Friday, 29 July 2016

Can't give too much away, having seen a very early preview of Churchill - filming only finished four weeks ago -  except to say that I was completely riveted and expect a slew of Oscars next year. Brian Cox is Churchill, at odds with Monty and Eisenhower in the final countdown to D-Day; Miranda Richardson is excellent as Clemmie. It won't be in cinemas until the NewYear - but it's worth the wait.

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

It's amazing what you find on-line when you're looking for something else. I've been wanting to see this 1946 film for ages - it's one of my favourite Dorothy Whipples - but never tracked it down before. Original quest forgotten, I had the kettle on in a jiffy.

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

I'm completely engrossed by the nuances of moral compromise in occupied France...

But less so by Elena Ferrante's Neapolitan novels now that the focus has shifted away from Lila and 'the neighbourhood' and is more political. I've finished book 3 but I'm flagging, losing track of who's who and not sure I care enough to continue. Should I press on to discover the mystery of Lila's disappearance which is where it all began about 1200 pages ago? I feel disappointed with myself as a reader because I so loved the first book, don't really want to abandon these characters after living with them for so long - but maybe it's time to part. Has anybody else made it to the end?

No question of giving up on Bordeaux. I can't wait for the next one.


Wednesday, 6 July 2016

The River Thames and Kew Bridge with Brentford Eyot in the Foreground, JMW Turner

On my walk this afternoon I came across the house - now a pub - where JMW Turner lived with his uncle, a local butcher, during his childhood. This is where he began painting. I sat in the garden (so much for walking!) with a glass of cider and my book, looking over the weir and thinking of young JMW learning to paint.There is still a tiny artists' colony on the canal nearby.  Whenever I'm by the canal, I remember the Idle Women, who weren't idle at all, the 'land girls of the canals' who chugged up and down here during the war. Emma Smith told their story in Maidens' Trip, now a Persephone title - but this book is far better.

Sue has corrected me: Persephone republished not Maidens' Trip but another title by Emma Smith, The Far Cry. (Lingering unread for the past several years on my bookshelf-of-shame but one of these days I'll get round to it...)

Monday, 4 July 2016

Mustang is sweet and life-affirming and shocking and heart-breaking - and far and away the best film I have seen this year.