In the fo’c’sle, there’s not much tv watching going on. And that is a good thing. Remember, TV: a weapon of mass destruction.
It can be used as an educational and useful medium, if managed properly. But most things aired on the box absolutely rubbish and if they’re somewhat watchable they’re brutally butchered into unwatchable little pieces of material trapped between huge chunks of commercials like a ballet dancer between two sumo’s making out.
However, new technology and the power of Internet allows people to download and share the little nuggets of good tv – commercial free. It feels as good as caressing a cat watching a show without the continuous interruptions that reminds us to consume more and more.
One of the better things on the can that we’ve happened to come by lately is a British show called Edwardian Farm. And it is pretty much what it sounds like. Two archaeologists and one historian are trying to run a farm as it would have been done back in the Edwardian days, that is 1901-1910.
It might not sound as something that would be discussed in the fo’c’sle, but there is indeed a connection. These old farmers had one hand on the plow and one hand on the tiller. Morwellham Quay in Devon, where the show is being filmed, was once a busy port, something they are trying to recreate in the show.
To increase their income and food sources these farmers, surrounded by water, turned to the sea. For a period during the spring the farmers would trawl the waters in beautiful fishing smacks. In one episode Alex and Peter are “taking rent” on a old smack and goes to sea. Before this they are also visiting a rope maker in the area who help them to lay a sisal rope.
In meager times a lobster-pot weaver help them to get some pots done and a local fisherman takes them out for crab/lobster fishing.
Another cool boat-feature are when they are building their own coracle to navigate the ponds and water streams in the area. They build it from branches of willow and canvas, c’est tout. For you who don’t know what a coracle is, it is a walnut-shell shaped lightweight boat, built usually from bendy branches covered with some sort of animal hide, or in this case tarred canvas. Very cool indeed.
As a side note, we just learned that the Edwardian Farm is a fallow-up on a series called Victorian Farm which was aired in 2009. It feature the same people trying to recreate living on a farm in the times between 1837-1901. And before this one there was yet another show that seems even more interesting. It’s called Tales from the Green Valley, and has the same theme but this one it is a farm four hundred years ago that they’re trying to run.
We will be interested in watching these too, because the fallow-up has made a good impression on us. It is not built up as annoyingly as many other shows of today and there is plenty to learn about DIY-things in each episode.