Rumblings From The Rafters

Episodes

EpisodeTitleFirst
Broadcast
RepeatedComments
01Death Watch Beetle and Queen Wasp20160626

01Death Watch Beetle And Queen Wasp2016062620160701 (BBC7)

A death watch beetle and a queen wasp reveal the truth about life in an old attic.

A Death Watch Beetle, played by Bill Paterson, and a bossy Queen wasp played, by Alison Steadman, reveal the truth about life in a draughty old attic in a house in Amersham in the first of three very funny tales, written and introduced by Lynne Truss, with additional sound recordings by Chris Watson.

The Death Watch Beetle is a wood-boring beetle. Having spent twelve years as a larva boring through a single rafter in the house with no one to talk to, our beetle is now an adult with about 5 weeks left to live. He has just three aims in life. Firstly, to find a mate, which he does by banging his head on the timber "Oh Come on girls,.. I know you're out there... Don't tell me this attic has ever seen such a specimen before. This lovely compact dark brown capsule of hard cuticle covered with yellowish scale-like hair and just under a centimetre long - it could all be yours! Secondly, to make as much noise as he can and finally to live long enough to see the roof cave in.

The Queen Wasp is very, very bossy, and very, very stressed. She carries the entire responsibility for the wasp colony and its thousands of inhabitants, all of whom are her own progeny. There is an enormous amount of work to be done. "They call themselves workers, these girls, but quite frankly, none of them knows what real work actually is." It is lonely at the top too," I did consider leaving all this, at one point. None of them knows this; they'd be heartbroken to think I might have left them" and she is just beginning to lose her grip. "Bring me my list" she constantly yells. Life doesn't get much more stressful than this.

Death Watch Beetle: Bill Paterson

Dragonfly: Alison Steadman

Written and introduced by Lynne Truss

Wildlife sound recordings Chris Watson

Producer Sarah Blunt.

01Death Watch Beetle and Queen Wasp20160626

A Death Watch Beetle, played by Bill Paterson, and a bossy Queen wasp played, by Alison Steadman, reveal the truth about life in a draughty old attic in a house in Amersham in the first of three very funny tales, written and introduced by Lynne Truss, with additional sound recordings by Chris Watson.

The Death Watch Beetle is a wood-boring beetle. Having spent twelve years as a larva boring through a single rafter in the house with no one to talk to, our beetle is now an adult with about 5 weeks left to live. He has just three aims in life. Firstly, to find a mate, which he does by banging his head on the timber Oh Come on girls, .. I know you're out there ... Don't tell me this attic has ever seen such a specimen before. This lovely compact dark brown capsule of hard cuticle covered with yellowish scale-like hair and just under a centimetre long - it could all be yours! Secondly, to make as much noise as he can and finally to live long enough to see the roof cave in.

The Queen Wasp is very, very bossy, and very, very stressed. She carries the entire responsibility for the wasp colony and its thousands of inhabitants, all of whom are her own progeny. There is an enormous amount of work to be done. They call themselves workers, these girls, but quite frankly, none of them knows what real work actually is. It is lonely at the top too, I did consider leaving all this, at one point. None of them knows this; they'd be heartbroken to think I might have left them and she is just beginning to lose her grip. Bring me my list she constantly yells. Life doesn't get much more stressful than this.

Death Watch Beetle: Bill Paterson

Dragonfly: Alison Steadman

Written and introduced by Lynne Truss

Wildlife sound recordings Chris Watson

Producer Sarah Blunt.

02House Fly and Soprano Pipistrelle Bat20160703

02House Fly And Soprano Pipistrelle Bat2016070320160708 (BBC7)
20160709 (BBC7)

A house fly and soprano pipistrelle bat reveal the truth about life in an attic.

An annoying House Fly played by Lee Mack and a warm-hearted Soprano Pipistrelle Bat played by Pam Ferris, reveal the truth about life in a draughty old attic in a house in Amersham in the second of three very funny tales, written and introduced by Lynne Truss, with additional sound recordings by Chris Watson.

The House Fly loves life. "The best bit is the buzzing". He loves the aerobatics, dodging the flypapers in the attic and "... my favourite manoeuvre, settling on the ceiling. It is unbelievably brilliant" He loves to buzz. But he also loves, what to humans, is a disgusting way of life. He loves to walk around on filth and to poo everywhere and to spread disease "And listen, we don't mind! Not at all. It's the least we can do". He would love to spread more diseases and takes great joy in telling us just exactly how he does this... perhaps best not to listen if you're eating!

The Soprano Pipistrelle Bat is a very different creature; a tiny bat with a huge and loving heart. She is nine years old and has given birth to a single pup each year. Her newest pup, Jethro, is her darling; "... such a lovely little face. Chestnut fur. Perfect little ears. He smells like chicken flavour crisps. Ooh, I could eat him." He is six weeks old and weaning - proudly catching insects for himself; and this is always a poignant time for this mother-bat, where pride and sadness mingle. The main concern with Jethro, she finds, is that he can't seem to grasp the idea of torpor, "Oh don't mum. Don't go torpid. It's like you're dying", but as she knows "torpor is nothing to be scared of,.. torpor is your friend".

