Cold Comfort Farm Revisited

I saw something nasty in the woodshed! – Ada Doom

This is the opening and oft-repeated line of the movie Cold Comfort Farm.  Anne and I watched it on YouTube.  It can also be watched on Hulu.  Cold Comfort Farm was originally a comic novel written in 1932, by Stella Gibbons.  In 1995 it was produced as a BBC made for TV movie, directed by John Schlesinger and staring Kate Beckinsale.  Beckinsale plays Flora Poste, newly orphaned, she decides to go live with country cousins, in order to gather material for the writer she wants to be.  She and we are both richly rewarded, but not because of her writing, “It was winter. The grimmest hour of the darkest day of the year. The Golden Orb had almost disappeared behind the interlacing fingers of the hawthorn.”  No, Flora’s writing makes mine look good-by comparison.  I’ve blogged about this movie once already, but since I did watch it again, I thought that I would share it once more also.

Highly sexed young men living on farms are always called Seth or Reuben.

Worst fears confirmed stop
Seth and Reuben too stop
Everything’s changing stop
Send magazines!

Cold Comfort Farm was written as a parody of such famous “loam and love” British novels as Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights and the novels of Jane Austin.  Flora even views herself as a modern day Jane Austin, “When I am 53, I hope to write a novel as good as “Persuasion,” but in a modern setting.”  Her attempts at writing never seem to improve, but she is successful at everything else that she turns her hands to.

Seth, drain the well. There’s a neighbor missing. – Amos Starkadder

Let me warn you: I’m a queer, moody brute, but there’s rich soil in here if you care to dig for it. – Mybug

Cold Comfort Farms is inhabited by the Starkadder branch of Flora’s family.  Flora is always referred to as Robert Poste’s child and although it is never named Flora is told right off, “Child, my man once did your father a great wrong. If you’ll come here, I’ll do my best to atone, but never ask what for, my lips are sealed.”  For an aspiring writer what better invitation could you ask for?

I do seem somewhat soaked in nature’s fecund blessing.
Miss Poste! Miss Poste! I’m engorgingly in love with you!
– Mybug

There has always been Starkadders on Cold Comfort Farm – Ada Doom

Some would call what Flora does to Cold Comfort Farm meddling, but Flora probably says it best, “Nature’s all very well in her place, but she musn’t be allowed to make things untidy.”  The movie is a delightful romp as Flora almost singlehandedly drags the most backward corner of Sussex into the modern world.  Anne and I both give it two thumbs up!

I saw something nasty in the woodshed! – Ada Doom
Sure you did, but did it see you, baby? – Earl P. Neck, Movie Czar

8 thoughts on “Cold Comfort Farm Revisited

  1. I just checked Cold Comfort Farm out from the library! I’ve never read it and an author had mentioned it as one of the funniest books they ever read. I’ll be reading it AT THE BEACH! or more likely inside the cabin in front of the fire. it’s hot now, but will be cold-ish by the time I get there.

  2. I am heading up Friday afternoon. checked the weather and it will be rainy and in the 60s as far as the eye can see. not ‘beach days’ by my definition. so not sure how long I’ll stay.

  3. After watching the movie when Liz was about 12, we checked the book out of the library– the S S Siberia library no less, speaking of beach reading. Also speaking of beach reading, we’re heading up at 0-skunk-30 Thu morning–till Monday. Moving the Comm to town. Are Bugs/Horsey heading south Sunday?

  4. I’m not sure when B&H are leaving. It probably depends on weather and Jane’s schedule and maybe even you and the commander’s schedule.


  5. With people leaving the cabin, and the temperature here today not even reaching 60 degrees, I guess the summer is over. How depressing. Even when we are not planning to get to the cabin, the fact that we might still be able to get there can be calming.

  6. Jay, The summer here is not over and as you pointed out earlier there is a need for better fandom in Saint Louis. So, if you can’t get to the Cabin, how about Sweat Louis? There is still plenty of time left this summer.

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