good stuff

I’ve not been feeling well for the last couple of weeks, not sick, just really tired all the time, low energy, kinda down. But I’ve been entertaining myself with a variety of fun books/tv shows/podcasts/etc. Let me tell you about them.

The Cazalets
Grandma recommended a BBC miniseries called “The Cazalets”, so I got the first disk from Netflix and just loved it. Did a little research and found that it was based on The Cazalet Chronicles, a four-book series by Elizabeth Jane Howard. The books in order are: The Light Years, Marking Time, Confusion, and Casting Off.

Lucky for me, the main library owns all four books and sent them to my local branch for me, and I devoured them. I tried to make the final book last a while, but I just couldn’t slow down. Marvelous. The setting is pre-, mid- and post-WWII England, and the books tell the many and varied stories of all the members of the large extended Cazalet family. The author writes from the point of view of dozens of characters, so the reader sees events from many angles, which is lots of fun, and I was also really impressed by her ability to write realistic children and teenagers.

If you like books in which nothing really exciting happens but are all about people and the things that matter to them and how they relate to each other, I can’t recommend the Cazalets highly enough.

The Archers
A twitter friend said something a few weeks ago about how she had just discovered The Archers, a BBC radio soap, and was enthralled because someone was making meat pies… sounded like my kind of thing so I did a little searching and found http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/archers/. The Archers is a radio drama that has been playing since 1950. It was originally partly educational, as the producer hoped that farmers would tune in for entertainment and “pick up messages that would help them feed a Britain still subject to food rationing.”

Anyhow, I subscribed to the podcast right away and have been a passionately loyal listener ever since. I get the emailed synopses, which are helpful because they provide names for the voices I’ve come to recognize, and then I can look those names up in the Who’s Who on the BBC site, and try to figure out how everyone is related. There’s going to be a sheep-shearing contest soon, so you’d better tune in.

Sherlock
The BBC (oh how I love the BBC) has created a modern Sherlock Holmes series: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00t4pgh
The first episode aired last Sunday, and I watched it once with Henry and then again with Dan a couple days later. I loved it the first time, and loved it even more the second time, believe it or not. It’s fast-paced, witty, and suspenseful, and the casting is excellent; I am particularly impressed by Martin Freeman’s “Dr John Watson”. Watson is a tricky character to get right, but this Watson is perfect; a bit damaged and very intelligent. And Sherlock couldn’t be better.

My only criticism is that, well, ahem, you don’t want to look at the actual plot too carefully. ;-) But that’s ok, in the original stories you didn’t always want to look at the plot too carefully either. Dad would have enjoyed this show so very much. I’ll be thinking of him every time I watch.

Um, that’s enough for now. The family wants feeding. More later.

Category: Blog One comment »

One Response to “good stuff”

  1. LaToya

    I love BBC programs when I’m able to catch them. I have to get Netflix so I can pick up the The Cazalets.


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