To Baader-Meinhof or Not to Baader-Meinhof? That is the Question.

Photo Credit:  Hulki Okan Tabak

A few weeks ago a friend came over for some socially distant muffins and tea.  We had a wonderful time chatting in the backyard about all kinds of things.  At one point she recommended a series called “Walking Through History”.  The host walks around Britain and archaeologists and historians pop out of the surrounding country add information as he walks.  Sounded like my cup of tea so I searched it out.

I didn’t actually binge watch it but over the next couple of weeks, I had seen them all.  The host, Tony Robinson, seemed vaguely familiar, so I googled him.  Turns out he is SIR Tony Robinson, an English actor and host and he seemed familiar because he played Baldrick in the “Black Adder” show a gazillion years ago.  I read through his entire Wikipedia page and found that he has had a fascinating career of acting, presenting and writing and has made charity part of his life’s work.

I’m waiting for a DVD of Black Adder from the library (to re-watch) and have checked out Bad Kids: Naughtiest Children in History .  It was very funny – a kids’ book about various ways in which kids are raised (and punished) in various cultures throughout history.  There are quite a few children’s books about history in his bibliography.

Another thing that caught my eye in his biography was a television show that ran for 20 seasons on BBC called “Time Team”.  A group of archaeologists and historians (and Tony Robison as presenter) go someplace in Britain (often invited by a town or home owner) to look into the history of some ruin – they give themselves 3-5 days and then present their findings.  It took me a bit to find it, but eventually I did – on demand cable – all 20 seasons.  It’s fascinating.  I’ve watched 2 seasons so far.

So imagine my surprise when this morning, while reading In the Woods, a murder mystery that takes place in an archaeological site by Tana French (which has been on my shelf for a few years and I’m just getting to), I found this:

“How’s the dig going?” Cassie asked sociably.
One corner of Mark’s mouth twisted sourly.  “How do you think?  We’ve got four weeks to do a year’s work.  We’ve been using bulldozers.”
“And that’s not a good thing?” I said.
He glared at me.  “Do we look like the f***ing Time Team?”

French then adds a couple of sentences explaining Time Team for those readers who don’t happen to be binge watching it this week.

I’m sure a mathematician can probably explain the odds of this occurrence, but I’m thinking there just has to be magic involved.  And maybe dragons.

For what kind of show would you like to be a presenter?

45 thoughts on “To Baader-Meinhof or Not to Baader-Meinhof? That is the Question.”

  1. Forget the part about being a presenter—that’s not and never will be an aspiration of mine.

    But I love Time Team. At one point I had watched all the available seasons, about ten or so, but they’ve added a few more that I can stream. The show has bounced around from BBC sources and now I think it’s on Amazon Prime.

    Besides Tony, there are a quirky set of archaeological specialists, some of whom come and go throughout the seasons and some regulars, like Phil and Mick. Watching Time Team, you sort of get the impression that you can stick a shovel in the ground anywhere in Britain and come up with artifacts.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Taking off from Time Team, if you can find it, you might like “The Detectorists.” It’s a gentle comedy about a group of metal detector hobbyists in England and much of the humor is in the characters and the kind of insular enthusiasm you get in niche groups.

      Liked by 4 people

  2. I’ll become a presenter on the 12th of Never, but I’ll pipe up here to confess to a raging crush on a BBC presenter: Lucy Worsley. She’s currently doing a series called Royal Myths & Secrets. The first two episodes in the series were about Elizabeth I and Queen Anne. Lucy’s take on Marie Antoinette airs on TPT Sunday and Monday. Lucy is brilliant, funny, pretty and creative. She knows how to spin a yarn, and we recently saw she can dance the tango with elan.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Ed Sullivan used to have lots of “female impersonators” on, remember that? As conservative as our culture was at that time, it amazes me.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. just read road to little dribbling which is bill bryson’s walk around uk talking call this stuff and he referenced his former tv show doing archeological stuff
    i was going to look it up

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Bill Bryson is a delight. His audiobooks, which he narrates himself, are so much fun. He is one of those writers whose actual voice fits the content (ala David Sedaris, Garrison Keillor, Sara Vowell).

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I read his latest “The Body: A Guide for Occupants” back before the pandemic. I wasn’t sure how it was going to go since it seemed like a scientific topic, but it was great. And of course narrated by Bill Bryson is the best.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Rise and Shine Baboons,

    “The World’s Extraordinary Homes” is one of my favorite shows of this type. Presenters Caroline, an English actress, and Piers, a pompous English architect, are expressive and over dramatic. They pop around the world exploring peoples’ homes. And the homes are just intriguing. My favorites are the Norwegian homes.

    I think I would choose gardening or genealogy to present. I love gardening shows.. I am considering signing up to take the Master Gardener classes through MN Extension—it keeps my mind more supple when I am actively learning something new and engaged in the content. And then I could be a fantasy presenter with good cred.

