I have always loved BBC Radio 4, but recently I have come to realise what a little gem the television channel BBC 4 is. A while ago I recorded a series called ‘The Fabric of Britain’ which was about knitting, wallpaper and embroidery, with an episode devoted to each.
More recently I came across A Very British Murder, presented by Dr Lucy Worsley, but unfortunately only caught the final episode, which talked about the Golden Age of Detective Fiction, and focussed on my favourite Agatha Christie, and made me want to read some Dorothy L Sayers. I don’t think I had come across Lucy Worsley before, but she reminds me of Kirstie Allsopp in a way – not to look at necessarily, as she has a blonde bob, but there is just something about her. She obviously knows so much, but communicates it in a way that is really enthusiastic and interesting. Just the kind of lady I would love to share a pot of tea with. You know the conversation would be really fascinating, and I would also have a chance to ask her where she gets her lovely clothes from!
Unfortunately the series is no longer on iplayer (why, oh why do they put things on for such a short time before they vanish?!) but you can see more details here http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p01ftzlq and there is a book to accompany the series, which I have ordered from the library.
Over Christmas, there was a great programme on where they recreated a Regency Ball, of the kind that Jane Austen wrote about in Pride and Prejudice. It was so clever, as you learnt about the clothes they wore, the food they ate, the social customs, and how it would cost the equivalent of a man-servant’s yearly wages just to light the ballroom with candles for a night!
I have taken to looking at the listings for BBC4 now, to look for little gems like these. There is quite a lot that does not interest me on the channel, but every now and again there is something like this twinkling away like a little jewel, waiting to be watched!
In those idle early-morning-with-a-cup-of-tea moments, I sometimes like to wonder what I would do if I were a lady of leisure. I think I would listen to a lot of Radio 4 while knitting or baking and sipping tea, and record a lot of programmes on BBC4 to watch when I am back home from trips to museums, or talks, or adventures out of the kind featured in the programmes I have mentioned.
The nice thing is that while I have a job to go to, and a house to run, which means I can’t do these things the whole time, they are simple pleasures that I can still fit in from time to time. I can always start my morning with a cup of tea and Radio 4, and I can keep an eye on the offerings of BBC4. And although I find I have to pace myself as I am getting a bit bigger and a bit more tired, I can plan the odd day out and excursion here and there.
Alongside that, I can do things inspired by things I watch and listen to. I read a really interesting post over at The Quiet Home Blog earlier today, about how many things Tina has learnt to do through reading blogs, from making bread to crocheting blankets. The post is here and well worth a read:
but the thing that occurred to me while reading it, is not only learning how to do these things, but having your interest caught, and being inspired to want to do them. Finding things that you love and become part of you, that otherwise, you might not have come across. I remember Alison at Brocante Home mentioning reading Mrs Miniver in a post – I ordered it from the library, and thought it was utterly fabulous- it lives in my comfort drawer now, and I can’t imagine not having it there. In turn, every autumn now, I always want to buy a bunch of bronze chrysanthemums, inspired by Mrs Miniver. I read more about the author’s life, and had a hymn written by her at our wedding (Lord of All Hopefulness). All started by that one line about reading Mrs Miniver in bed.
So today I am feeling inspired. It is a dark and drizzly January Sunday, but there is so much to savour and enjoy. I think I may make some marmalade this afternoon. I was gifted with some Seville Oranges by the lovely Midori Green last week, and I read a post called ‘Pots of Sunshine’ over at QuinceTree65’s blog this morning. Another example of being inspired by others.
Wishing you all a lovely Sunday