We have three of the grandchildren here for a few days to give their parents time to get to grips with the twins who arrived last week. How they will manage six of them I can only wait to see. I have been transferring some old cassettes to CD recently and played one to the children yesterday - Roald Dhal's Dirty Beasts - which they enjoyed as much as I did. The original material is brought to life splendidly by Timothy West and Prunella Scales, the well-known narrowboaters.
It is a shame, however, that their recent TV series - Great Canal Journeys - promoted the notion that cruising the canals is a contact sport and that crashing into boats, bridges and other canal structures is not only acceptable but quite fun. There are enough idiots on the canals at present who have been persuaded by misguided TV shows that the sun always shines when you are boating. It is simply irresponsible to chase audience ratings in the manner of such shows. Thirty years ago Anthony Burton presented a more realistic and informative series Back Door Britain: broadcasters would improve understanding and knowledge of the canals by re-running this.