Saturday 13 October 2012

Awake early, I listen to Clare Balding's wonderful Ramblings on Radio 4. She is walking with Sam West, son of Timothy West and Prunella Scales. He is a keen twitcher, and they wander Rainham marshes (very close to London) looking at the local avian population. One fly in the Balding ointment: whenever I used to listen to her program it featured members of the public, not celebs. Sam is a nice bloke, but an actor nonetheless. Couldn't the producer find a civilian who was keen on our Rainham marshes feathered friends?

There is an annoying tendency for all programs to go down the starry route. The ultimate example? Celeb Family Fortunes. Take an awful format whose only saving grace is that it gives members of the public their fifteen minutes of fame. Kick out the civvies, and install "C list" luvvies and their tacky families. And what was wrong with Mastermind anyway? How can it be improved with an over the hill footballer answering questions on the synoptic gospels (actually, I'd quite like to see that) ? But you know what I mean.

Later, Tina and I set off for Whitby. On the M1, we see signs warning of an accident ahead. For some reason, I don't take the next exit, and subsequently we spend two and a half stationary hours wandering up and down the hard shoulder chatting to fellow motorists. Judging by the number of emergency vehicles going past, and the helicopters in the sky, it's a bad accident. I'm glad to be safe, if a little pedestrian.

Our accomodation in Whitby is charming, a tiny cottage in a tiny alley close to the centre of the town. After settling in, we find a pleasant pub and eat dinner with a couple from Nottingham as space is limited. There is some sort of world war two week-end on in this part of Yorkshire, we noticed lots of spivs, ladies in fur coats, and military types as we drove toward Whitby, and our fellow diners fill us in on the details.