Thursday 21 August 2014

The Awakening and a Hedgehog

This week Radio 4 is running a dramatisation of Kate Chopin's once-scandalous novel The Awakening as its 15 Minute Drama. Someone has had the bright idea of framing the action by having it observed through the eyes of a black maidservant, who provides a running commentary in the kind of caricatured, eye-rolling style you might have thought would be frowned on in these PC times. However, as the white characters too lay on the stage Southern accents and intonations with a trowel, it doesn't seem entirely out of place. What it does do, though, is fatally distance the action of what is on the page an intense and challenging read - just the kind of novel that would benefit from the intimacy that radio can achieve. Unless things pick up in the last couple of episodes, this looks like a sad misfire.

And in other news... This morning, on the way to the station, I saw a hedgehog. Sadly it was a two-dimensional hedgehog, having been flattened by a passing car, but I was still glad to see it, as it was the first evidence I'd seen of a hedgehog presence in the area for a decade or more. When I was a boy, hedgehogs came as standard with every suburban garden, and they thrived in town (well, suburb) and country alike - but by the late Nineties, seeing one was becoming a bit of an event. And then there were none - or so it seemed. It's good to know they're still around after all, and I hope the next one I see is alive and well and taking care when crossing the road.


  1. We have, like those poor souls trying to adopt children, attempted hedgehog adoption from the hedgehog rescue people. We have, we thought, the ideal conditions, large area including woodland, piles of branches from felled trees deliberately created for wildlife and the dogs are pacifists. Unfortunately when box ticking time is upon us we hang our heads and own up, both fox and badger are frequent visitors. "Sorry" said the nice lady, "can't let you have any." We remain forlorn and sans hedgehog.

  2. Ah yes - foxes - that cld explain their decline in suburbia. The old rolling into a ball trick seems to have let the poor hedgehogs down...