Welcome to British Isles Friday! British Isles Friday is a weekly event for sharing all things British and Irish — reviews, photos, opinions, trip reports, guides, links, resources, personal stories, interviews, and research posts. Join us each Friday to link your British and Irish themed content and to see what others have to share. The link list is at the bottom of this post. Pour a cup of tea or lift a pint and join our link party!
Last week, I checked on how the UK was coping with COVID-19. Tina reviewed a police procedural set in Wales, Darkest Night by Jenny O’Brien, and a historical novel set in London and Cornwall, Wartime with the Cornish Girls by Betty Walker.
The Archers, the BBC radio show that is the world’s longest running soap opera, is back to producing new episodes.
They’re different than before, which makes me admire the previous work required to produce the show. They clearly gathered actors on the same soundstage to work together, recording the scenes of dialogue.
Now, The Archers is mostly a show of people talking to themselves. I’m sure that we’re hearing, first, from the actors who were most willing and capable of setting up decent sound booths in their homes. Here’s a video of Charlotte Martin, who plays Susan Carter, showing her home studio.
The new format of The Archers worked better than I thought it might. I’m amused by how people talking to themselves sounds a lot like me talking to myself.
The writers have been clever at some points to pop out of that mode. Susan Carter, for example, is the village gossip and she’s managed to get herself a radio show, so we get to hear her broadcasts as well as her self-talk.
A recent story-line involves fly-tipping. At first, I pictured cow-tipping, only with flies. Which was a pretty ridiculous image. (I’m just enough of a country girl, by the way, to tell you that cow-tipping is not a thing, for many reasons, including that kids are warned away from messing around with the business of farming — everything is way more expensive than one imagines, including cows.)
Fly-tipping in the UK is what we call illegal dumping in the US. On The Archers, someone has been fly-tipping on some of the pastures and fields. Talk about messing with the business of farming — crops can be ruined and animals damaged by that kind of irresponsible behavior.
According to the Wikipedia article, quoting the Oxford English Dictionary, “the term fly tipping is derived from the verb tip, meaning “to throw out of a vehicle”, and on the fly, meaning “on the wing” – to throw away carelessly or casually.”
If you haven’t jumped into The Archers, yet, this might be an interesting time to start. We’re definitely getting more in-depth information about the characters and their motivations in this new first-person narration of the story.