Tuesday, July 01, 2008

pimpernel, silence, cent

When I was a child I loved the idea that the scarlet pimpernel foretold the weather by closing when it is about to rain. The little flower appealed all the more when I read Baroness Orczey's books about the exploits of Sir Percy Blakeney. And how in the guise of a fop whom no one took seriously, rescued French aristocrats from the guilotine at the time of the Revolution. I can still hear the voice of Leslie Howard, as Blakeney, the Pimpernel, in the 1934 film reciting in the false voice of a would-be wit:
"They seek him here,
They seek him there,
Those Frenchies seek him everywhere,
That demn'd elsuvive pimpernel!"

While queuing at the Bank I an able to watch tennis at Wimbledon on a screen throughfully provided. There is no sound. What a pleasure it is to be excused the commentary, most of it superflous, which accompanies television broadcasts. And even better to miss the grunts, groans and shrieks of the players as they execute their strokes! I would switch off the sound at home, if it were not for the need one, somehow, feels to hear the racket hit the ball.

"What a sweet little coin!" says the woman in the health food shop, when I give her a cent in mistake for a 1p piece.
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Clare said...

I once heard a radio play about how before TV they used to commentate tennis matches on the radio -- 'forehand, backhand, forehand, forehand, out, love-fifteen.'

And I should think that in the not-too-distant future, there will be a setting on your TV that will allow you to watch the match with only the noises that you want to hear.

Unknown said...

I am old enough to remember that time. It is surprising what a good picture you had of the progress of rallies when you think about the shortcomings of radio against tv in the broadcasting of tennis.