Monday, 21 September 2009


we made one of increasingly less frequent forays into tv land last night mainly because i wanted to see what jonathan meades was up to in his latest round britain excursion after seeing his rather fantastic exposition on the architecture of aberdeen last week. this week he was off to lewis and harris, a place not unfamilar to us so we were curious to see what he made of it.

lovely. possibly the best documentary on lewis and harris i've ever seen. true it's jonathan meades and his singular style is possibly not for everyone but they've got 1001 x-factor clones to watch. equally true, from an island point of view, he's an incomer but then again, so's half the population. but it's that incomer perspective that lights up the screen. instantly he's in love with the landscape (and it being harris why wouldn't you be?) and we're treated to fantastic panoramas of green seas, cloud over the clisham and ariel shots of luskentyre. pus a hundred and one others that kept the familiar island viewer guessing where he was.

he had a go at the church but came out firmly for sabbatarianism or at least one day when everything is shut. i could've applauded! he did this leaning against the facade of one of the stornoway pubs i drank less frequently in but the first one in which t did, and famously disgraced herself by trying the foolish gambit of trying to drink as much as i did. i may not drink much now, if anything, but then i was deep in my proper island drinking the only thing that i hadn't done, in the view of some of the locals, was to fall in the harbour, at which point i'd be a 'proper stornoway man'. ah yes, those were the days and meades didn't fail us with pictures of the locals tottering about in howling rain of a friday night.

lastly he addressed the issue of all the crap that lies about the island, particularly in lewis. so he was up on the barvas moor looking at the sheds and musing on just how it's possible to get a vehicle so far into a peat bog. and then onto it's roof!

absolutely a must watch. i defy anyone who's lived there for any length of time not to have at least a wry smile. there are for sure a couple of things that may niggle a bit, but it's jonathan meades, it's what he's there for. at the very least you'll see a house identical to the one i lived in, mainly on the grounds it's lewis specific housing design 1 and therefore everywhere. and yes, even i had a bit of a yearning to go back. on the next ferry!


Sorlil said...

cool, I'll need to have a watch of it!

Colin Will said...

Must watch it. Like him or loathe him, the man is an original thinker, and I admire that.

Dominic Rivron said...

When I read your title and the first 2 lines, I thought you were going to write about the post-Morse police series!

The Meades sounds good. I'm going to try and catch the BBC4 programme on Sir Hugh Munro too. Sounds interesting.

Titus said...

Thanks swiss, never been there, know nothing, downloading now.
A Meades lover.

swiss said...

absolutely you must all watch it! and you're right colin, he is a love him or loathe him kind of guy. t loathes him generally but loved this programme.

ah, lewis and morse, i hate them more than many people hate meades. possibly moreso. still, each to their own!

titus, you must go. i've been to beaches all over the world but there are none, absolutely none, that match the splendid isolation of harris

Titus said...

Watched it and the Aberdeen one.
Two hours of bliss.

apprentice said...

I missed this one, but it sounds better than Tweed series, which was so hammily narrated you could see the links coming from three miles away.

I saw the one he did on Fife and Scottish architecture - he made me laugh I must admit, but he was also trottinng out a lot of tired old stereotypes that are currently popular with the English anti-Scottish lobby.

I particularly liked his comment about teenage pregnacy, where he said " Duff is after all a Scottish name"

The thinking man's shock jock for sure.

swiss said...

i was less impressed with the fife one, not because of the stereotypes, which i thought were there for ironic and comic effect (i did like the scottish satnav!), but because he didn't do what he does, which is tie it into the architecture.

that said, the polemical points re alcohol and drug addiction were just depressing, even if i, especially, don;t need reminding!