Sunday, January 13, 2013

Plum and sailing

One of my favourite writers is the word craftsman extraordinaire, P. G Wodehouse, or Plum as he was generally known.

If you exclude ocean liners then he was not a sailor himself, though there are a number of sailing connections.

For one he corresponded with sailor and fellow writer Arthur Ransome who named one of his boats (above) after Plum's character Lottie Blossom, movie star and owner of a pet alligator.

Then there are examples of sailors in his novels, such as the classic "Hot Water". In it the amiable but easily distracted hero Packy is led astray by an advert for auxiliary yawl Flying Cloud which he sails across the channel to come to the aid of the damsel in distress. Given the absence in the text of any description of crew it could well be that Packy can add single handed sailor to his sporting credentials (and yup, spoiler alert, he gets the girl at the end).

So it may be appropriate that in this evening's new BBC TV series Blanding Castle that the estimable Lord Emsworth is played by Timothy Spall who has pottered around Britain on his barge ("All at sea").

Emsworth is of course also the name of the village off Chichester harbour where co-incidentally (or maybe not) Arthur Ransome once sailed his yacht Lottie Blossom.

I say Jeeves, you are amazing, what?

Photo of Lottie Blossom from: here


Chris Partridge said...

Sadly, the TV adaptation was a travesty. All Wodehouse's delicate, finely turned gags removed and replaced by crude slapstick. And Timothy Spall as the Earl? He is a great actor but what were they thinking?

JP said...

I agree - it was abysmal. I only actually watched for 3 minutes before switching off.

I could only conclude that they were imposters - not the first time Blandings has been overrun with them