I'm almost at the point of embracing autumn. Can't bear to wear socks yet - but, despite battling with my conscience and putting on a cardigan, I cracked after half an hour and the heating went on last night. And yesterday I went to the cinema. Guilt-free. In the afternoon.
The film was In Cold Blood, the 1967 adaptation of Truman Capote's true crime story about the brutal murder of a family in Kansas in 1959. It's gripping: the black and white photography gives it a gritty, authentic feel. It was shot in the same house where the murders took place, featured the same courtroom and jail and seven of the original jurors played themselves. The more recent film Capote with Philip Seymour Hoffmann focused on Capote's manipulative ruthlessness getting his story. Now I feel I need to see it again to compare.
I love emerging from a cinema with nothing else to do with my afternoon but set out for an amble, this time through the streets of Fitzrovia - where to my astonishment I discovered the childhood home of Charles Dickens which I didn't even know existed. A bit of googling when I got home revealed that the ever reliable author of Spitalfields Life is rather better informed. And here's a glimpse of the rather dull interior, even if young Dickens really did dry his socks before that fireplace.
My other great discovery was this Brazilian cafe where I wavered over the array of cakes and pastries (and I'm definitely going back for a cheap and cheerful lunch) ...
But this was an amble with purpose as I'd promised myself lunch at Honey&Co if I could get a table. ( I was so, so tempted by their wonderful new cookbook.) You will never taste better meatballs - or better iced orange-blossom tea ...but does anybody else find themselves disconcerted by the tiny loo (handbags on your knee, ladies, or left outside the door) with its view over the kitchen sink?
The other good thing about autumn is sinking into something enjoyable on television. And although nobody will ever be as beautiful as Julie Christie, I thoroughly enjoyed the new BBC adaptation of The Go-Between - Lesley Manville is simply brilliant as the edgy, nervous mother ... watch her eyes! And who knew that Jim Broadbent, who plays the elderly, emotionally-damaged Leo, made his acting debut in a deckchair in the original? Great casting: somehow he has the same wavering smile as the enormously engaging child actor who plays the young Leo. Not convinced by Vanessa Redgrave as the elderly Marian, though; she seems to have cornered the market in topping and tailing period drama, whether it's Atonement, The Go-Between or Call the Midwife ... all interchangeable but I suppose it's a nice little earner for not much more than a day's work.
Next up: The Dresser with Ian McKellen and Anthony Hopkins.