|Foggy's House: First on the right?|
If I have one complaint about the “Summerwine Magic” tour, it is that the driver hardly ever stops. When he does, usually it’s not in an advantageous position for photography. Thus I caught a glimpse of Norman Clegg’s house, nothing more, and can remember little or nothing about it. As I mentioned earlier, the film crew used a huge number of locations during the series’ thirty-seven year run, and the tour does a good job of showing you some of the more memorable ones. Plus, it saved me from lots of walking (or worse, driving on some very twisty, and excruciatingly narrow roads), and kept me dry on a rainy morning.
|Colin kept us dry.|
Norman is the first character I identified with in “Last of the Summer Wine.” He seems a very down-to-Earth guy. Like me, he tends to philosophize a lot. He constantly wonders what life might be like if one thing about the human experience was different. (“If our feet were pointed backward from our legs, we’d be able to stand against walls face-first. We’d probably make sure our walls were cleaner then”). He ponders the dangers of societal trends. (“Why have parents stopped naming their children ‘Herbert?’”) He wonders what future civilizations might make of humanity. (“What would the archeologists of another intelligent species in the distant future make of humanity by analyzing our beds, as well as most of our other furniture? Would they think that our bodies were composed entirely of right angles?”) Of course, he also tends to think before he acts. Or to be more precise: instead of acting, he assesses all the risks of any potential action, and thus feels safe by leaving well enough alone. Or at least he tries to, and he would, if he didn’t have Foggy or Seymour to prompt him into dangerous actions.
Of course, my instant rapport with him could also stem from the fact that he voiced Wallace in the “Wallace and Grommit” movies.
|Knock on Nora Batty's blue door. If you dare.|
That’s not to say I don’t recognize aspects of myself in the other characters. As I mentioned in yesterday’s entry, I see part of myself in Sid (not that my wife is anything like Ivy!). I sympathize with Foggy, the ex-Army corporal who constantly reinvents a past as a deadly assassin, and feels the need to justify his existence by organizing important jobs for Norman and Compo. As for Compo, while he tends to be the fan’s favorite character, I think I bonded with him last. He’s a man who never grew up, whose wife left him, who always dresses in threadbare clothes. He claims he’s incapable of physical labor, but shows grit and determination when Foggy suggests any action that might impress Norma Batty. I think what finally helped me like Compo was when I realized that he represented the child in me, the man who (unlike Norman) isn’t afraid to look foolish or act differently, and never gives up in his attempts to impress Nora Batty. As for Nora, I understand her all too well. For she wants the world to be safe, ordered, and most of all, tidy. By orchestrating everything within her sphere of influence, she thus becomes the ultimate authority in her realm. She may not accomplish anything revolutionary, but neither does she miss out on a single little thing that matters to her.
If only I keep my house as clean as she does hers.
|"Watch out for that brush!"|
Then there’s Wesley, the mechanical genius, who can fix or make anything: I think we’d all like to be like him at times. And Edie, his wife, who only lets him in the house when he steps on newspaper, because he’s usually covered in dirt, grease, and oil. I think I’ll draw the line at comparing myself to either Howard or Marina though. Doing so could get me into more than a little trouble.
Still, I dearly wish I had a photograph of Norman Clegg’s house as a memento from Holmfirth. Perhaps I’ll have to return someday, preferably when it’s not raining.
|Compo's Wellies have become a symbol for the community.|
Thanks for following my pontifications,
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