LIKE THE true oafish Philistine that I am often described as, I don’t know much about art but I certainly do know what I like.
So, as well as treacle tart and Palmers (still apostrophe-less) IPA I am rather keen on the painting of Pieter Bruegel the Elder. In fact, given half the chance and a wife who appreciates the finer things in life half as much as I do, I would plaster the walls of my home with his works.
Anyway, I was taking what we serious students of art describe as a gander at some of his stuff the other day when it struck me that one of his best-known works -Winter Landscape with a Bird Trap – looks really familiar.
Then it struck me – just like bout of flatulence during the evensong sermon – Broadwindsor. There’s no getting away from it: way back in 1565 old Pete (as those of us who feel that we know him say) has got the village off to a tee.
He has really got the bleakness, the desolation and the misery of the place in winter exactly right.
Now, there are millions of art lovers around they world who, like me, love that picture and would almost give their eye teeth to be able to walk through the scene.
So come on Broadwindsor – cash in.
An artificial skating rink in the Square, glue a few rooks up in trees and invest in a couple of tons of artificial snow and you’ll have the tourists flocking in like bees to a glass of milk.
Bruegeland in Dorset could become one of the county’s premier tourist attractions. Just turn the whole place into a huge 16th Century Dutch Theme Park and you’ll have them queuing all the way from Orchard Mead to Fullers. Turnstiles at every entrance to the place with tickets at a fiver and a lavishly illustrated guide book at a tenner and, before long, the whole village will be able to retire.
Of course the residents would have to dress up a bit and get used to a spot of prancing and frolicking but that will soon all come naturally.
All it needs is a bit of imagination and application and the village could be in clover.
Next week The Red Bladder asks: ‘did Salway Ash inspire Jackson Pollock?’
Editor’s Note: The Red Bladder is a former national newspaper journalist (tabloid and broadsheet, since you ask). His own blog – recently awarded a One Lovely Blog Award by Maddie Grigg – is at http://theredbladder.blogspot.com/
On Twitter you should follow him (because it’s impossible to guess what he’ll come up with next) at http://www.twitter.com/theredbladder