This is the Britain I was supposed to return to in 1997, this, a happily ever after England of caricatures and talking beasts, the rural real and the good life easily won.
The rural real is a myth reserved for children's television, that somehow, somewhere there exist make do and mend communities uncomputerised by computers, unfettered by pension predictions and undependent on the city's smoke. But I, in my dozen lives, have never encountered the countryside as other than recreational, subsidised, dormitory, commuted from and through.
Watching now for the first time since I was more the target audience of this, the jaunty woodwind and the interior monologue lend a pantomine clumsiness to the goings on and there is a weary ecologism pushed in mixed messages. But all is forgiven for the aquarium, and all that it inspired in its heroic, improbable, improvised loveliness.