Sunday, 31 January 2016

There have been some sniffy reviews of Trumbo, the biopic about Dalton Trumbo, the highest-paid screenwriter in Hollywood - who couldn't be credited for his screenplay of Roman Holiday during the McCarthy era, and was only reinstated after Kirk Douglas and Otto Preminger publicly acknowledged in 1960 that he wrote Spartacus.
It won't be on my personal Oscar list, I don't think, but even so I was completely engrossed by it this morning. (And that's saying something: I am so not a morning person or even a daytime person until I'm fully caffeinated.)
And I do think that Helen Mirren as the utterly poisonous Hedda Hopper should win a special award for her fabulous Hollywood hats.
Meanwhile, I'm feeling appalled at myself that January is nearly over and I haven't been to a single exhibition - or even seen a film, until today. Think it's time that I declared my winter hibernation over. If the daffodils are out ... so should I be!

Friday, 29 January 2016

Thursday, 3 December, 1942.

Tonight ate cheese sliced thinly and cooked in margarine with tomato and milk, and pudding made from stale scone and some vile ABC jam sponge cake, soaked in prune juice, mixed with plenty of homemade plum jam and steamed. Jam was beginning to go mouldy.

I think I'd have just toasted the stale scone and donated the prune juice to the war effort. This is my first big fat read of the year and it's compellingly readable. But when I say big fat read ... friend commented this afternoon, 'I've never seen such a huge book.' It's what I call Not a Handbag Book. Then I did some rearranging and bunged it in my handbag, anyway.

Thursday, 21 January 2016

This quirky little church looks as if it's wearing a jaunty nightcap, doesn't it? The river Lambourn looked shivery cold - two herons flew overhead - and in the beech woods of Welford Park, literally millions of snowdrops and quite a lot of aconites are just peeping through, though it will be a couple of weeks yet before they'll look like snowdrifts under the trees.
Did you know that snowdrops multiply to a Fibonacci sequence? 1-1-2-3-5-8-13-21 ... so by year 5, the first snowdrop's offspring have already started reproducing themselves ... and on and on it goes ... I find that strangely pleasing. It's definitely the most interesting thing I have learned this week.
Hard to imagine that in early summer the Park is home to the Bake-Off tent. (You can still see the big patch on the lawn.) And the garden by then will be a mass of peonies and roses.

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Some of the reviews were curmudgeonly - and I must admit, Jim Broadbent was the twinkliest, most avuncular Scrooge you could imagine. It was slightly surreal to be back in a Christmassy mood last night with carols and turkey and fake snow - but A Christmas Carol was a delight and you could feel the whole packed theatre simply loving every minute. Critics? Humbug! It was funny and clever and inventive - I'm sure Dickens would have loved it - and I wondered when I read this if Jim Broadbent was responsible for the clever puppets. (Sorry. I don't know. I've stopped buying programmes because they don't half clutter up your cupboards when you can't bear to throw them away.)
We arrived early so my friend insisted we had a drink in the Victorian theme pub over the road ... what can I say, the house white is probably better in the Three Cripples.
It has been a very Dickensian start to the year.

Sunday, 3 January 2016

When you haven't been to the panto since c1969, a Cinders in sparkly Converses turns out to be brilliantly funny and full of LOLs.

Okay, I'll admit it...
When everyone else was singing Panto Funk It Up ... I thought it was Punk It Up.
Please be kind. I'm finding it slightly depressing that my youthful rebellion has morphed into muddleheaded middle age.
But we did have better music in our day.

Happy New Year.