Thursday, May 21, 2015

Not Quite Midsomer

The weather today is only about 62F, with some watery sunshine.  Definitely more spring than the unofficial start of summer with Memorial Day this weekend.


Stoke Poges
Turville
And I continue my recovery at home, watching a lot of television.  My go-to show right now (since I watched all of season 3 of "Vikings") is "Midsomer Murders," an hour-long British murder mystery series which started in 1997 and is still running!  I think I'm on series 8 right now (you know, the BBC series have fewer episodes per season than in the US--10-13 or so each year if you're very lucky--just ask the "Sherlock" fans.)  It's gentle and well-done, with gorgeous scenery; each narrative is solved in a single show.  Lots of thatched cottages, red brick buildings, half-timbered buildings, huge country houses, old pubs, stone churches with lychgates, and English gardens filling the dozens of towns (like Midsomer Worthy, Midsomer Were, Midsomer whatever!) in fictional Midsomer county (a county with a very high murder rate!)  It's filmed around Wallingford, Oxfordshire and many other places.  There are a ton of regional accents, which I never can identify.  My favorite part is the numerous depictions of British daily life--well, a kind of insular, white, middle class Britain that probably hasn't existed in decades, if ever--I'm not sure there has ever been a person of color in the show yet, much less an immigrant (well, unless from Ireland!)  So it's definitely nostalgic and idyllic, with its numerous town fairs and festivals, horse races, regattas, bell ringing competitions, flower shows, etc., even if there is a murder thrown in to muddle things.  I recommend it if you liked "Murder, She Wrote" . . .  or England, and if "Broadchurch," "The Fall," or "Prime Suspect" are a little too dark for you.

I realized I watch a lot of British shows and was glad to hear that many of them--"Call the Midwife," The Fall," "Broadchurch," "Grantchester," "Vikings," "Mr. Selfridge," and "Doctor Who"--had been renewed.  And "Downton Abbey" will end after this series.
Beaconsfield
Aldbury Pond

Amersham


I think you could chalk up my Anglophilic wanderlust to these shows (or is it vice versa?), even.  We're still planning our vacation for next June, though now we've dropped Scotland (we think the kids need to be older for Scotland) and are focusing on "just" England again.  Since Bud is so into Camelot, maybe we'll do Glastonbury.  And I've always wanted to see Canterbury.  And we'd all do London again.  The Lainston in Winchester is a must-return, too, when we see Lambeth and Mrs. Lambeth. Which means we're all over the map!  No doubt it will change, too.
Especially if I seek out some of the filming locations of "Midsomer Murders!"

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