When we were driving around Warwickshire last month I spotted the name Cold Comfort on a road sign. I was amazed, fancy there being a real place with that name, I’m fairly sure that Stella Gibbons must have known about it and decided to use it for her book Cold Comfort Farm. The real Cold Comfort is indeed a farm and it’s near the village of Arrow. You can read about it here.
The same post had a sign pointing to a place called North Piddle. I don’t know if it was the holiday atmosphere which had got to me but I did find that more than a wee bit funny. I looked at all the other road signs I could see because surely if there is a North Piddle then there must be a South, East or West Piddle. What I was really desperate for was a sign saying Middle Piddle, but sadly there seems to be nothing of the kind around, it just doesn’t exist, which is a real shame. Did Stella Gibbons use Piddle in any of her books? It’s so long since I read any of them that I can’t remember.
Anyway, it set me off thinking that it would be a good name for a fictional village in a book in the same vein as Angela Thirkell with a hint of Stella Gibbons.
Of course Middle Piddle would have to have satellite villages with names like Lower Tinkle, Little Wee and Great Flood, not to mention Great Piddle or Much Piddle-in-the-Marsh, and would be peopled with a suitable cast of eccentrics to jolly the whole thing along.
That’s holidays for you, or for me anyway, I’m on the look out for hilarity, determined to enjoy myself to the point of silliness, despite the usual rain. Now, do you think I’ll ever get around to conjuring up fictional inhabitants for Middle Piddle and environs? Well I haven’t yet, but there’s a long dark winter a-coming, and you never know how desperate I might be to do something different, for my own entertainment anyway.