Tim Brighouse is dead.

by Harry on December 23, 2023

Well, you know that, thanks to Maria’s lovely post earlier this week. I’ll post a long, maybe self-indulgent, remembrance in a week or two (I’ve been overwhelmed by things this week, including the kind of staggering outpouring of affection ad memories on social media, in my inbox (Among the many messages came a lovely email from a headteacher my own age I last saw in 1970, and whom dad, of course, kept up with). Even the Daily Telegraph did a rather good obituary. Now I have to finish my grading by tomorrow, and get ready for Christmas, which dad loved, and I think we’ll all enjoy remembering him). But for now, if you’re interested, here are three things to read/listen to/watch.

The formal, detailed, Guardian obituary is here.

The Radio 4 obituary show, Last Word, is here. David Blunkett is excellent, the clips of my dad sound unnervingly young, and I liked that they took the parts from the interview with me that are about my dad’s appearance. He would have been genuinely horrified by all this fuss, but, bracketing that, he’d have been delighted by the first segment, about Maureen Sweeney, to whom he would have been intensely grateful (as we all should be).

Finally Rachel Johnson of PiXL, whose dad Sir John Rowling worked with Tim at the London Challenge, wrote a lovely tribute, which includes an extended video interview (half way down the page) that she just made available free, here.

The chap serving me at Pret in Heathrow the other day asked if I was going somewhere special for Christmas, and for the second time since Tim died I faltered, and said “I’m going home to Wisconsin, I’ve just been visiting because my dad died on Friday”, and berated myself inside for making him uncomfortable. But he smiled, and said, you know the usual things, and then said “Did he have a good life?” and I found myself grinning widely and said “Yes. He had a great life”, to which his response was “That’s really the best you can ask, isn’t it?”. It was lovely, like something out of the kind of movie that neither my dad nor I would ever willingly watch.


by Ingrid Robeyns on December 23, 2023

Little mole giving water to his flowersI was walking with my teenage son in a large shop the other day, and we passed by the children’s section. I saw a duvet cover that so much reminded me of Kretk – or, in English translation, the Little Mole. We were recalling which of the Kretk films that we saw we liked most – but basically, we liked almost all of them. Thinking of the Little Mole brought back happy memories.

Krtek is a series of animations that have been made by Zdenek Miler in the 1950s and 1960 in Czechoslovakia. It has a very interesting artistic signature: not only the pleasing and colourful visual arts, and the typical light, cheerful and romantic music that would come with it; lots of anti-modernist themes (such as in this one that I just found on YouTube where the little mole tries to stop the damage a bulldozer will do to its flowers); and, of course, animals that are all humanized, as they are in many movies for children. Not all animals are nice, by the way; one of my favourite Krtek movies is one where there are large animals (wolves?) who are a danger to the other animals, and by painting themselves and standing on each other’s shoulders (and thus pretending to be huge, much more dangerous monsters themselves), they are able to chase away the wolves. (NB – I have this from my memory from watching this a pretty long time ago, so not 100% reliable!).

With for many of our readers the holiday season before the door, I just wanted to share this with those of you who have never heard of the Little Mole. If you have small children, I bet they (and perhaps you too) might like to see some of it, tucked away under a blanket on the couch. Happy holidays!