Marching in Wales

Another one from 2017 and a touch of serendipity: yesterday I came across my copy of ‘On The Black Hill’ which I’d bought around that time

Sarada Gray

Regular readers will remember from last autumn such gems on this blog as the fuel and wood situation, the dog situation and the bread situation.  These situations have been revisited, revised and reorganised in my second – nay, third – trip to the borderlands where Monmouthshire and Herefordshire kiss – or perhaps spit at each other – over a river.

I’m an old hand at the Welsh Marches now:  I know the roads and the villages, I know the castles and the churches; I know the pubs and the people.  Most of all I know the dogs – but alas! the resident dogs have the memory of a goldfish and in spite of the fact that I walked, fed and entertained them for several weeks, they did not remember me.  But the dogs are the least of it: for now we have the geese situation, the duck situation, the turkey…

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Standing Up For Sitcom: The Inaugural Ronnie Barker Comedy Lecture

Another golden oldie from 2017

Sarada Gray

The phrase ‘comedy lecture’ sounds like a bit of an oxymoron but when you name it after Ronnie Barker and have it delivered by Ben Elton, how can anyone resist?  It’s oxymoronically appropriate too, as Ben Elton and Ronnie B did not get off to the best start.  They met at a BBC Light Entertainment dinner some time in the ’80’s, when the Two Ronnies were at the height of their fame.  Ronnie C and Ronnie B held, as it were, separate orbits; Ronnie C’s being relaxed and full of laughter and Ronnie B’s being full of intent, nodding BBC executives listening to the great man pronounce.  Excellent comic actor (and writer) he may have been; self-deprecating he undoubtedly was, but it seems Ronnie Barker could be a tad pompous.  Anyway, as Ben Elton, Stephen Fry and Rowan Atkinson hovered at his shoulder like the three wise monkeys, Ronnie swivelled…

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