The period pains of Location-in-the-Wold

There was a spirit of unrest abroad in the small Cotswold village of Steeple Netherby, and this was a most untoward thing, for until very recently Steeple Netherby had been marked by a contentment which almost bordered on self-satisfaction. Not to put too fine a point on it, Steeple Netherby had become famous. There may have been people in the village who were unaware of the recent fame, but there could not be many. For it was in this unassuming, unchanged and picturesque spot that the filming for the recent TV adaptation of Jane Austen's little-known novel Risk and Risibility had taken place.

Much of the exterior filming for this very successful realisation had been done outside the house belonging to Colonel Sands, who, as his rank suggests, had been in the army and gave people to understand that he had seen much exciting action, though as he had been in the catering corps, the excitement had been generally limited to the thrill of supplying bread for the men on time and withdrawing broccoli soup when it had proved unpopular. He had been out of the army some little while, but had taken his rank with him when he left, and had indeed even carefully improved the rank as time went by, for he had been no more than a major when he left, and was now a colonel and he very much hoped to become a general if he should ever move house again.

"I am going to the shop," the Colonel called to his wife Susan one morning in May.

"My dear, there are some people outside the house taking photographs. Perhaps you should wait a moment."

"I'll give them and their blasted photographs!" said the Colonel. Yet despite his strong words, he stayed tamely inside the house and peered through the curtains until the strangers had gone.

"We cannot complain," said Mrs Sands, coming downstairs. She paused at a window where she noticed a vase of anemones looking a little underwatered, gave them a brisk box on the ears (for she was more military by inclination than her husband) and passed briskly on. "We made a lot of money from the TV company for the use of our house in the film, and we cannot complain if viewers come to gawp at it. It is not as if they try to break into the house and take souvenirs or ask for a cup of water."

"I am sure you are right, my dear," said Colonel Sands, who had indeed answered a knock on the door the previous day and charged the TV pilgrim 10p for a glass of water, for which he now felt slightly ashamed. "It is just that it seems to go on and on. Just when we think it will all die down, the TV company repeats the blessed film. Or Country Life does a feature called `The Village in the heart of Austen Country'. And everyone comes flocking again. I wish to high heaven we had never been involved. I certainly hope we will never be involved again."

"Then you will be pleased to hear that the danger has been averted," said his wife.

"I'm sorry?" said her uncomprehending husband.

"According to the local paper, a TV company intends to make a new comedy series called Period Pains. This comedy is set in a picturesque village which is fed up to the back teeth with being used as a period setting, somewhere like Castle Combe."

"Or us," said her husband.

"Very like us," said Mrs Sands. "It is indeed based on us. It is based on many of the things which happened to us. Like the time the lorry bringing authentic 18th-century manure overturned, and the village stank for three days. Or the runaway reindeer. Or the time they put back the wrong TV dishes on the wrong houses ..."

"Yes, yes," said the Colonel testily. "So they're making a film about a village like us which is always being plagued by film companies, and they are coming here to film this ... this comedy, are they?"

"No," said his wife. "They are going to Lower Ashby."

"Lower Ashby?" said the Colonel aghast. "Lower Ashby? They can't do that!"

Lower Ashby was a nearby village, smaller but equally picturesque, and, if the truth be known, more unspoilt.

"Oh, but they are," said his wife. "Lower Ashby is going to play the part of us. I thought you'd be pleased. I know how fed up you are with us being Location-in-the-Wold, as you so wittily call it."

"Lower Ashby?" repeated the Colonel, as if it were a mantra. "I cannot believe it ! It must not happen."

An extract from `Art and Adaptability', a new Jane Austen-style novel by the authoress of `Tact and Taciturnity', `Ink and Illegibility', etc, and soon to be a major TV success.

Sport
Alexis Sanchez has completed a £35m move to Arsenal, the club have confirmed
sportGunners complete £35m signing of Barcelona forward
Voices
Poor teachers should be fearful of not getting pay rises or losing their job if they fail to perform, Steve Fairclough, headteacher of Abbotsholme School, suggested
voicesChris Sloggett explains why it has become an impossible career path
Sport
world cup 2014
Sport
Ray Whelan was arrested earlier this week
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Arts and Entertainment
In a minor key: Keira Knightley in the lightweight 'Begin Again'
film
Arts and Entertainment
Celebrated children’s author Allan Ahlberg, best known for Each Peach Pear Plum
books
News
peopleIndian actress known as the 'Grand Old Lady of Bollywood' was 102
News
Wayne’s estate faces a claim for alleged copyright breaches
newsJohn Wayne's heirs duke it out with university over use of the late film star's nickname
Life and Style
It beggars belief: the homeless and hungry are weary, tortured, ghosts of people – with bodies contorted by imperceptible pain
lifeRough sleepers exist in every city. Hear the stories of those whose luck has run out
News
Mick Jagger performing at Glastonbury
people
Life and Style
fashionJ Crew introduces triple zero size to meet the Asia market demand
Sport
Santi Cazorla, Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Flamini of Arsenal launch the new Puma Arsenal kits at the Puma Store on Carnaby Street
sportMassive deal worth £150m over the next five years
Arts and Entertainment
Welsh opera singer Katherine Jenkins
musicHolyrood MPs 'staggered' at lack of Scottish artists performing
Life and Style
beautyBelgian fan lands L'Oreal campaign after being spotted at World Cup
Arts and Entertainment
Currently there is nothing to prevent all-male or all-female couples from competing against mixed sex partners at any of the country’s ballroom dancing events
Potential ban on same-sex partners in ballroom dancing competitions amounts to 'illegal discrimination'
News
business
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Business Analyst Consultant (Financial Services)

£60000 - £75000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Business Analyst Consultant (Fina...

Systems Administrator - Linux / Unix / Windows / TCP/IP / SAN

£60000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A leading provider in investment managemen...

AVS, JVS Openlink Endur Developer

£600 - £700 per day: Harrington Starr: AVS, JVS Openlink Endur Developer JVS, ...

E-Commerce Developer

£45000 - £60000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: Exciting opp...

Day In a Page

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice