Good Stuff: Poldark, Monk, and the cure for dragon feet

For all of you longing for just one more season of Downton Abbey, I’ve found a new series from the BBC I think you’ll enjoy (thank you Duane Robinson for the recommendation).

It’s called Poldark and is set in the late 1700s in Cornwall, that little southwestern leg of England that juts out into the Atlantic. The dark-haired and handsome Ross Poldark returns to England after having fought in the American War of Independence and finds that his father has died, and he’s inherited the estate. Except the estate is in ruins.

The house, which is a long way from being anything grand, is a mess and being inhabited by the deceased father’s last two servants. A man and a wife who are equal parts louts and lushes. The land isn’t producing. The mine is closed. And Poldark has very little money.

By the way, when we think of British aristocracy, we most often think of dances and fine clothing and large tracts of lands. We seldom think of mines. But Cornwall has been mining tin for a very long time, and so were its lords. In fact, Cornwall was known outside of the Isles anciently, and some historians suggest that Cornwall was probably selling tin to the seafaring Greeks and Phoenicians many hundreds of years B.C.

So our young and handsome lord has come home to a mess and very little money. But he immediately sets about trying to repair things. And what unfolds is a wonderful story with love, action, humor, injustice, and villains plotting Poldark’s downfall.

We loved Downton in part for the refinement and high society (and Lady Grantham’s hilarious one-liners). However, Poldark isn’t about the top of the aristocracy. It’s about a man almost at the bottom. And many of those of the lower class who are his friends. There’s a refreshing earthiness about it even while you still have scenes of the high society and all that goes with it.

We just finished the first season and are hooked. In fact, I stood up and cheered at the end of the last episode we watched. So if you love English historicals, you’re going to enjoy Polkdark.


The humorous detective series Monk debuted in 2002 and ran for eight seasons. It was a huge hit. But because I’m a cave dweller I didn’t get to it until now. But, boy, I’m happy I did.

If you haven’t seen it yet, you’re in for a treat. Monk is one of those brilliant detectives like Patrick Jane in The Mentalist or Sherlock Holmes who sees all sorts of details that so many others miss. But unlike those guys, Monk has obsessive-compulsive disorder plus a number of phobias.

And so he can’t just walk in and stun everyone with his brilliance because at any moment he might get sidetracked straightening pictures or moving lamps or trying to avoid germs. In one funny scene he’s being chased on foot by someone intent on killing him, and he can’t help but touch the poles as he runs by. However, he’s not all helpless because he’s hired a female nurse, Sharona Fleming, to help him. And the interaction between the two of them adds another enjoyable dimension.

And so you get to experience all the awe of watching someone like Sherlock solve crimes plus laugh along the way. I couldn’t help but laugh out loud during a number of episodes.

If you like The Mentalist, Elementary, or Psych, I think you’ll really enjoy Monk.


This last review is for all of you who have dragon feet.

That’s what I had until two months ago. Dry dragon feet. So dry and with such sharp and jagged calluses that I regularly wore the area on my sheets around my feet to shreds. Nellie’s side of the sheets were nice and smooth. My side, after a year or two, looked like the dog had attacked it.

The calluses were so bad I periodically sanded them off with 400 grit sandpaper.

I also got stress cracks in the winter, which I tried to heal with band-aides and Neosporin. And that worked a decade ago. But the stress cracks were just getting more frequent and longer-lasting. This last winter I had three that stayed for weeks and weeks.

And so when I went into my dermatologist for my annual skin cancer check, I asked him if there was anything to be done. He said, “Get CeraVe cream with SA, salicylic acid. It has to have SA.”

After the appointment, I promptly drove to Walmart and walked down to the cosmetic aisle and purchased a little tub of CeraVe Renewing SA Cream. And I began to use it that night, putting socks on after I applied it. I applied it every morning and night.

And, miracle of miracles, a few weeks later my feet were normal human feet again. The calluses were gone. The stress cracks gone. The pain gone. My sheets love me. My wife loves me. I’m saving money on sand paper.

Folks, if you have dragon feet and want to be human again, let me suggest CeraVe with SA.

Tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Good Stuff: Poldark, Monk, and the cure for dragon feet

  1. Lesli says:

    You sucked me right in with your teaser, but I’m so glad I found out about the creme!

  2. Steve says:

    Love it when you find cool stuff and share, John -It is how i found you in the first place ( your ‘Simply Three’ review).

    Will definitely check out Poldark.

    As for Monk: A family fav of ours years ago. Watched it real time when it was on. Then introduced daughter to it as she grew up -we binge-watched it to its conclusion [2x for me]. Hope you and yours enjoy it as much as we did.

    Lastly, good review of what sounds like a good product. I never had those specific problems -but i know folks that do; i’ll pass along the suggestion.

    Always a joy to see an update, John -keep’em coming.

    Best of success on your current initiatives,