Wednesday, 30 November 2011
Exhausted, I slumped in front of the telly to watch David Attenborough's latest triumph, Frozen Planet. And he showed people who have it really tough.
The Aleut peoples of Chukotka, the bit of Russia that Sarah Palin can see from her bedroom window, hunt in boats made of walrus skin on wooden frames. They kill walrus by throwing huge weighted harpoons attached to inflated walrus bladders to stop them from diving.
The unfortunate walrus even provide puncture repair outfits - holes in the hulls are repaired with dobs of walrus fat.
I admire the hardihood and self-reliance of these people so much. Their timing could be better though. And they used a very short, sharp stroke. Could that be to cope with rougher conditions?
The Frozen Planet series is the best thing on the TV right now by a country mile - if you are in the UK and haven't watched this superb programme already, watch it on BBC iplayer NOW.