Steve Goble

Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

If reality TV ever made a member of the public famous through both exposure and actual hard work, then it's gotta be Hannah Hauxwell.

Having grown up on a cold north-English farm, and then lost her parents, Hannah spent the rest of her life sustaining the family business almost entirely alone, without even any help from running water or electricity.

By the time that Yorkshire Television filmed her for Too Long A Winter - a doco about farmers struggling to protect their livestock from the icy snow of 1973 - she was 46. When they returned twenty years later to film the follow-up programme A Winter Too Many… and found her still resolutely heaving freezing cattle around, she was 66. Well, that puts us all to shame.

As well as those two documentaries, this double-DVD also includes the six-part series Hannah Hauxwell: Innocent Abroad, which grants us the privilege of accompanying Hannah on her travels around Europe, as she spends her retirement finally taking a well-earned holiday.

Although these programmes do suffer from TV's insistence upon packaging real events by getting the people involved to dutifully act them out for the cameras, they can't overcome Hannah's constant humble integrity. Again and again she politely responds to the world outside her world with respect and interest, and one has to wonder why there aren't more series capturing something as simple and great as an ordinary holiday with nice people.

In these eight programmes, Hannah Hauxwell comes across as both an example and an inspiration, however who among us could possibly suppose that we could ever attain such dizzying heights of lifelong endurance? If anything she seems to equally - and unintentionally - highlight how weak and pampered we all are, not to mention what a great thing it is to be alive.

Available here.

0 comment(s):

Post a Comment

<< Back to Steve's home page

** Click here for preceding post(s) **

** Click here for following post(s) **