Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Old faces now lost

Listening to the Food Programme on Sunday, and the familiar voice of Derek Cooper came over the airwaves, he died last April, but I so enjoyed his programmes in the past and find he was the instigator of the Food Programme in 1979.  Nowadays I hardly listen to it, we have moved on great strides in the media making cooking the 'in subject' and I lose interest, sorry Mary Berry!

It brought back to mind the other series I loved Jeanine McCullen and her 'Small Country Living', a place I wanted to be , and yet it still eludes me ;).  Somewhere in Wales with her dogs and mother if I remember rightly she struggled on her small holding, going out interviewing all these people who were doing similar things.

Well before I leave people 'who have died' I can almost hear LS chomping in the background for my supposed interest in death, I will mention one other Fred Dibnah, who we both watched yesterday in 'Magnifient Monuments' as he sauntered from Stonehenge through to the very early Saxon Escomb Church

Escomb Church, one of the earliest churches
and then the magnificence of St.Paul's dome, in his indomitable Northern way with his flat cap fixed firmly on his bald head, till it blew off on a switch back ride.  We have lost in this man a character of such charm and intelligence and so full of enthusiasm for the way the mechanical world worked and as he first appeared on our screen, knocking down the great chimney stacks of the Northern mills, etc.
Such people move through our lives, catching our interest, till something new replaces it, and we realise that age is creeping up on us.   One of the things that today's media seems to underline is what I call 'contemplating one's own navel' we have become obsessed with 'self' and perhaps the projection of self in a wider world.  I may be guilty of it myself, but blogs are a record a bit like a diary, filling in those bits of life we lead elsewhere.  Our thoughts tumble through our heads at enormous speed, nearly all not worth recording but occasionally we need to catch them, even if only for our own memories......


  1. I know that Jeannine McMullen lived near Llandeusant, and looking at the photo, that would be right for the angle on the Carmarthen Fans behind her (we can see them from the top of our hill and I have a walk planned before summer finally departs). I think she is buried in Llandeusant churchyard - her service was certainly held there. She was part of my inspiration to move to Wales, so many years ago now, and I never missed her wonderful programme on a Saturday morning. I still remember a programme about Ducks and "the July Spawls" .. . .

    Miss old Fred too - such a character. He might have looked cloth cap and whippet but he had a jolly good brain in there, and was an engineer to the very core.

    1. Hi Jennie, funny how she influenced so many of us, think she was Australian, have to look up Llandeusant. Though actually she really was not part of the back to the land movement, which still flourishes amongst some of the young, she was really wrapped up in smallholders and their animals.

  2. Yes, I loved all these characters too Thelma. But I always think that a good writer/presenter can make the most ordinary place sound idyllic, so maybe there were more 'warts' to the places they lived in than we will ever know about.

    1. O I am sure there were more 'warts' Pat in the 'self-sufficiency movement', but some would argue that living a 'normal' life has plenty of 'warts' ;)

  3. "Our thoughts tumble through our heads at enormous speed, nearly all not worth recording but occasionally we need to catch them, even if only for our own memories"
    You have said this so well--I think its the essence of why many of us keep a journal in whatever form and however sporadically.
    I was looking for my copy of Jeannine McMullen's 'Wind in the Ash Tree' a while back--books have a way of becoming lost with too many moves--or perhaps in reducing the load I donated it to a library [?]
    When the 'back to the land' movement was sweeping our native New England some decades ago I suppose we felt a bit smug, born and raised to a country way of frugal living.