Countryside


British actor and comedian Griff Rhys Jones
Image via Wikipedia

I have been eagerly awaiting the new Sunday night offering from BBC1, that starts on 26th July at 9pm. The series, River, will see presenter Griff Rhys Jones celebrate the different views, roles and aspects of rivers in the British Isles.

Last autumn, the film crew were in the village with Griff to film for the first programme in the series, that saw him climb down the Grey Mare’s Waterfall and visit the Blackwater Dam to learn about the power of water. As the local community trust chairman, I had met with the series producer to help with some background information and put the programme makers in touch with people who could help make the programme. I am looking forward to seeing local lady Avril, tell Griff about the role of the river in the making of aluminium in this part of Scotland and the communities that grew up around the industry.

If the recent press articles I have read about the series are anything to go by this is going to be another high-quality, fascinating offering from the BEEB. You should take a look at Griff’s account of swimming in the River Tay in the Mail on Sunday, it will bring a smile to you face even if it didn’t to his.

Related links:

Times Online Preview Article

Mail on Sunday Preview Article

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Ben Hope
Image by Ade Milne via Flickr

I came across a pamphlet from the 1902s about Gaelic proverbs and sayings. It focuses on those sayings that are unique to Gaelic or have no direct equivalent in another language. Not surprisingly for a language so deeply rooted in the countryside and so descriptive of the natural world many of the proverbs use natural features or phenomena as metaphor. I will enjoy dipping in and out of the seventy-plus pages for inspiration.

One piece jumped out from the page, although it seems to have no Gaelic basis and is not attributed to anyone. All the same it encapsulates the feelings that those of us who are fortunate to live, work or play in our mountain areas have about the natural wonder around us.

“Mountains are the great cathedrals of the earth, with their gates of rock, pavements of clouds, choirs of steam and stone, and altars of snow.”

Related posts:  A New Year thought for hillwalkers

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Shaun the Sheep
Image by Diva Sian via Flickr

Don’t get sheepish about this

Ewe will be relieved to learn, as I am, of the existence of the Sheep Trust. I am not sure what this organisation does but no doubt it is a high level lobbying group giving a baa-dly needed voice to so many sheep up and down the country.  This is no woolly liberal thinking group trying to knit together differing views. Butt one that is prepared to grab hold of the horns of a dilemma and ram a distinctive message home. 

The trust’s membership is unique in eschewing the need for one member one vote, instead preferring to follow the rest of the herd. Like the Church of England the trust has its own schisms. Recently traditionalists within the Welsh branch resigned in disgust as modernists tried to bring to an end the rumoured practice of inter-species relationships in the Province.

Controversy flared up following recent proposals to introduce charges for grazing rights, one leading campaigner claimed, “The proposals would result in members being fleeced.”

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