3 March, 2015 (18:41) | All articles | By: Stuart Fraser

That’s what comes of living in the past. You forget the present, which is a mercy, and here we are a day late.

Fascinating, though, how some preoccupations of the 17th and 18th centuries resembled our own: land acquisition, home improvement, debt. Of course, at a lower level survival was just about all you could aim for, and that, too, resembles today for too many people.

The dachshund has returned, by the way. Dad is recovering very well from his brush with the bloke with the scythe and the black cloak, but not well enough to be confident of looking after his dog – he can’t walk her, for example. So we are dachshunded up again.

Belle the mad collie has taken the news better than me. I keep having to pick the dachshund up to get it to go outdoors, with is a concept alien to collie owners who normally just have to take one half-step in the direction of any exterior door to be immediately overtaken by four scrabbling paws propelling a blur of enthusiasm. I also have to unpick bits of twig from those parts of the dachshund’s underside that cannot be reached by the dachshund, which does not have a collie’s ability to make it magically disappear. I also have to keep rescuing her: given the rain we’ve had, wherever we go the ground is soggy and the dachshund keeps getting bogged. Ankle depth to a collie is paralysis for a dachshund, so I have to pick her up, mud and all.

It really is quite remarkable how much of my time is spent catering to the needs of others, whether it be father, dachshund or children. Son number 1 has been home sick again, coughing and spluttering, so I’ve lost another day’s work. Hum ho.

What a pleasure it was, then, to have an evening off last Tuesday and go to the theatre, just like an ordinary person. Brother Fiddle was my enticing date for an evening with Kneehigh Theatre’s Rebecca at the Theatre Royal in Plymouth, and we spent a very pleasant time bickering gently about the production. What we agreed on was the brilliance of the soundtrack, sea shanties backed by live music including fiddle and marimba; the brilliance of the eerie set; and the quality of the performances. We weren’t quite so sure about the pace, and the humour – so you really must try to catch it while it is on tour. Hall for Cornwall in September looks like your best bet. Because, whatever you or I or Brother Fiddle thinks, it’s a darned sight better than yet another dour crime thriller on TV.

Talking of TV, I see Poldark is back. The BBC has thrown a very large amount of money at the old saga of a Cornish mining dynasty, which won an audience of tens of millions back in the 70s. Its star, Aidan Turner, has been glowering magnificently from the publicity stills, and the production team has even made sure there’s no mumbling this time. Apparently. See you in front of the telly on Sunday.

I must go. It is now Tuesday, and that means evensong, conducted, we hope, by The Dark Lord, our Brother Who Must Not Be Named. I go to learn.


Write a comment

You need to login to post comments!