Thursday, 27 September 2012

"Parade's End"

While Caroline has been in Bristol on granny duty, I have been catching up on BBC2's adaptation of Ford Maddox Ford's "Parade's End". After the first episode, I wasn't sure I wanted to persevere with it, being rather put off by what I thought was Rebecca Hall's overcooked performance. But returning after a break it seemed to get steadily better. Cumberbatch - as everyone agrees - acts his pants off, but there were numberless fine cameos from others, notably, Roger Allam's General Campion. Altogether, its baroque brilliance made it a substantial main course in comparison with the tasty snack that's "Downton Abbey".

The leitmotif for me was "falling out". Our hero falls for Sylvia, and thus falls out of his behavioural straightjacket. He then falls out with her because she bolts, but not until the "Fall out!" at the end of the parades - post-November 1918 - does he admit that his "parade" is a charade.

Early one morning, last week, I cycled along The Parade, Pembroke, which runs below the mediaeval town wall (still some of it in evidence). From its end, I looked back towards Monkton and took this photograph: Landmark Trust's "Old Hall" - where we were staying - is the large stone building on the left. Its rather secret garden (to the right) gives an unexpectedly grand view. The massive Priory Church of St Nicholas and St John (you can see its tower only) is another surprise.

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