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February 10, 2021


Berva Smith

You noticed a lot of knitting that I missed. Guess my eyesight isn't as good as yours (or my glasses correction!). Or maybe it's because I'm knitting while watching and not paying close enough attention.

Susan D in Toronto

My thoughts exactly, Berva. All those knits! I can't understand why I didn't actually see them (except for James's birthday gift this past week). Because I'm knitting too, of course.

Thanks for the flashback to Real Tristan.

juliet brown

Some gorgeous knitting there, I haven't see the programme but some of those garments are quite lovely. In exchange I offer you the snippet that the V&A has an extensive range of knitting patterns (you may already know this of course) and has the odd post on knitting for instance should you wish to knit yourself some underwear, mittens and fishnet tights etc... https://www.vam.ac.uk/articles/1940s-knitting-patterns


I was just so glad that this new series actually has a Scot playing the part of James, the choice of Christopher Timothy was awful in the original series, nothing like the character in the books. I agree with you about Mrs Hall's chunky wool and with all those dogs around it would be fairly coated with dog hairs. There is a Scottish way of knitting which Mrs Hall seems to be doing. If you ever see Kaffe Fassett knitting he also knits the Scottish way as he was taught by a Scottish lady he met on a train.



That’s interesting, I didn’t really feel that Christopher Timothy was unsuited to the role. Nicholas Ralph’s accent did make me wonder how much of a Scottish accent James Herriot actually had.

Oh, here is something from Herriot’s Wikipedia article! Though Herriot was born in Sunderland, his family moved to Glasgow when he was a child.

He had a "soft, lilting Scottish accent," according to actor Christopher Timothy and "always considered himself a Glaswegian at heart"

and from the article giving the first part of Timothy’s quote, when he finally got to meet Herriot, some time into filming –

"He turned out to be hospitable and friendly, with a soft, lilting Scottish accent -- though I was told to keep my speech neutral to retain the universality of the part, which I thought was complete b******s."

And even more “oh!” –


My beef with the new series, after watching the whole thing and then listening to an audiobook of All Creatures Great and Small (read by Christopher Timothy in his “universal” accent …) was that the writers of the new series took out a great deal of the fun of it all, much of what made the books so appealing. Oh, well –


Alf/James Herriot was interviewed on TV from time to time so I knew he had an accent just like my own and my husband's. It's hilarious that such a southern English accent like Timothy's could be described as neutral or universal. It's just a shame as there were several Scottish actors who would have been better in the part. I agree that the new series left out much of the humour, but the scenery was good!


I love the woollen blanket James covers Helen with in episode 7? Would anyone know where I might find the same one? Thank you.

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  • "'Then I am the first,' cried Pullings with infinite satisfaction. 'Let me wish you and Mrs. Aubrey all the joy in the world.' He grasped Jack's limp, wondering hand, wrung it numb, and showed the printed page, reading aloud, '"At Ashgrove Cottage, Chilton Admiral, in Hants, the lady of Captain Aubrey, of the Boadicea, of a son and heir,"' following the words with his finger.

    'Give it here,' said Jack. He grasped the magazine, sloped the page to the light and pored over it intently.

    '"At Ashgrove Cottage, Chilton Admiral, in Hants, the lady of Captain Aubrey, of the Boadicea, of a son."

    'Well, I'll be damned. God bless me. Lord, Lord … upon my word and honour … I'll be damned to Hell and back again … strike me down. Killick, Killick, rouse out a bottle of champagne -- pass the word for the Doctor -- here, Killick, there's for you -- God love us all -- ha, ha, ha.'

    Killick took the handful of money, put it slowly into his pocket with a look of extreme suspicion and walked out of the cabin, his lips pursed in disapproval. Jack leapt from his seat, took several turns fore and aft, chuckling from time to time, his mind filled with mingled love, happiness, fulfilment, and a most piercing nostalgia."

    -- from The Mauritius Command by Patrick O'Brian

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