House Fly: Lee Mack

Soprano Pipstrelle Bat: Pam Ferris

Written and introduced by Lynne Truss

Wildlife sound recordings Chris Watson

Producer Sarah Blunt.

02House Fly and Soprano Pipistrelle Bat20160703

An annoying House Fly played by Lee Mack and a warm-hearted Soprano Pipistrelle Bat played by Pam Ferris, reveal the truth about life in a draughty old attic in a house in Amersham in the second of three very funny tales, written and introduced by Lynne Truss, with additional sound recordings by Chris Watson.

The House Fly loves life. The best bit is the buzzing. He loves the aerobatics, dodging the flypapers in the attic and ... my favourite manoeuvre, settling on the ceiling. It is unbelievably brilliant He loves to buzz. But he also loves, what to humans, is a disgusting way of life. He loves to walk around on filth and to poo everywhere and to spread disease And listen, we don't mind! Not at all. It's the least we can do. He would love to spread more diseases and takes great joy in telling us just exactly how he does this ... perhaps best not to listen if you're eating!

The Soprano Pipistrelle Bat is a very different creature; a tiny bat with a huge and loving heart. She is nine years old and has given birth to a single pup each year. Her newest pup, Jethro, is her darling; ... such a lovely little face. Chestnut fur. Perfect little ears. He smells like chicken flavour crisps. Ooh, I could eat him. He is six weeks old and weaning - proudly catching insects for himself; and this is always a poignant time for this mother-bat, where pride and sadness mingle. The main concern with Jethro, she finds, is that he can't seem to grasp the idea of torpor, Oh don't mum. Don't go torpid. It's like you're dying, but as she knows torpor is nothing to be scared of, .. torpor is your friend.

House Fly: Lee Mack

Soprano Pipstrelle Bat: Pam Ferris

Written and introduced by Lynne Truss

Wildlife sound recordings Chris Watson

Producer Sarah Blunt.

03Edible Dormouse and Peacock Butterfly20160710

03Edible Dormouse And Peacock Butterfly2016071020160715 (BBC7)
20160716 (BBC7)

An edible dormouse and a peacock butterfly reveal the truth about life in an attic.

An Edible Dormouse played by Hugh Dennis and a Peacock Butterfly played by Amanda Abbington reveal the truth about life in an old attic in a house in Amersham in the last of three very funny tales, written and introduced by Lynne Truss, with additional sound recordings by Chris Watson.

The Edible Dormouse is no Common Dormouse. He is Russian and extremely serious-minded. He is obsessed with answering the question, "Why are we here?" both the philosophical question and the literal one. No answer satisfies him. So he has reached his own conclusion, which involves secret agents and a submarine. "I may be rare, cute-looking, and of indisputable foreign origin, but I am not stupid." He is planning a meeting with his fellow Edible Dormice to discuss their next move. He knows this won't be easy. The others think he is mad. Top of the agenda is what they should call themselves. "Imagine how it feels to be one of the only zoological species in existence whose very name says, "Have you ever thought of eating me?"

The Peacock Butterfly is youthful, intelligent, and ever so concerned with being brave and sensible about mortality. Having been born the previous year, she is re-visiting the attic before dying. "I remember when I first came in, I thought hello, this wouldn't be a bad place to pop off, when the time comes." But trying to be brave about her inevitable end is much harder than she expects, "Well, I'm sorry to say that for some completely inexplicable reason I totally lost it at the sycamore! I mean what's wrong with me? " But as she settles down to die, a sudden thought changes everything...

Edible Dormouse: Hugh Dennis

Peacock Butterfly: Amanda Abbington

Written and introduced by Lynne Truss

Wildlife sound recordings Chris Watson

Producer Sarah Blunt.

03Edible Dormouse and Peacock Butterfly20160710

An Edible Dormouse played by Hugh Dennis and a Peacock Butterfly played by Amanda Abbington reveal the truth about life in an old attic in a house in Amersham in the last of three very funny tales, written and introduced by Lynne Truss, with additional sound recordings by Chris Watson.

The Edible Dormouse is no Common Dormouse. He is Russian and extremely serious-minded. He is obsessed with answering the question, Why are we here? both the philosophical question and the literal one. No answer satisfies him. So he has reached his own conclusion, which involves secret agents and a submarine. I may be rare, cute-looking, and of indisputable foreign origin, but I am not stupid. He is planning a meeting with his fellow Edible Dormice to discuss their next move. He knows this won't be easy. The others think he is mad. Top of the agenda is what they should call themselves. Imagine how it feels to be one of the only zoological species in existence whose very name says, Have you ever thought of eating me?

The Peacock Butterfly is youthful, intelligent, and ever so concerned with being brave and sensible about mortality. Having been born the previous year, she is re-visiting the attic before dying. I remember when I first came in, I thought hello, this wouldn't be a bad place to pop off, when the time comes. But trying to be brave about her inevitable end is much harder than she expects, Well, I'm sorry to say that for some completely inexplicable reason I totally lost it at the sycamore! I mean what's wrong with me? But as she settles down to die, a sudden thought changes everything ...

Edible Dormouse: Hugh Dennis

Peacock Butterfly: Amanda Abbington

Written and introduced by Lynne Truss

Wildlife sound recordings Chris Watson

Producer Sarah Blunt.