Watching the BBC’s hit series “Sherlock” for the first time since it’s returned to the telly I was puzzled by the latest instalment (episode 3), where Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson spent Christmas with Sherlock’s parents in a lovely country cottage. If you haven’t watched any of it, this is a new and very modern take on the Conan Doyle penned detective stories and a superb example of what a great writer can contribute to an existing genre.
But back to my watching of episode 3 of the current “Sherlock” series! There I was staring at the screen in disbelief for Sherlock’s parents apparently live just a short bus ride from Cardiff – at St Fagans’ splendid open air museum in fact.
I realised my camera and I could lie in wait for Messrs Cumberholmes and Free-Hobbit-Wattson in case they’ll return to hunt for eggs in the cottage garden this coming Easter. Stop laughing, Sherlock fans. Why shouldn’t they come to Wales for another family get together? Sherlock’s parents seem so keen on traditional festivities…
To digress once more: there will shortly be a whole blog post on St Fagans, which is one of Wales’s greatest treasures by the way. If you come to Wales, it is a must-see tourist attraction and if you live here as a writer, it is a must-see resource for fantasy fiction; strolling through the lovely grounds and inspecting the ancient farmsteads, the manor house and the many cottages inspires new stories and helps the writer’s mind to picture perfectly how people who lived in these homes would have felt, what their mind set might have been and what their daily routines would have been like; for example, it allows a writer to describe the cramped condition really well and imagine how this would have impacted on a protagonist’s psychological makeup and their relationship with other inmates of the home.
Back to being Sherlocked! See if you recognise Holmes’ family cottage; here are some pictures I took on a hot day last summer:
If any amateur sleuths out there where at St Fagans on the day the BBC must have filmed there, please drop us a line!
Meanwhile, I’m taking another close look at the pictures I took of St Fagans village…could these chocolate-box cottages hide one of literature’s greatest secrets…namely how do Roald Dahl’s “Witches” manage to blend into human society without being rumbled right away? A perfect image of middle-class respectability, this cottage seems harmless, but look closely and you can see the curtains twitch as the Grand Witch peeps out from behind the curtains…oh bother, great bubbling Hecate!
Did the world’s best detective, the Witch Finder General, just stroll by?
This cauldron might hold a vital clue…the game’s on, Sherlock and Dr Watson!
(photography: copyright Maria Thermann; source of animations: heathersanimations.com)