Friday 28 October 2022

Heartbreaking performance by Bill Nighy as the desiccated civil servant 'Mr Zombie' and a wonderful evocation of 1950s London, even if it is a good 20 minutes too long (but I say that about everything, every time). What a balmy evening in London tonight; I wandered through Mayfair on my way home from the cinema and people were having dinner outside restaurants and gathering outside the pubs with their drinks ... you'd think it was August, not nearly into November.

Sunday 16 October 2022

Very nice quince crumble tonight, made from a kind donation. What a shame I didn't have any blackberries!

Friday 14 October 2022

An afternoon of escapism with Mrs Harris and a bar of chocolate for lunch. (Yuck, disgusting greasy Ferrero-Rocher, won't be doing that again in a hurry.) The film was charming but I was disappointed that Temptation - the Dior creation chosen by Mrs H - was nothing like the extravagant black velvet gown in the book, beaded with jet, its top a 'froth of cream, delicate pink and white chiffon, tulle and lace'- but instead a very elegant, but not nearly so luscious New Look red cocktail dress. No ... surely Temptation should be the kind of gown that little girls and London charladies sigh over? More than 50 years since I first read Paul Gallico's book - but I have never forgotten his description of that dress, or the twinge of sadness that Mrs Harris was far too old to emerge like Venus with bingo-wings from clouds of chiffon and tulle. And also - what happened to Mrs Harris's signature green straw hat with the preposterous rose? But I did enjoy a feel-good movie ...everything I've seen recently has been miserable!

Tuesday 11 October 2022

Autumn colour at Kew. Spectacular and cheery - but it's all plastic, albeit recycled. I'm no eco-warrior, but that doesn't sit right. A glorious day, though - I dozed off on a bench in the rose garden where there are still plenty of roses.

Monday 10 October 2022

It's always hard deciding what to see during London Film Festival but the new Alan Bennett film Allelujah, about a geriatric ward facing closure, seemed a no-brainer ... what a cast, Judi Dench, Derek Jacobi, Jennifer Saunders. I was expecting a Lady in the Van, poignant but hilarious - but god, it was depressing and maybe it needs a health warning for over-60s audiences who will probably be googling airfares to Switzerland when they get home. Can't imagine what the target audience is: it's too grim for the old, and too grim for the young. I did wonder how the ancient cast members felt, especially Julia Mackenzie laid out as a corpse. It would probably have worked better in theatre which is where it began a few years ago. Round of applause for Judi Dench who was apparently in the Festival Hall last night but she's tiny and we were at the back of the stalls, so we couldn't see her. 7/10 from me which I think is probably over-generous.

Thursday 6 October 2022

Rather to my surprise, I really enjoyed this film about Emily Bronte which plays fast and loose with biographical fact - but it's very cleverly structured and weaves truth, fantasy, mental health and Wuthering Heights seamlessly together - even if Emily seems to have commandeered the dishy curate who I always thought belonged to Anne. But he was very good-looking, so maybe they both had their eye on him - I guess Haworth wasn't teeming with eligible bachelors. It did make me want to revisit Haworth (and see if I can find the little cafe that serves slabs of fruit cake and Wensleydale for tea.)
I wasn't so lucky with this - and joined the throng scampering guiltily out of the theatre at the longed-for interval. And honestly, I'm normally a sticker to the bitter end - but I couldn't take any more. Remind me that next time I see 'first major production in London for 25 years' ... perhaps there's a good reason for that!