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 shared the news surrounding the finalization of Brexit. Tina reviewed The Lost Girls of Devon by Barbara O’Neal. Newcomer Marsha shared this fun video of cyclists tackling the hills of Bath in Christmas costumes.
The Archers, the world’s longest-running continuous drama, celebrated its 70th Anniversary last week. In 1951, Britain still endured rations and suffering from food shortages, more than five years after WWII. The Archers was conceived as an entertaining way to engage farmers while teaching modern agricultural techniques to grow more food for the nation.
I’m always astounded anew when I’m reminded how long it took for Europe, especially, to get back to normal life after the war. It makes me think that I want to cultivate patience and resilience, now — that the things that are happening in our world may not be fixed by shots in the arm or changes in who holds political positions. I may want to be prepared for a longer haul, to keep “We’ll Meet Again” on my playlist, in case it takes longer than I hope to have a restaurant meal with my brother or share hugs with my friends.
The Archers didn’t celebrate their 70th Anniversary, directly. After all, the characters don’t know that they are in a radio show! Several other BBC Radio shows took up the banner, however.
The Woman’s Hour is a little older, celebrating it’s 75th Anniversary this week. Felicity Finch, who plays Ruth Archer on the series, has also done journalistic work for The Woman’s Hour. On New Year’s Day, she hosted The Woman’s Hour for a whole show devoted to The Archers. I think you’ll enjoy this episode, even if you don’t listen to The Archers regularly. Finch interviewed a variety of guests who talked less about the drama and more about being women who work as writers or actors. My favorite part was her interview with a woman who runs a dairy farm in Dorset and is a consultant for the show.
Also on New Year’s Day, Farming Today devoted their episode to The Archers, sharing several clips from the old days illustrating how the show educated and encouraged farmers to try new methods.
How are you this week? Would a fictional break in the English countryside help? For me, listening to an episode of The Archers makes a nice 15-minute distraction in my day.