Posted in Books, Christmas and New Year, Life and Family, TV and Films

Ant and Dec, Ratty and Mole, Aly and Phil?

I had a very casual Hogmanay. The TV was on for only six minutes so I could hear Big Ben’s chimes. I saw BBC Two long enough to catch Aly Bain and Phil Cunningham, who were playing out the last few minutes of 2006. The presenter introduced them with the words “and here are the Ant and Dec of Scottish music!” and I boggled. I didn’t think they looked anything like Ant and Dec. I wondered if I imagined the quick glance between the two of them – “the WHO of Scottish music??”

We were invited to my sisters’s for a New Year’s Day risotto, and I asked Mum how she spent the final minutes of 2006.
“Doing absolutely nothing,” she said, looking bored.
“I switched on the TV just long enough to hear Big Ben.”
“Nah, there’s really nothing worth watching.”
“Though…” (and I told her about Aly and Phil on BBC 2).
Mum roused enough to say, “Good grief, I saw that too! What a daft thing to say. They have been around much longer than Ant and Dec and are far better known.”

Anyway, six minutes of TV is long enough for us to find something to grumble about.

At my sister’s house we watched The Wind in the Willows, starring actors such as Matt Lucas (Toad) and Bob Hoskins (Badger). I wasn’t sure what I would think, but when we got as far as Ratty and Mole lazing around in the boat, seeming to stick quite well to the script and the whole tone of the book, I decided I liked it.

They underplayed the scene where Mole falls homesick in the snow. They could have made much more of it, but it was a relief that they didn’t, as that bit always makes me grizzle.

Another favourite part was when they got to Badger’s house, fell over his boot-scraper and managed to get themselves invited in (eventually). He doled out a comforting pile of dressing gowns, including a rather lovely red one, and the intrepid travellers sat round the fire and fell asleep. I always love those bits where the adventurers reach a temporary haven of safety. Before Badger even mentioned dressing gowns, I was wondering when he would bring them out and if there would be a red one. Then I looked round at Badger’s decor, and about the only red items were the apples. Very natural colours.

Do most people keep spare dressing gowns? I only have one, along with a thin cotton kimono. I would be a little stuck if Ratty and Mole fell through my door one dark and stormy night. I’ve got lots of blankets, though.

When Mole started snoring in the middle of something Ratty was saying, I said, “Mole goes to sleep early at night.”
“Mm – not like SOME people around here,” said Mum, looking sideways.

Cringe. Maybe I should be more like Mole, then – make him my new role model? I empathize with his realization that he shouldn’t sit indoors all the time where it’s dark and dusty, which I have a tendency to do. Still – my little house might be dark and dusty, and nothing much, but it’s MY little house, and I love it.



I live in the UK with two cats -- Samson and Delilah.

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