Well, the weather’s getting colder, so you know what comes next: no, not the nation being whipped into a state of panic by the Daily Express – Winterwatch. We’re pleased to see it’s back on our screens once more, and welcome the return of Chris Packham, Michaela Strachan, Martin Hughes-Games and a fine selection of our indigenous wildlife. What we’re especially pleased to see is the welcome return of the programme’s lovely old leather chesterfield sofa. It’s been around the block now, and it’s starting to show its age, but battered and bruised or not, that traditional chesterfield sofa is a thing of beauty. We don’t know whether you’ve noticed this too, but it must be a bit parky up in the Aigas Field Centre. Even the chesterfield settee’s wearing a blanket- so much for global warming.
The scenery in the Scottish Highlands is breath-taking, as you would expect, and the animals are as cute as ever. Even when they turn on one another, like the robins, to protect their patches, they can still bring a smile to our faces. We’re especially fond of the beavers, seals and the pine martins, though we reserve a special soft spot for the Scandinavian Waxwing, even though it’s not one of our own. Still, the real, star of the show still is the chesterfield sofa in our eyes. It might not migrate, nest or forage, but it’s still dear to our hearts and is indisputably British.
So, will the seal pups manage to get out of the way of the raging bull seals? Will the robins stop fighting with their neighbours? Will the beavers ever build anything other than damns? We’ll have to watch and see. What we’re more curious about is why Chris Packham has decided he’ll share his beloved chesterfield sofa this series. Normally he watches it like a hawk and is every bit as protective of his special perch as the robin, but for some reason he seems more at ease this time. He even let Michaela join him on the sofa. What is this world coming too? Come on Chris, man up – you’ve got a reputation to protect. Are you not the pack leader here? Shouldn’t you be ruling the roost and keeping the others in their place? What’s going on? Maybe age is finally catching up as it does with us all. May be the mellowness of those middle years has struck. If he’s not careful he’ll be stealing the blanket off the chesterfield sofa and wrapping himself up in it.