somewhere that the public path was crossing a house and the owners of the house were obliged to let people pass. - Good morning, how are you? - I am going to my toilet and you? - I am on my way to the market?

No kidding, a good balance between private and public interest is quite important, isn't it?


According to my well-founded, scientific theory pubs are the third pillar of English society. Last but not least. Besides being places where people vent off some of the miserable steam gathered during the day old pubs are a symbol of continuity. Look at the picture above where the owners of the pub are written on the beams. They went on until early 18th century. I noticed that in the beginning they stayed for 30 years and with time the period decreased. Is this acceleration of time? Or....was business simply bad so they had to move to door making?


This has never happened to you, right? Watch out next time, please!

Many walls and many doors in Peak District


spudballoo said...

Ha! Oh yes, the expression 'an Englishman's home is his castle' is so, so true. We are VERY particular about 'our land' even if it's a very small piece of back garden.

And we love beer.

The end.

super photos. You been over here holidaying?

Anonymous said...

Haha! I think you have done some wonderful research here in distilling the essence of the English. I would like to suggest that the predictably unpredictable English rain has also shaped their Society by giving everyone passing through other people's land something to talk about and curse together.

Ruslan said...

Hi Spud,

I enjoyed these doors so much. Yes, we were there in June when Jelica had a charity weekend. We did a little hiking and biking there. Lovely place!


English weather teaches you such a precious lesson - a good start doesn't mean a good end and vice versa. This is a very wise weather hired by the Department of Education to teach people something.

B said...

As an outsider who has spent 9 years trying to figure the English out, I think you got it just right!