    My fantasy “Geneologist Presenter” would also be interesting. When Skip Gates’ show, “Finding Your Roots” is running, I watch that, as well. The combination of genealogy and DNA findings provide some powerful information. Plus he gets to meet people who are very interesting and accomplished. I have been sorting through and scanning all this geneolgy information that my mother collected. Most of it is massively over-collected, with many repetitions of the same information. My Grandfather’s cousin who collected my Great-Great Grandfather’s Civil War letters, then donated them to a museum also granted me her “collection” which is slightly more organized than my mother’s stuff, but also repetitive. That I sorted last night.

    So far I have found Civil War documentation of two ancestors, and some old pictures I did not know existed. The picture of Petra Amelia Altomonten is just grim. I want to do a couple posts about this, but so far I have not found the time to sit down and do it.

    Speaking of “niche groups” I think we are all kind of presenters on the Trail, with VS and Renee being our Dear Leader Presenters of obscure and interesting topics.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. “My momma called me Skippy from the time I was born. She loved nicknames (my brother Paul Edward is Rocky). The whole world calls me Skip. I love my mother, and I love my nickname.”
        He was once arrested in his bathrobe on his front lawn because he looked like the man the cops were seeking. But in Cambridge every black man looked like every other black man.

        Liked by 3 people

        1. I think you may have his arrest story confused with somebody else’s. He was not arrested on his front lawn wearing a bathrobe, but rather trying to break into his own house with the assistance of his driver. He had just returned from a trip to China, and found his front door jammed shut, and the two men were trying to force it open. One of his neighbors called the police and reported the activity as a possible burglary in process. It was not a case of mistaken identity.

          Liked by 1 person

  5. I may have mentioned this here before, but the BBC’s “A Stitch in Time” with fashion historian Amber Butchart is very watchable. She begins, usually, with a painting—Van Eyck’s Arnolfini Portrait, for example—and talks about the clothing. Then, working with a group of historical costumers, they recreate one of the garments from the painting using authentic methods. It’s on Amazon Prime.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I finally caved in and got Amazon Prime when, during the pandemic, my shipping costs equaled the cost of prime, so now I get the network. I must check this out.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. In my experience with Amazon Prime, so far, is that just about everything that I have an interest in seeing, I’ll have to pay extra for.


        1. amazon prime is not perfect if you are looking for something but if you look at what they have of interest and take notes to come back to it it is an amazing collection


    2. I watched all the “Stitch in Time”s today. Fascinating. And I love that she did men and women’s fashion, not just women’s. Thanks!!


  6. I know there has been a Baader-Meinhof in my life lately, and will let you know if details surface.
    How did I not know about Time Team? – sounds like fun… wonder if the library will have it.

    I just read last night’s entries, and have followed K-Two’s lead, joining Disney Plus to watch Hamilton tonight…

    Liked by 2 people

  7. OT – I’m heartbroken. My friend, Helen, just called to tell me that she’s putting her house (just down the street from me) on the market in September. I hate to see them go, and though I know where they will move to (an old farmhouse Helen owns in Frederic, Wisconsin) I know our relationship will change. Helen is my theater-go-out-to-eat-with friend of choice, and so many other things; just a dear and precious friend, and I’ll miss her terribly. Sigh.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh PJ, I’m so sorry. I know just what this feels like. One of my best friends ever, Lori, moved to Chicago in March. I had over a year’s warning and it still wasn’t enough. Even with texting and email and phone calls it’s just not the same as when one of your best friends lives two doors up from you.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks, vs. I knew she was considering it. Her partner, Sara, who is also a dear friend, was lobbying for the move, so it wasn’t a complete surprise. Sara has ADHD, and like Helen, is a retired nurse, she has agitated for other changes over the years, but those have for various reasons fallen by the wayside. Sara is considerably younger than Helen, and I’m concerned that what is driving the move is Sara’s restless spirit. Helen loves her house and her neighborhood, and has several very close friends within walking distance.

        Sara’s “community” is much more dispersed. She’s extremely active in AA, and travels regularly as far as Rochester for regular meetings. It’s as if AA has replaced her addiction to alcohol. She does not share in any of the local initiatives that Helen is plugged into. Just seems lopsided to me. Now that I have put this down on “paper” I’m even more concerned, and not just for my own selfish reasons.


        1. Sorry to hear this PJ. I hate losing friends to geographic changes. Your concerns are probably quite well-grounded. Helen could be really sorry about this move. Sometimes things that are not meant to be, just don’t work out. Maybe that will happen here.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. suggest to your friend that she air bnb her house or rent it out for a while to see how the shift plays out

          i can give you air bnb 101 so it’s pretty much a hands off proposition


  8. We just finished watching Hamilton. Wow. What raw talent. A genius setting the life of another genius to stage and music.
    Even though I read the book and I knew how this ended, I was weeping at the end.

    While scanning family history today, I discovered that my 3Xgreat grandparents were housing runaway slaves on the Underground Railroad. How could my grandparents not tell us some of this stuff? It seems significant to me.

    A historic day.

    We are going to Iowa tomorrow to see my mother for the first time since Thanksgiving. To maintain physical distance we will stay in my sister’s camper on her property. Outdoor adventure here we come!

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Yes, I just found out about Time Team myself and love it. Have you tried TV show Horrible History? It’s on Hulu and it’s kind of gear towards kids but I love it, lots of great parody history songs, and lots of dry British wit.

    Liked by 1 person

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