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Great Canal Journeys

Discussion in 'Personal' started by nomad, Feb 6, 2016.

  1. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    Much as I enjoy good television as well as travelling on Britain's inland waterways (for 'canal' read 'a river with Aspergers'), I do find the series of Great Canal Journeys TV programmes with Timothy West and Prunella Scales more about how to grow old, more cantankerous, absent minded, clumsy and doddery on water (instead of the seasonal "On Ice") rather than about the journeys themselves.

    Am I expecting too much of Channel 4?
  2. lizziescat

    lizziescat Star commenter

    Prunella Scales is suffering from dementia so I guess absent minded and cantankerous is possibly to be expected. I should imagine West is struggling with her condition as well. I agree that it is very much about them (but the canals are lovely too). I'm not sure whether to feel uplifted that they are still undertaking such endeavours in front of cameras or disturbed by the context.
    wanet and nomad like this.
  3. InkyP

    InkyP Star commenter

    I'm watching it now. I think their relationship is lovely and she seems to be descending gently into dementia unlike my late mother who was violent and abusive. The canals are nice too.
    wanet and nomad like this.
  4. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    Just watched the last half hour (we've seen quite a few of these). It breaks my heart to see how obvious it is that a piece of Prunella has gone.
    finisterre_277 and nomad like this.
  5. InkyP

    InkyP Star commenter

    She has certainly gone downhill but is still just about able to jump off the boat and work the locks although she did fall over at one point.
    wanet and nomad like this.
  6. CarrieV

    CarrieV Lead commenter

    My mum, who has dementia, loved a recent canal holiday-she is fixated on swans for some reason. She is unable to work locks etc and simply sat and watched the scenery go by. I think she just found it peaceful and stress free, perhaps Prunella feels the same
    finisterre_277 and nomad like this.
  7. lindenlea

    lindenlea Star commenter

    I think it is quietly giving us lots of useful information about dementia.
    wanet, kibosh and nomad like this.
  8. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    I wasn't aware of the dementia. Thanks for the information.

    Mea culpa.
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2016
  9. foxtail3

    foxtail3 Star commenter

    It seems as though it brings to mind many of their journeys in their younger days and perhaps that is comforting to Prunella. A gentle series.
    wanet likes this.
  10. monicabilongame

    monicabilongame Star commenter

    I find it very moving - it's something they both loved to do and I think this is the last chance Timothy West is going to have to share this with Prunella while she is still well enough and 'there' enough to enjoy it. It's a courageous thing to do to be sharing something so personal as this on air.
    cosmosinfrance and wanet like this.
  11. wanet

    wanet Star commenter

    I admire both of them for doing it.
  12. oldsomeman

    oldsomeman Star commenter

    I have watched the number of series they have done about canal journeys and you can see Prunella gradually losing the plot. He still makes her do the work.I don't think he is as able as he used to be. I assume for both of them the time of canal journey's will soon be over.
  13. Didactylos4

    Didactylos4 Star commenter

    He doesn't
    She insists that she does it. It's her role and she'll only give it up when she can't do it at all
    InkyP, finisterre_277 and wanet like this.
  14. foxtail3

    foxtail3 Star commenter

    I think he finds his way unintentionally to the bank more often than he probably did as a younger man and it certainly looks as though some of those locks are quite strenuous to manoeuvre. They frequently have additional help from family and friends these days. No matter, it's still a pleasant programme and the relationship between them is lovely. Their family clearly care about them too.
    lindenlea likes this.
  15. finisterre_277

    finisterre_277 Established commenter

    I find it hard to watch. I keep recalling that he apparently spoke openly on stage about Prunella's condition. Then when he presumably became aware of his listeners' shocked reaction, he said it didn't matter because in five minutes' time, she wouldn't remember anything he had said.
    I don't think that's the point but then who am I to judge?
  16. finisterre_277

    finisterre_277 Established commenter

    Losing the plot? That's a very unkind way of describing her condition.
  17. wanet

    wanet Star commenter

    Plus, remember it is a TV programme, they are not really on their own.
  18. lizziescat

    lizziescat Star commenter

    I actually feel it's the sort of gentle programme someone would have written as a play if this real life version hadn't been done. At times I find it very poignant and upsetting(?) guilt inducing(?) for seeing into someone's real life tragedy.
  19. wanet

    wanet Star commenter

    I think, to some extent a script has been written. Did Tim not really know about his Irish roots - was a trip past the ancestoral seat just a coincidence? Perhaps I am too cynical. But I do enjoy it.
  20. CarrieV

    CarrieV Lead commenter

    I'm sure it is very heavily planned, I wouldn't let my parents past the end of the road without knowing where they were going, let alone loose on a canal boat!

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