Wednesday, 7 August 2013

A Strawberry Surprise And A TV Disappointment

As one who enjoys his food I've moaned a fair bit over the last twenty years about "what happened to the strawberry?". Fifty years ago when I was a kid they were a delicious summer treat and I can even remember them being quite tasty when we tried out pick your own with Sarah and Paul in the eighties. I think we should have weighed in the children before and after the picking in those days as telltale red smudges around their mouths hinted that not every "that's a booty Daddy" strawberry found its way into the baskets. Nowadays the enormous fruits we find in the supermarket and invariably shipped in from Spain taste of just water and the only way to remove the husk and leaves is to use a knife.

So I had a very pleasant surprise yesterday when I bought a couple of punnets of local strawberries from the Framlingham Greengrocer. Out popped the husks with a simple tug and I was transported back thirty years. It would have been too much to ask for them to taste like they did in 1983 but, amazingly, they did. It's a pity that I bought them to make strawberry smoothies but I'll try and grab some more soon before the season is over. 

I was looking forward to Count Arthur Strong's transfer from Radio 4 to BBC2 - I loved the radio show and I'm a big fan of Graham Linehan who has brought the Count to television. I desperately wanted to enjoy it and have sat through three of the five or so episodes broadcast so far. I sat through them out of a sense of fan loyalty - last week's about a riot raised a smile or two - but even the most ardent fans have a limit and, whilst last night's episode was billed by Graham Linehan on Twitter as his favourite, I had to switch off before the end. Why? It simply wasn't funny. In fact it was quite dreadful and totally predictable - in a hospital waiting room Rory Kinnear's character says to Arthur something like "you can't act - nobody would believe you were a doctor" and we all know what is going to happen by the end. The plots are clever but the hilarity from the studio audience makes me wonder if they were watching something else. I have no idea how a second series has been commissioned  -although reading Twitter I appear to be in a minority. Disappointed. I think I'll start a movement to bring back Jam And Jerusalem the female (and more up to date) equivalent of Last Of The Summer Wine and, in my opinion, cut off in its prime.

Today we're in Rochester again for a spot of child minding. On Monday we took granddaughter Catherine to the swings near the castle. If it stays dry today we may head out to look around Upnor - we haven't been there yet.

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