Wednesday 6 October 2010


Why is this flag …

albanian flag

…connected to this man

norman wisdom

and to this one

king zog

and how is this man involved?

john nettles


It is really quite random – that is the Albanian flag – and the top character is Norman Wisdom, the comedian who died this week, the champion of the ‘Little Man’ – playing the hapless Pitkin vs. Mr Grimsdale.

His films were incredibly popular in ALBANIA where his films were deemed politically acceptable at the height of the Cold War.

Which leads us to the middle picture – of King Zog of Albania, exiled to Britain in the 1940s.

He lived in a property called Parmoor in Buckinghamshire



…and Parmoor was the main location used for the Midsomer Murders episode Master Class shown on Wednesday evening this week, starring John Nettles [third picture]

What intrigued me whilst watching MM was the books on the shelf in one shot – they looked suspiciously like Bibles and bible commentaries. I have since discovered that in 1947 some nuns took over Parmoor [renaming it St Katharine’s, Parmoor] and then in 1995 the Sue Ryder Prayer Fellowship bought it, by then a Grade 2 Listed Building. So they probably were Bibles etc! The Fellowship was conceived by Lady Ryder to be a "spiritual powerhouse" for the needs of others. People from all walks of life come to Parmoor and in the spirit of ecumenism and reconciliation those of all denominations, or none, are welcomed for day and residential visits. I do hope the SRPF was paid well for providing the location shots!

I am afraid I was a bit disappointed in this MM though – despite the excellent cast [inc. the wonderful James Fox]the plot was even more fanciful and full of holes than usual. May be that is why John Nettles is leaving the series. And as for his long-suffering wife – have you noticed how often she seems to pick up random voluntary jobs which place her right in the thick of all those bodies?

We are however watching with interest the development of the character of Gail Stephens [played by Kirsty Dillon] – she is allowed to do and say more in each episode [and now even has her own car!] – in the beginning she was a uniformed officer sitting silently behind a desk, or occasionally handing over files or bringing in mugs of coffee to Jones and Barnaby.

stephens jones midsomer

I must have a very warped brain – my mind wanders down rambling pathways past a comedian popular in Albania, via a ridiculous fictional detective story to a prayer retreat house in the Home Counties!

And could King Zog of Albania trace his royal lineage back to King Og of Bashan [Deuteronomy ch 3] do you think?

I must drink my cocoa and go to bed!!


  1. How sad that Norman Wisdom died. As a child my bedtime was 8 o'clock UNLESS there was a Norman Wisdom film on TV;I ws always allowed to stay up for that.
    As to MM ...we gave up on it long ago when each program/programme would begin with hubby and me asking "I wonder what volunteer job Joyce has this week?".
    Enjoy your cocoa ( and give your mind a rest!).
    Jane x

  2. Oh I loved Norman Wisdom :)

    MM - Well we had given up on it but decided to watch last night - but we ended up in hoots of hysterical laughter as it was all so daft. We thought maybe we were high on the old Lemsip lol (both got dreadful colds) so I'm glad you say the same :) Once we got started giggling we just couldn't stop!

  3. Another random thought - have you read "One hit wonderland" by Tony Hawks?
    It also involves Norman Wisdom and Albania...

  4. Didnt watch MM, but I wonder if 'bringing cups of coffee' is what you do if you are a new Female officer?

  5. Are you a question writer for Brain of Britain- if not, I think you should apply!


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