If the word ‘Christmas’ is in the title, you can be pretty sure I’ll be watching it. I’m a sucker for anything Christmassy; I pretty much know the film Christmas Vacation off by heart, I can’t miss a Muppet Christmas Carol and I’ve tried all the how-to Christmas stuff as demonstrated by Kirsty Allsopp, Jamie Oliver, Nigella Lawson…
The list goes on and on, but I think I’ll give a wide berth to trying to recreate a Victorian Christmas in my own home. There are many reasons why, not least of which is because if I wanted to get my ewes preggers – and around Christmas time is, apparently, the time to start trying for baby lambs – I’d have to go and buy a ram. Not the end of the world, no, but feeling up its gonads is, as we saw in Victorian Farm Christmas.
My response to that Victoriana Christmas pastime would be a firm, ‘no ta’.
Ditto making butter or soap or a feast for about 40 people, all without a microwave or gravy you can get in a tub.
But this was an excellent watch, even though it didn’t inspire me to emulate anything we saw. What it did do was make me very, very glad I don’t live in Victorian times. ‘Cos damn, they had to work really, really hard. I’m not a fan of that.
This show was a spin-off from Victorian Farm and featured Ruth, Alex and Peter all doing their bit towards recreating the life of our ancestors around Christmastime, and I have to say, it was very educational but fortunately, didn’t feel like it was.
As regular Primetime readers may know, I resent being taught something by my TV; I dislike it when a lesson hides behind the skirts of something labeled entertainment only to leap out and shout ‘Boo! You’ve learned something!’ when you least expect it. But it was hard not to enjoy this history lesson.
Ruth is immensely enthusiastic and it’s rather catching. Her daughter, Eve, is likewise fun to watch as she clearly wished an Eve-shaped hole would open up and swallow her when she has to don a milkmaid outfit. Bless her.
I really did enjoy the whole thing, and while it’s put me off time travel – unless I can go back in time as the gentry who sat around getting gout while the poor waited on them – then I think I’ll stick to the here and now when I can nuke my sprouts and my gravy can be home-made only to the extent that I personally opened the tub it’s in.
So if you feel hard done to this Christmas and as if you’re tied to the kitchen, take a look at Victorian Farm Christmas and you’ll see just how easy we have it. We don’t have to pluck anything or feel anything up – well, not of the feathered or the four-legged variety anyway – and we can just unwrap our nice smelling soap rather than rummaging around in fat and caustic soda to make it.
Thank heavens for Bernard Matthews and Crabtree & Evelyn…