Sunday, December 29, 2013


It`s a curious thing about Christmas that television, which used to inform, educate and entertain, seems nowadays to serve up an endless stream of angst-ridden soaps, noise masquerading as comedy, old movies which included the box set of Carry On films and the mysterious notion that we are impressed and enthralled by the witless prattling of `celebrities.`   

It is indeed difficult to find much to lift the spirit once one has slumped down on the sofa.   Nonetheless, I managed to come across two or three gems, the first of which was the final of the Workplace Choir of the Year won by P&O Ferries with a quite inspired performance.   Then, of course, the first half of the Saints 3-0 demolition of troubled Cardiff City brought a warm glow in stark contrast to the late night cricket viewing from Down Under.

But the highlight for me was a delightful programme on the ever admirable BBC Four, which was devoted to telling the story of Ladybird Books.   And what blissful memories it rekindled in one who spent so many contented hours reading them to our three sons when they were much younger than the 50, 48 and 47 they are now.   There was something wonderfully innocent about those books, the way they were written and beautifully illustrated, depicting a peaceful world of happy families, rosy cheeked children and doting parents.  

The Ladybird books were on a par with the equally enchanting Deans Little Poppet Series which included the masterly saga of The Inquisitive Elf - another family favourite. These timeless volumes brought to life the stories of childhood, like the one shown above, and all this mentioning of elves reminds me of the reports from Iceland where a road construction programme has been halted by activists because the highway project might disturb the habitat of elves, especially an elf church which sits on the potential site.  The Icelandic Supreme Court is going to have to decide on the issue in the near future.  I don`t envy them their task.

Predictably enough, the highway authorities are claiming that the project should be allowed to proceed as there is no evidence of the existence of elves;  alternatively, of course, and especially for devotees of Little Poppet and Ladybird books, there is no evidence to suggest that the hidden folk don`t exist.  

It`s OK - I`ll be fine when I grow up.

1 comment:

Ray Turner said...

I didn't see any of the Xmas TV Snopper, but don't think I missed a great deal, expecting it to be pretty much as you described. Mind you, the boxed-set of the Carry-On Movies would have appealed to my sense of humour...

As for the problem with the Elves, perhaps the Icelandic Authorities should seek inspiration in that Ladybird Book, The Elves and the Shoemaker, before deciding that its all Cobblers...