Monday, 15 April 2013
I thought Punting was the capital of China until...
The punt is simple and appropriate, just lengths of bent bamboo lashed together. The bow is interesting - bamboo punts on China's harbours and estuaries seem to have a much less pronounced curve. Must be something to do with the swift currents and rapids on the Nine Bend River. You can actually see it flexing as it slides over the shallows.
Our Vicky explained how tea was brought down the mountain by porters carrying bales on yokes, punted down the river and transhipped to European ships for export. No wonder it was expensive - the Duke of Bedford paid £500 a pound in modern values.
It was a bit of a pity Ms Wood didn't tell us more about the punts. It wasn't what the programme was about, of course, but she had gone on about the Chinese maglev train and the new airport in Shanghai at some length so why not?
What scenery! Love the punters' costumes. Don't think Vicky's buoyancy aid is quite so stylish though.
Victoria Wood's Nice Cup of Tea is on BBC iPlayer for a bit. The punt sequence is about ten minutes into Episode One.
PS if you recognised the allusion in the title to a certain 1970s advertising campaign, you are very old and I will have to go very slowly....