Saturday 12 December 2009

Ruth, Alex and Peter again

victorian farm presenters

I greatly enjoyed Victorian Farm Christmas on BBC2 last night. Yet again, the three presenters threw themselves whole-heartedly into their roles. It was particularly fascinating watching Ruth make soap [boiling up beef fat and adding caustic soda] and comparing it with Kirsty Allsopp's soap-making activities earlier in the week [thrift v. profligacy - discuss!]

The BBC webpages about the programme are chock full of information [here] I am especially pleased to see them making the Victorian Toy Theatre.

Back in the 1960's, one of the more upmarket women's magazines [I think it was Woman and Home] reproduced a Pollock's Toy Theatre, and our next door neighbour kindly gave the pages to my father, who painstakingly stuck them on to hardboard and cut them out meticulously with his Hobbies Fretsaw. I spent hours playing with it. A script was provided - it was Cinderella, and the prince had a manservant [Dandini] and I can remember clearly deciding that the Dandini puppet  was more handsome than the Prince!

If you missed Episode One, it is being repeated - and you can also catch it on BBC i-player [check out the website for details]. Looking forward to programmes 2 and 3.

atora One thing I wasn't too sure about was Ruth's preparation of suet for her mince pies, and her explanation about "cod-lie". Makes one very grateful for M. Gabriel Hugon, the Frenchman living in Manchester, who developed "Atora" about 100 years ago, when he saw his wife struggling to prepare suet in the kitchen.[Atora has a good website too]

Anyway I need to get on- preparations to be done at Church for tomorrow's Services. At least we haven't got to worry about having a real donkey in the Nativity Play, as some places do!

1 comment:

  1. Such a good programme, we watched it with interest. I did, like you, mentally compare the soap making (kept waiting for the rosebuds!)
    I use Atora veggie suet. I didnt know it was a Frenchman who 'invented' it.


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