Tag Archives: tv series

Rosemary and Thyme

Are you going to Scarborough Fayre
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme
Remember me to one who lives there
She once was a true love of mine.

Some of you will remember the line about parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme in the old British ballad  “Scarborough Fayre” and later made famous by  Simon and Garfunkel with their hit song  “Are You Going to Scarborough Fair”.

Well here in New Zealand we see a lot of sitcoms both from the US and the UK.  We were recently being shown a series called Rosemary and Thyme, the general theme of which is that two women each with a love of plants, get together to form a gardening partnership.  They are Rosemary Boxer and Laura Thyme hence the name Rosemary and Thyme.

Rosemary & Thyme

Image via Wikipedia

No ordinary gardeners these.  Laura Thyme was married to a policeman, was in the police force herself and has a son who is also a policeman.  You can guess where this is going?

Rosemary Boxer was a former university professor and they share a passion for horticulture.

They are also amateur sleuths, with Rosemary being the intuitive one and Laura the practical one.  It seems that as soon as they start a new assignment some dastardly happening occurs.  Plots, conspiracies and killers abound amongst the gardens they are asked to tend and put right.  And in each episode there is a dead body and sometimes even two dead bodies.

A recent episode was entitled ‘Three Legs Good”**.  In it the two women are hired to help recreate  an old garden in Regent’s Park, London.  We are told that the garden was originally created by garden great William Nesfield.   Joggers, students, tramps and even nannies who have lost their charges, constantly interrupt them in their work.  Then their peace is shattered when a little three-legged dog leads the ladies to the body of its owner who has been murdered.

Another murder rapidly follows and they determine (before the police of course) that the original murder was a case of mistaken identity!  They adopt the dog and then in a convoluted way (such is the case in all these sitcoms) they find that the dog had lost its leg in a car accident.  Its master was driving the car with his married lover – she was killed in the accident and the dog lost its leg.

The show is peppered with shots of beautiful gardens, fantastic places to visit and quite often, lovely gracious homes in which they stay.

In all an innocent series and although there are murders and mayhem, we dont see the murders being committed.   The series takes me back so many years, when violence was not shown on television.

**The title Three Legs Good is an allusion to George Orwell’s book Animal Farm. When the animals first turn out the farmer and start running their own lives, their slogan is “Four legs good, two legs bad”. Eventually the pigs move into the farm-house and learn to walk on two legs, and the slogan becomes “Four legs good, two legs better.”


Our England is a garden, and such gardens
are not made
By singing: -“Oh, how beautiful!”
and sitting in the shade.
~Rudyard Kipling, “The Glory of the Garden”

Murder She Wrote

Way back in June my blogging friend Chris at bridgesburning wrote about Jessica Fletcher the writer/protagonist in the series “Murder She Wrote”.  Chris has apparently always wanted to be like Jessica and very kindly named me as being like the redoubtable Mrs Fletcher.  Note – all those years ago she was Mrs not Ms.

Jessica Fletcher aka Angela Lansbury

We have a TV channel here that shows repeats of old series and guess what, “Murder She Wrote” has recently turned up on it.  But it just isn’t the same as when I used to watch it with the children.  Guess it’s like going back to a great place where you once holidayed only to find it is not as you remember it.

There is of course a whole slew of new programmes (well new to us anyway) and of course, as we are going into the doldrums, silly season summer, the powers that make the decisions will decide to fill our screens and lives with more reruns.

So we will watch reruns of Waking the Dead and Spooks and reasonably new episodes of series from the US, Criminal Minds, The Mentalist, Castle, NCIS etc and hope that the sun shines and we can spend most evenings sitting outside without the TV.  But I must admit that some of those programmes are habit forming, and I have them recorded and set to record for future episodes so that I can always blob out on a wet afternoon catching up on the antics of the Criminal Minds BAU team.

Abby - NCIS

Abby in NCIS

I particularly love the quirky females in some of these programmes.

Penelope Garcia

Garcia in Criminal Minds

“A woman is like a tea bag:
you cannot tell how strong she is
until you put her in hot water. ”
Eleanor Roosevelt

Oxford, City of Learning and mistakes

I never make stupid mistakes.  Only very, very clever ones.  John Peel, British writer.

College in Oxford

I think this is Brasenose College but it was several years ago.

I read this post from Hallysan at Photographic Memories today and it brought back vivid memories of my last time in Oxford.

It was several years after my husband’s death.  I had been away the year before for some months and spent time with an elderly widow as her companion.

The second time I went back to be with her, the United Kingdom had introduced many new rules for companions and caring to fit in with the requirements of the European Union which they had just joined.  So we had to have some training.  The organization through which I worked was based in Oxford and insisted that we go to Oxford for 2 days for this training.  Very basic food handling, people handling etc.

On the phone from Oxford, the woman at the office told me that most people stayed at the Y.  My thoughts on this, although never having stayed at a Y, were not good so I decided to source accommodation elsewhere.

Bed and Breakfast

I thought I had found a treasure and so booked for a couple of nights.  But horrors, what I found when I arrived very late in the afternoon was a far cry from what had been depicted in the advertising.

It was really late in the day, and as it was mid-summer in Oxford (July) all the accommodation was taken.  So after trudging around the city, I decided that I would stay for the night and hopefully find somewhere better for the next night.

Obviously, I didn’t stay for breakfast.  One look at the dining room and through to the kitchen convinced me that this was not a place to eat.

The next day when I arrived at the office I told the people of my disappointment.  Apparently, it was well-known that the place I had chosen was a disaster and it had been the subject of many complaints and had even featured in a documentary about bad places to stay.

To add insult to injury, one of the other women had stayed at the Y and loudly sang its praises.  What do they say – Pride comes before a fall.  I should have listened to Mother.

If you are English (and as old as me) you may remember a series called Rising Damp.  This ran from 1974-1978 and was set in a terrible house with a ghastly landlord.  My guy was Reggie Perrin incarnate.

They did manage to find me another place for the second night which was more what I had expected and they insisted that I make a complaint about the standard of the first place.  When I said that I wouldn’t be staying and told the proprietor why he became very agitated saying nobody had ever complained before.  As I had already paid in advance for the two nights I had to forfeit the second night’s cost, but it was well worth it to get away from that place.

That was the first time that I booked anything via the internet on the other side of the world.  And I learned a lesson.

“Everything’s got a moral, if only you can find it.”
So said The Queen in Alice in Wonderland.