I like Griff Rhys Jones. I’ve liked him since Not The Nine O’clock News and I can never, ever, read the word “Alibi” without hearing it as “Alee-bee” thanks to him!
I’ve enjoyed his documentaries from the Three Men in a Boat series to the Rivers and Mountains he’s visited – and who could forget his lovely chocolate Lab, Cadbury? I warmed to him a great deal more when I realised he was a dog person.
Last night I caught up with Britain’s Lost Routes from last week, the one about Thames barges.
Anyone who knows me will know I have a huge fondness for Thames barges. I have loved them for as long as I can remember and my first ever published poem was written about them. I could happily sit and watch them on the water all day and if I happen to catch the Barge Race, then I am a very happy bunny indeed!
So I was very excited when I saw he was going to do a programme about the barges. Very! Perhaps rather over-the-topperly so.
And often when you are very excited about something, it can turn out to be disappointing.
Not so! It was brilliant. It showed the side of Essex that I know and love. It also showed my home town and the beaches where my family have played for at least five generations. His coastal trip from the peaceful Walton backwaters, via Harwich along the entire Essex coast was riveting.
He stopped off at coastal villages along the way and met what I think of as the “real” Essex folk. But we are a big county and I believe the most heavily populated so our population is going to be diverse.
I learned such a lot from this programme as he travelled familiar waters. He also stopped at Chatham where a good few of my roots are buried.
And he made Plum Duff! Must say it didn’t look anything like the “duff” my mum used to make, but now I have a fancy for that too.
Last night was the Highland Cattle Drovers – another I am looking forward to. And the series is going to be on DVD. That will be one for my Christmas list!