Africa has done it again. The TV programme I mean. The country has obviously done it too by evolving such magnificent landscapes and amazing creatures, but the team behind the show have done a brilliant job capturing the Congo.
I’m sitting in my room, surrounded by notepads, appliances and other objects that indicate my very enjoyable but very human existence. What I wouldn’t give right now to be one of the little fish swimming in the Congo rivers, or one of the colourful birds zipping through the rainforest. Just finding food, keeping out the rain, not getting eaten, what could be nicer?
I’m the daughter of an RSPB warden, and we watch a lot of wildlife documentaries in my house, but I’d never seen these birds before!
The Picathartes looks like it’s been made out of modelling clay, with its disproportionate wings and smooth feathers.
And the African Skimmer looks like a child’s drawing of a bird! If that makes sense…
I’m not usually a big watcher of television, probably because I don’t actually own one and only have my laptop, but I am just massively impressed at the journeys we can be taken on and things we can be shown.
I’d much rather see them with my own eyes of course! African expedition, anyone?
I just finished enjoying the BBC’s new series of P. G. Wodehouses’ ‘Blandings’. An excellent cast of familiar British faces such as Timothy Spall, Jennifer Saunders and Mark Williams. I’m not overly familiar with Wodehouse, but I’d gathered that his talent lay in satirising the prim and proper era which he grew up in: the early 1900s. His fame for wit through language became apparent as the cast of Blandings relished in creative turns of phrase and anecdotes. My particular favourite was Spall reminiscing fondly how his deceased wife had such a way with words she once persuaded him to put beetroot in his mouth and he found it quite pleasant!
I wish I could remember some direct quotes, but the first episode has spiked my curiousity and after Caitlin Moran’s ‘Moranthology’ and a book about Woman’s Hour, I’ll be picking up my first copy of Wodehouse. I love that kind of humour. Another good one to watch is French and Saunders when they were part of Channel 4’s Comic Strip doing their Famous Five spoof ‘Five Go To Dorset’. It’s available on Youtube, here’s a link.
Whilst I’m talking TV, I’ll tell you about the other brilliant series on the BBC at the moment. The whole country has been blown away by ‘Africa’. It’s the perfect blend of landscapes that look like paintings, which I find it hard to believe can exist on this planet, and fascinating close-ups of exotic animals. Perfect for the HD TV everyone got for Christmas!
At it’s heart, ‘Africa’ is also a fantastic storyteller. It personifies the wildlife whilst maintaining their mystique as wild animals. I do not cry easily at films, maybe ‘Up’ being the exception that gets me every time, but I found myself welling up over the giraffe sequence and the death of the baby elephant. I thought that a trembling bottom lip was a cliché that only happened in cartoons!
I don’t watch a lot of TV, but these programmes will be on my viewing list.