Impressions: Blandings Station

PG Wodehouse
A Pelican at Blandings.

Descriptive English at its best!


The scene: Market Blandings is a small railway station close to Blandings Castle in Shropshire, a county in the west of England. Galahad, the brother of the Earl of the Castle, is visiting from London.

The description here is how it appears to Galahad. The trains are, in reality, no quieter here than in London but they give the IMPRESSION somehow that they are. This is Galahads impression of this quiet corner of England.

Word: ‘Impression’.The idea or thoughts of something, how something feels to you. Not necessarity what it IS. Can be positive or negative.
“He gave me the impression that he wanted to leave”.
“I got the impression there was more to this story than originally thought”.
You can either have an impression or be given an impression on something.

“He liked its refined calm, so different from the hustle and bustle of such stations as Liverpool Street and Waterloo. Here all was cloitral peace. The trains as they got up steam puffed in a quiet undertone. The porters went about their duties with the reserve of junior Cabinet ministers. Guards, when compelled to whistle, whistled softly. And even the occasional cocker spaniel, on its way back to its Worcestershire or Shropshire home, postponed its barking to a more suitable time, knowing instinctively that a raised voice in these surroundings would be the worst of form.”


Refined: (Raffinee) well educated, elegant,
Hustle and bustle: (Tourbillon d’activite) Busy, noisy activity.
Liverpool Street & Waterloo: Railway Stations in Central London.
Cloistal peace. Cloisters (Cloitre) = Covered passage around a square courtyard in a monastry, convent or university.
Quiet undertone: (A mi-voix) Voice that is almost a whisper.
Reserve: Quiet, cool, not speaking much. “He was very reserved” He was quiet, didn’t say much.
Junior Cabinet Minister: A person working in the higher parts of government, usually involving a lot of paperwork and information gathering rather than talking.
Cocker Spaniel: (Epagneul) Breed of dog.
Worcestershire: A County (region / Departement) in England known for a very famous sauce!
Know instinctively: To know something without being told.
Worst of form: Not a good thing to do. (old-fashioned phrase!)

Can you imagine the sights and sounds of this small railway station? What would your impressions have been? Unlike Galahad, would you prefer the hustle and bustle of London?

Try an exercise and write a small paragraph in English giving your impressions of a place near you.


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