What does Britain’s favourite TV-viewing Parson Russell Terrier think of Escape to the Country, The Davis Cup, The Wonder of Animals, Treehouse Masters, and Nothing to Declare?
Howard Spring reviews his week in TV!
Escape to the Country
This week I watched Escape to the Country again. This episode was hosted by Alistair Appleton. Rumour has it he was a founding member of the Shoreditch Morris Dancing Society. I decided to investigate this for myself, but we couldn’t find any Morris dancing clubs based in Shoreditch. We checked the National Association of Morris and Sword Dance Clubs, and the English Folk Dance and Song Society. And I have never seen him down the park either, so this might just be a rumour. But whether or not he is a Morris dancer did not come up in this episode. In this episode, the potential escapees were looking in Derbyshire. And Alistair did not do any dancing.
But the really exciting part was when they visited the Red House Stables Working Carriage Museum. The horses there are quite famous. They have starred in Pride and Prejudice, Jane Eyre, The Duchess, and lots and lots of other things. They were also very shiny and they jingled when they walked. All in all, most impressive.
I will probably watch this show again, as there is always a good chance of seeing some sheep or cows or horses. And often the people who are house-hunting have a dog. So there really is quite a lot going for this show.
The Davis Cup
This week I watched the Davis Cup. This is a show about balls. I wanted to see how good humans are at playing fetch. Turns out they are terrible. The only ones who were any good at fetch were the slightly smaller ones (probably terriers) along the sidelines who ran on occasionally and grabbed the balls and then ran off with them (definitely terriers). The bigger ones just kept hitting them away. Hopeless.
The Wonder of Animals
I watched The Wonder of Animals this week for the first time. This episode was all about bats. Bats are like squirrels that can fly. Although they are not to be confused with flying squirrels. Or squirrel gliders. Bats are quite amazing. They talk to each other a lot. And despite what you might think, they are not all saying the same thing. They can build houses out of leaves – that’s right, they don’t just live in the bat cave. And they can navigate around the earth with magnets. I couldn’t see the magnets on the show, so they are probably some sort of super tiny magnet from Paper Chase.
I think I will watch this show again because there is a 100% chance of seeing animals.
This show was amazing. They build houses in trees! The chief treehouse builder is a man called Pete Nelson and he loves trees. He talks to the trees and names them. He says trees are just like people. And before building in the trees he does a garlic ceremony. This is where he thanks the tree for hosting the tree house and he buries some garlic at the roots to help the tree repair itself.
Pete Nelson is also a dog lover, and the show opened with Pete giving their dogs, Chica and Bun, a bath. Chica was rescued as a stray in Spain!
Pete and some pals invented something called a Tab which goes into the tree to support the treehouse, and the tree grows around the Tab. The Tab means the tree can move in the wind because it’s not bolted to the treehouse. And you can make a Tab for yourself, because they didn’t patent it. They came up with the idea at the World Treehouse Conference (that’s right!) and put it in the public domain, which is rather nice. Human tells me that this is a bit like a rock in the park that we can all pee on, as opposed to someone’s front porch, which we can’t pee on without asking first.
This episode was set on a ranch in Waco, Texas and it had dogs, cows, and goats. It was really good because the people on the farm really loved dogs and there were lots of dogs – four in fact. And they said they do everything together, that they’re family. Isn’t that awesome!?
Pete also went to a place called Uncertain to visit a fishing treehouse built on the Caddo Lake, which is known for alligators and Bigfoot. Although we didn’t see either. The shack was built in the 1920s and is famous because it has been featured in True Blood as well as lots of movies. I also learnt that wood doesn’t rot underwater. And that beavers build nests that are partly submerged, but nutria (river rats) build floating nests. But I wouldn’t mess with either of them.
This show was unexpectedly wonderful. It had a lot going for it. I think I will watch it again for lots of reasons. It is usually in the countryside because that’s where the big trees are, and so I have a good chance of seeing lots of animals. And it is a show about sheds, only in trees, and we love sheds.
Nothing to Declare
This week I watched Nothing to Declare, which is a bit like Border Patrol, only it is in Australia. This episode was absolutely amazing because one of the stories was all about the beagles being trained to smell things.
We were introduced to a beagle named Banjo and he was doing some exams with some other beagles. Banjo’s human was a very nice and enthusiastic man called Scott.
The test had two parts. The first one was in a testing centre, with no distractions. All the beagles had to sniff different boxes and when they sniffed something that they were trained to find they had to sit. One of the “tricks” that the testers did was to put cheese in one of the boxes. The beagles were not supposed to stop for cheese. Can you imagine!? Anyway, Banjo did have one “incorrect” when he stopped for cheese. But for goodness sake, that’s like giving someone air and asking them not to breathe!
Fortunately, despite the cheese incident, Banjo (and all his pals) passed the first part of the test.
So the next step was the real world test in the actual Sydney airport. In this test they gave a bag of pears to some helpful travellers for Banjo to find, and they found some biscuits on some others (that had been declared). Banjo did so well, he was so amazing, and we were all so excited for him because he passed! In fact, they all passed. This was the best episode of Nothing to Declare ever! That’s what I call feel good TV!