It came to pass that about two years ago - it may even be three years ago, time passes so swiftly - we were going through a particularly lean patch in our evening viewing. I had a brainwave and solved the problem by buying the complete set of DVDs of one of my all-time favourite sitcoms, As Time Goes By. With more than 60 episodes of this brilliant series to watch again and thoroughly enjoy, we once again found pleasure on the box.
And so I repeated the dose and bought the set of 'Allo 'Allo! This is an animal of completely different colour. Set in German-occupied France during the Second World War, it features the owner of a cafe in a small town, the local occupying troops, the two competing resistance groups and fleeing British airmen. But the central plank is that the German officers are competing amonst themselves to acquire the valuable painting of the Fallen Madonna with the Big Boobies by van Clomp to sell after the war. With plenty of doubles entendres and pure farce to go with the tight scripts and clever acting, this is another gem. Try this as a sample:
But last night we watched the last episode. Not to worry - I have something else up my sleeve - Porridge.
It was only last year that I stumbled across the fact that the Old Bat's great-grandfather was one of the country's - possibly the world's - leading experimenters in stereoscopic photography was back in the 1860s. He emigrated to Australia and I have managed to find out nothing about his life there except that he married and had three children. After his wife died, the two surviving children were set to England.
Brighton's Regency Society owns several of his pictures, including this one of St Nicolas church, Brighton, which is one of a pair dating from the 1860s. I have tried taking another picture from the same spot. Interesting to see how the roof of the nave has been lifted and a row of clerstory windows inserted.