I’m not sure what to say about Our Yorkshire Farm, a documentary on the utterly redeemed Channel 5, that doesn’t sound hyperbolic to the point of idolatry and slight nuttiness. If there is anything else in our culture that is as wholesome, pure and good as this, please tell me about it.
Amid all the murk and sleaze and bigotry and inverted bigotry and tired complacent mediocrity, there is a family that knows how to live well – a family that has more or less restored the whole notion of virtue. Yes, virtue! Amid all the crappy Netflix shows, there is Sidney, who is learning to run his first sheepdog.
Amid all the stale chat about how we’re going to learn lessons from the pandemic, maybe, there is Miles, who looks after the chickens. Amid all the tediously quite-good novels by people like Kazuo Ishiguro, there is Violet, who found some owls nesting in a barn. Amid all the pollution and traffic and roadworks and angry looks from angry drivers, there is Nancy, who found a ginormous snail. Amid all the depressing chat about depressing racism in depressing American cities, and every other branch of the stupid boring culture war, there is Edith, who came last in the family fell race. Amid all the ghastly vile plastic celebrities camping around on unforgivable game shows, there is Ruben, who is doing an apprenticeship. Amid all the dull dull dull political chat about visionless politicians, and the boring pious enthusiasm of bumptious Radio 4 scientists, there is Raven, who is studying medicine, and is greatly admired by all her younger siblings.
And now I feel like Maria in The Sound of Music, praying in her bedroom, because she has forgotten Kurt’s name and has to say ‘God bless the other one’.