» How to play Conkers
» From my Window
» My First Home
The Independent, June 1, 1991, Saturday
From My Window: Treats behind the hill; Tim Brooke-Taylor tells Nicholas Roe of his Berkshire view
BY: TIM BROOKE-TAYLOR
I was brought up in Buxton in Derbyshire and that's one of the reasons the view from the window is vital. It sounds silly, but Buxton is where my heart belongs and it's right up in the hills. My wife and I agreed that, wherever we lived, there should be a hill you couldn't see over that promised rather nice things over the brow.
When I look out I can see what I call The Hill. It's undulations really, but we're down in the valley here and just over the top I can nearly see The Jolly Farmer, a pub in the village that 57 of us own. The brewer was going to sell it and somebody had the bright idea that as many people as possible should buy it, and it's actually worked.
We don't get any perks, in fact, it's the other way round: we occasionally take turns to work it, and at the Christmas meeting of the golfing society we were very nearly thrown out but couldn't quite get up the energy to do it ourselves.
What you notice, particularly right outside, is greenery, with lots of different colour as if a rather clever artist has decided to take all the classical views of painting and put them down there. I can't paint at all, but it's the sort of view even I might manage. There are interesting lines like hedges, a wooden fence going across at a wonderful angle, nearby trees and then more distant trees that are, as one was taught, darker in colour the farther away you go.
The fields have become more broken up since we moved here eight years ago. I don't know why: I'm never quite sure what farmers are doing.
My next-door neighbour has a part of the land and does sort of farm, though he wouldn't call himself a farmer. He has hens, chickens, ducks, and in the field in front of us he puts sheep or cows, fairly rare breeds, which he sells off when they're fatter. It's a good thing, the odd cow walking about on a higher level than your eye.
There are quite a lot of trees in our garden. One of the first things we did was put preservation orders on them. They're not particularly amazing, but it's easy to knock down a tree and a lot of that has been going on.
I can't quite see it from here, but we have a swimming pool to the right, but, even better than that, farther on is something that looks rather splendid, like a cricket pavilion, which I suppose is literally a pool room. What is particularly good is that my sons, who are 21 and 20, can disappear there and - I didn't think I would ever sound like a retired colonel from Bournemouth - play their long-haired music and not worry the rest of civilisation. It's a hell-hole as far as I'm concerned.
I'm part of the community here in one sense but not a genuine oldie, though I'm very pro- village. I think you have duties to where you live, that's the sermon over, and because I'm a ''celebrity'' I'm used in that role, but I'm allowed to wear both hats. I'm a villager and then occasionally I'm tarted up to open a fete or whatever and that's a different role. After a while, people are surprised to see you on television rather than the other way round.