one day at a time…
Tuesday 9 September 2003

Pix Of The Day: Monarch Of The Glen Foreign Hit
CREDITS: © Felix Rosenstiel's Widow & Son Ltd MAP: Badenoch/Strathspey
When clicked, thumbnails in this article link to original image source.

Monarch © Felix Rosenstiel's Widow & Son LtdWe are undecided which is the oddest, yesterday's mention of Edward Longshanks, the 13th century English king , or today's equally strange enquiry about the UK television program 'Monarch Of The Glen'.

This Monarch is an upscale tartan soap opera, produced by EcosseFilms the people who made the often praised movie Mrs. Brown, about Queen Victoria and her faithful Highland retainer John Brown, played respectively by Dame Judi Dench and Billy Connolly.

The TV series stars long standing British actors Richard Briers, hamming his socks off, and Susan Hampshire, who turns in a solid professional performance. For something so apparently parochial, it has risen to garner a large international audience, including the American acquaintance who enquired, and his family.

The television series was inspired by Sir Compton Mackenzie (1883-1972), a fine writer whose work is no longer fashionable, who wrote a book of the same name. We remember him once saying, in the far off days when people spoke less forthrightly on television than now happens, that it would be a blessing all round if some writers were issued with prophylactic pens. For some gallows humor follow that link for an account of the bizarre events at Mackenzie's funeral.

There are several web sites for fans of this series: BBC Television Scotland networks the series; MonarchCountry.com covers the locations where the programs are recorded; local sites CairngormsOnline.com, and Newtonmore.com carry special features; and the fictitious Glenbogle castle is actually Ardverikie House, frequented by a vacationing Queen Victoria, on the shores of Loch Laggan between Newtonmore and Spean Bridge. The house owners are three sisters, Annabel, Lucinda, and Phyllida who are descendants of the Pennington-Ramsden family who bought the house and the 38,000 acre estate 140 years ago. Regular readers will remember the Penningtons as the family who have lived at Muncaster, in the English Lake District since they were granted lands in 1208. Scotland Magazine has an article about the international success of the television series.

Those who arrived here in search of the painting of a magnificent stag by Sir Edwin Henry Landseer, there are your links. The original painting is owned by United Distillers & Vintners, and is on loan to the Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh. The copyright to most of the images seen on the web is owned by Felix Rosenstiel's Widow & Son Ltd,. who are wholesalers of fine art prints to the trade only.

Life here seems to be taking a bizarre turn as Autumn approaches: following on the heels of these two unusual enquiries, the fruit store sent Pluot®s in place of plums, and bicycle sprinter Alessandro Petacchi powered heroically through the rain in Spain, fortunately while still on the plain, to win a well deserved victory for Stage 3 of the Vuelta A Espagña. We are almost ready to forgive him for wimping out at the bottom of the first hill in the Tour De France.

Pix of the Day: Goathland Station - Mon 9 Sept 2002

Goathland Station © Don BurlurauxOne of our favorite virtual walking pages for a visit is Don Burluraux' NorthYorkMoorsCAM. Currently Don is featuring a walk from the village of Goathland (this will change when the site is updated, but there is an archive), the setting for 'Aidensfield' in the UK televison series 'Heartbeat'. This fine picture of the restored railway station, with the village beyond, is part of the walk gallery. The walk goes from Goathland via Lilla Cross to Eller Beck, before heading back to the starting point. Along the way you will see ancient stone crosses and way markers, old steam trains, giant golf balls, poisonous snakes… and did we mention the fine open countryside of the North York Moors, with airy views and the bonny blooming heather purpling the hillsides?

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Jules Laforgue (1860-1887)
"Ah! que la vie est quotidienne."
Oh, what a day-to-day business life is.
'Complainte sur certains ennuis' (1885)