It’s always quite thrilling, as well as disconcerting, to find that we’ve got the whole bay to ourselves.
On this day however, as we walked along the path through the dunes from the car park to the beach, a walker with a friendly Airedale terrier on their way back stopped to say: It’s all yours!
He was wrong, of course. For one thing the tide line was dotted with these amber jewels:
And tracks in the sand revealed more birds than we could see and an otter from earlier that morning.
Eventually, as we climbed the cliff path southwards, the surfers appeared and took advantage of the Atlantic rollers.
They’re in there somewhere.
Another good first day on Islay. :)
My copy of this eagerly awaited novel arrived in mid-August and sat beckoning at me until I took it away for holiday reading last week. Eagerly-awaited, of course, was tempered with no small concerns as my knowledge of the acclaimed tv series would probably be sufficient to write a set of Mastermind specialist questions, never mind achieve a winning score. Notwithstanding my multiple re-watches of each Broadchurch episode, I’ve also felt compelled to write my own additional scenes to complement and enhance what we saw of Mark and Beth’s relationship. So, my concerns about how much Erin Kelly’s novel would mess with my head-canon were very real.
However, I needn’t have worried. In the event, I found the book as compelling as the series and finished it in just four days – which for me is very quick!
Fortunately Ms Kelly has chosen not to retell the story as a blow-by-blow copy of the original, but as a version as seen through the viewpoints of Ellie Miller, Beth and Alec Hardy. Some scenes and threads have been completely omitted (eg. the cocaine wrap), others have been joined together (eg. the Latimer baby-memories box /clear Danny’s room). Many scenes have been moved to an alternative setting (eg. Mark & Nige in the pub rather than the van) and some have been extended to create new material or develop the back story. In some cases these work well to fit and explain plot holes in the original, such as the apparently unmissed £500 from the Miller household; the slugs and the burning boat. Also some additional scenes that missed the final cut have been written back into the novel, like the confession by Kevin the postie and the conversation between Paul Coates and Steve.
What the writer keeps true to completely is the original dialogue – even when the action is relocated to another setting. To my mind this helps keep the story grounded in the original and kept me engrossed. However, not surprisingly with all the changes, there are some errors. The most obvious relates to the time on the CCTV recording of Mark waiting in the Briar Cliff car park.
One of the aspects of the novel version which I found to be an improvement, was the way the relationship between Mark and Beth is portrayed more positively. I found their forced absence of physical proximity in the series quite irritating – especially when a kiss or the comforting hold or touching took place out of camera shot. Instead, in the novel they touch, hold hands and share more physical intimacy than the meagre arm round the shoulder and thumb-stroking we eventually saw in episode 8.
I was also quite gratified to find the writer has invented the same, or similar, inner monologues and motivations as mine in her interpretation of these characters’ thinking.
What about the clue, the mere detail, the anomaly – that hints at what’s to come in Broadchurch series 2? Well, there is something in the early pages, but it’s just a name, a house labelled on a map:
p78 - ”Up past Jocelyn Knight’s house." - an addition to Jack’s evidence about Danny’s argument with the postman.
I actually know more about this character (and the actor concerned) because of filming spoiler mentions and photos!!!
Of course, there’s still scope for my previous Broadchurch s2 suggestions!!
I had to do this, when young myself and working as a residential care worker. It was my duty to report a child missing if he or she did not come back to the home at night. For some girls, that was most nights. The police and my co-workers cheerily referred to these girls as “being on the game”.
If you want to know about ethnicity – as everyone appears to think this is key – these girls were of Caribbean descent, as were their pimps. The men who paid to rape these children, they said, were mostly white.
That was London in the 80s, so the whole “child protection is in tatters” number is not news. Child protection services have not worn down: they have been torn apart. Care has never been a place of safety, and anyone who wanted to know that could do so. Just look at who is in prison, who is homeless, who is an addict and ask how good our care system has ever been.
I had wanted to stay in social work, but after a placement answering calls on what was known as the frontline I realised that most of my work would be sorting out emergency payments for food and heating. People needed money, not cod psychoanalysis. It was also obvious that social work systems were not only failing, but under attack. First they came for the social workers (bearded do-gooders), then they came for the teachers (the blob) … this is how neoliberal ideology has been so effective in running down the public sector.
Now we are to feign suprise that the victims of this failure emerge, and they turn out to be girls of the underclass. Slags, skets, skanks, hos: every day I hear a new word for them.
The report on Rotherham is clear-eyed about who targeted the girls: men of Pakistani and Kashmiri descent, working in gangs to rape and torture girls. The men called the girls “white trash”, but white girls were not their only victims. They also abused women in their own community who had pressure put on them never to name names.
Certain journalists, including Julie Bindel, have been covering this story for years and have never shied away from describing the men’s ethnic origin. Ethnicity is a factor but there is also a shared assumption beneath the police inaction and the council workers’ negligence: all of them deemed the girls worthless. The police described them as “undesirables” while knowing they were indeed “desired” by both Pakistani and white men for sex. They were never seen as children at all, but as somehow unrapeable, capable of consensual sex with five men at the age of 11.
Heroin use, self-harm, attempted suicide, unwanted pregnancies, all of this was reported to the authorities. Meanwhile, “care” was being outsourced and some of these girls were moved to homes outside the area. This just meant the rapists’ taxis had to go a bit further.
The running down of children’s services to a skeletal organisation in an already deprived area is spelled out in the report, which talks of “the dramatic reduction of resources available … By 2016 Rotherham will have lost 33% of its spending power” compared with 2010. Buckinghamshire, by contrast, will have suffered a 4.5% reduction.
It is as if everyone has agreed who is worthless and who isn’t; who can be saved and who can’t. The police, the local authority, the government, and indeed the grooming gangs, appear to share the same ideology about sexual purity – and its value.
The rightwing likes the cheap thrill of an underclass woman, drunk and showing her knickers, and now blames rape on political correctness gone mad, as though a bit of robust racism is the answer to misogyny.
OK. So let’s join the dots to Savile and the other recent sex-abuse scandals. We have the police in on the case; we have institutions basically offering up the most vulnerable as victims; we have a protection racket centred around fame rather than ethnicity. At the top we have abusive men, at the bottom powerless young girls and boys. So the bigger picture is the systematic rape of poor children by men. Not all men – I have to say this to be politically correct, don’t I?
The right can make it only about race. I have no problem in calling certain attitudes of certain Muslims appalling. I just can’t see them in isolation from class and gender."
the solution is not in baying for resignations