Saturday, 20 June 2009

Will the real Sherlock Holmes please stand up...

Hello bloggers. The domestic routine has taken over and life has become pretty unremarkable as life plods on. There's no sign here of the sustained summer that we've all been promised although the BBC weather forecasters seem to indicate as soon as we get back to work, it will start getting warmer. Cheers.

The squirrels in the garden are digging the plants up out of the tubs looking for buried peanuts - the squirrels will be joining them soon if they carry on! Nice to look at the furry little darlings but very destructive. There was a baby squirrel in the garden recently which is unusual, but I guess its parents have been killed because we've seen a couple squashed on the road recently. When it saw me, it didn't know what to do (a normal reaction) so it ran up the wall and just clung on nervously, so much so that I was able to stroke it for a few seconds before it scampered off. It comes back occasionally and is starting to grow. The picture above is the baby squirrel on the bird table.

Now the weekend's here, it's time for the debate and this week, only because I have a weakness for him, it's 'Who's the best Sherlock Holmes?'

There's been many fine film and television Sherlocks thanks to the creative genius of one of the most fascinating men of Victorian and Edwardian times, Arthur Conan Doyle - whose life in itself is fascinating reading. Doyle was a writer, poet, novelist, doctor of medicine, spiritualist. His epitaph on his gravestone was an indication that he would rather have been remembered for his interest in eye surgery and other more serious writings as in later life he tried to minimise the success of the very work that had given him fame; ironically in truth the world in general only remembered him for the quick witted, logical, untidy, less than desirable drug addicted tenant yet remarkable amateur detective creation of Sherlock Holmes.

Ably supported by Doctor John Watson, physician, Holmes operated his business from an apartment at 221B Baker Street, London and in London today, there is a very good Holmes Museum which I have visited with my children.

Basil Rathbone, dashing Englishman with a clipped accent more noted for his swashbuckling swordsman skills in villain roles portrayed Holmes in a number of films in the war years supported by a rotund Nigel Bruce who played Watson with far less intelligence than he deserved.

The superb and definitive Holmes played by the late Jeremy Brett shone on our television screens after a creative creation by John Hawkesworth and I am fortunate to own the box set of all the Brett appearances as Holmes. His success is in no small way due to exceptional television production and support by first David Burke and then the intelligent portrayal by Edward Hardwicke, surely the best of all Watsons. There is something about Brett that I can't quite put my finger on, a unique interpretation, eccentric, emotional, fiercely loyal to his good friend Watson, the very antithesis of the straight character portrayed by Rathbone and shows sympathetically a man walking the line between genius and madness at times.

Another favourite of mine, the late Peter Cushing was a more than acceptable public face of Holmes. 'The Hounds of the Baskervilles' was his triumph, again not really showing the flaws of Holmes, but someone you would imagine was in the mind of Doyle.

There have been others who have played Holmes, let down by directors and writers who were far more interested in the plot than the character; for now I'll stick to Brett and Hardwicke, Holmes and Watson.

It's my thirtieth wedding anniversary next week, more on that later but here's a little toast to women I found:

Here's to our wives,
They keep our hives
In little bees and honey.
They darn our sock
And sooth our shocks,
And don't they spend our money!

Chat soon


1 comment:

  1. aww what a lovely photo. I have only ever seen one squirrel in our neck of the woods.
    I did see a Pine Martin last week though, I'd never even heard of them before that. I took it's photo and put it on my flickr page and that's what people tell me it is....just hoping it comes back now,