Lark Rise (and the end of my knitting career)
March 4, 2012. No comments.
I know everyone loves Downton Abbey these days, but who can forget the ripping fast-paced drama that was Lark Rise to Candleford? The Sunday night thrill of previous years?
I spent a whole week in that field once in blazing hot sunshine pretending to hoe corn.
Couldn’t complain though. I was getting paid to eat a full breakfast at 6am and hang around daydreaming and looking at famous actors. Not to mention the crew.
Personally I’ve never looked worse than on national television with my hair scrapped back, no make-up on and ragged clothes that were a bit small. Still, Dawn French laughed at one of my jokes once (MY jokes!!!) and the lovely Alfie Arless talked to me occasionally which always made my day. My very very long day. Usually about 14 hours long…
What was really strange, was coming back to ‘civilisation’ afterwards. It just seemed odd. I thought everyone wore those clothes…and what are these?…Cars? Nearly always the best plan was to go to the nearest oldy-worldy pub with some of the other extras and carry on being old fashioned.
My finest moment though was sipping tea in Queenie’s cottage. For that episode they had a director who had an air of your great-auntie, and who couldn’t understand why I was not getting the hang of knitting. Clearly acting and doing that other thing at the same time was quite beyond me. After untangling a few knots for me she finally said. “Ok love, put down the knitting and just do the reactions” I swear someone had spiked my knitting with knots on purpose. The other two girls were wise enough to go for mending parts.
But I did do a good ‘Angel of the North’ with my handmade Pagan pole – a stick decorated with sheeps wool and lavender (we had hours to kill after all), and I led the country dancing scene after being picked out for my special skill at counting to 4, 8 and 16.
But unfortunately the idea of me playing the harp in the Golden Lion Hotel never materialised. Nor did my suggestion to the composer that me and my friends could contribute some Proper folk music – at Equity rates of course.
But the real tragedy was that I never got to go to Candleford and wear the posh costumes. Forever a village bumpkin me.
However, as Dorcas herself would say, watching Lark Rise on a Sunday night was ‘my one weakness’. Luckily for me the BBC cottoned on to the fact that nothing had happened since someone misplaced a letter on the way back from the post-office in episode 1 and the cabbages got stolen in episode 6, so they put an end to the whole sorry business.
But I miss it, I do.