Monday, 28 November 2022

Proud Dad

Sometimes it’s nice to feel that you’ve brought up your kids right
Yesterday Trendy Carol introduced the dogs to her kid relatives , 
The dogs aren’t used to children at all 

But they proved themselves as good natured , silly friends to a pair of sweet kids 

Sunday, 27 November 2022

The Big Country

Film music, in my mind can eclipse many classic pieces as most are melodic, short and paint a picture more vivid that anything else could ever do.
Whilst gridlocked yesterday , I listened to this stirring score by Jerome Moross and after researching the film again was surprised to find out that it was one of Gregory Peck’s least favourite movies.

What is your favourite film score…….and why?

Saturday, 26 November 2022

The Half Arsed Tree

I bought a half arsed Christmas tree from Sainsbury’s this morning
The check out guy on self service said it looked “ cheerful “ but his heart wasn’t in it.
I thought it would cheer up the corner under the stairs .
It doesn’t .
I bought the dogs some cocktail sausages as a treat and Dorothy hyperventilated herself so much in excitement that I almost had to sit her down with a paper bag over her head.
She was theatrically sick in the living room right next to Albert’s latest pee stain, then ate the vomit without a blink of an eye
Albert forgot that there is a litter tray in the office for him
The carpet cleaner is getting a bashing this month.
I took Eve Randa’s birthday card round and did a few jobs.
It’s a miserable day, dark and damp
And the binmen made me wait in Byron Street for such an age that Mrs Trellis lapped me twice with Blue in tow.
It’s winter and she’s wearing her very erect bobble hat again.
I listened to the entirety of The Big Country by Jerome Moross  and Borodin’s String Quartet on  Classic Fm before the road cleared.
It was raining heavily when I got home. 
I’ve lit the fire and Roger had eaten two fluffy balls from off my new tree in the time it took to turn around 

Halloumi chips for lunch 

Dorothy is  belching and the cottage is filled with the vague smell of sausage 

Friday, 25 November 2022

She says…….Me Too

mulligan & Kazan

 Journalistic dramas are not new in Hollywood. They can make riveting viewing left in the right hands and this powerful microscopic look into the abusive reign of the sexual predator that was Harvey Weinstein is a sobering, fascinating and intimately ground breaking movie which tells the story of tenacious journalism and institutional sexism within the Hollywood machine, something which would ultimately spark a world wide movement against sexual harassment. 

Two reporters from The New York Times, Megan Twohay ( Carey Mulligan) and Jodi Kantor ( Zoe Kazan) start to investigate an accusation that for decades Miramax film producer Weinstein had abused dozens of junior production staff as well as actresses on the Miramax payroll. 
Weinstein’s legal team had effective buried any of the Women’s’ stories by legal non disclosure clauses, bullying and by other holes in the Justice system, so Twohey and Kantor have to chip away at an ever growing list of victims in order to substantiate their story.

It’s a fascinating tale, intelligently told by writer Rebecca Lenkiewicz and director Maria Schrader.
Time and time again the two women have to face dead ends , frightened witnesses who won’t talk and the money fuelled Hollywood legal system , that is until actresses Rosè McGowan and Ashley Judd risk all by opening their mouths at last.

Jennifer Ehle

A star turn by Samantha Morton

She Said is essentially a succession of “ victim interviews” by Twohey and Kantor, and as the story unfolds two pivotal scenes will linger long in the mind. The first is where former Weinstein aide Zelda Perkins ( Samantha Morton) tells the reporters of how he abused her colleague and friend, (an event she amazingly stood up to him for) and this scene , set simply in a London cafe it is a true masterclass of acting by Morton who I wouldn’t be surprised be nominated for an academy award for just ten minutes on film.
Another British actress Jennifer Ehle puts in a moving turn as another victim haunted by the abuse and Hollywood stalwart Patricia Clarkson puts in a solid supporting turn as the journalist’s editor Rebecca Corbett. 

I can’t praise this film enough. 
It covers so much ground,so much misogyny and so much abuse  
And it seems incredulous to me that this investigation only happened in 2017


 Don’t you hate that anticlimactic feeling a busy, productive and enjoyable 24 hours often leaves you with.
I feel a bit like that today
So much so, that I’ve trolled through Walking Dead tiktok videos at the kitchen table until my bucket of coffee grew cold and the chill from the wet winter sun has seeped through the cottage’s 18 inch walls.

I need to make a move..
Affable Despot Jason has just texted , incredulous that his eldest daughter is 17 tomorrow. I hope to see him later at the village Casino night. 
Old Trev is home now. I’ve just been round to check on him and he tried to impress me by marching around the living room doing knee lifts to show how fit he was.
I hope I show as much chutzpah if I ever get to 98

My fridge is more or less empty. 
I rooted through the deep freeze and found some garlic breaded mushrooms which I cooked in the air fryer.
I’m eating them for breakfast
Leo has just texted me too. He’s planning to see four films in one day today ( he wanted to beat my previous record of three when I was in Sheffield) 
Uncle John, you will note that I’m going to see SHE SAID, which is, I think an important film to see”
She said is the filmed account how two female journalists investigated Harvey Weinstein and is one off my radar list….I think Leo is right …I will go and see it this lunchtime.

Roger is winding Dorothy up.
He’s staring at her and is employing “ the slow tail wag” in order to intimidate her.
She’s growling under her breath as she knows I won’t allow her to initiate a fight 

It’s too cold to sit at the table any longer
I’ve wasted two hours already

Thursday, 24 November 2022

Nephew Catch Up


 I’m exhausted, and on the train about the depart Euston 
My train home, as my inward train was cancelled, so after dropping Leo off at St Pancras I’ve grabbed the next train north .
The rail system is a bit shambolic .

I met Leo yesterday at the station .we checked in the hotel and I was touched just how excited he was at the prospect of having a room all to himself. 
The things we take for granted eh? 

We then walked up to Shaftesbury Avenue , where I remembered  the forbidden planet megastore was located and let Leo submerse himself in everything geek for a good hour.
We then ambled up to long acre and walked into Dishoom past the queues that were already snaking along the pavem
Dishoom staff could not have been kinder. I had already texted  that it was Leo’s and they made a fuss of him, and even proudly  presented him with a birthday pud with candle on it.
Which was sweet.
The food, as usual, was divine

He spent a great deal of time texting on his phone ( which I didn’t mind at all) but we talked too about the merits of Black Panther 2 compared to the Black Panther 1 and other films he has seen this year.

From Dishoom we walked around Chinatown , then down to the Southbank where we had a drink at the BFI 
I was knackered when we walked down the Strand to see Six

After a shaky start Six won me over.

Think of a superior Spice Girl tribute band ( plus one) who can really sing and act 
Give them tons of sass, seven or eight uvula wrenching songs and some costumes to die for and you have a joyful pop exploration into the lives of the six wives of Henry VIII

Standout was Dionne Ward Anderson who was playing Anne of Cleves, 
She couldn’t have injected more life into her role if she had inserted a stick of dynamite up her drawers

We got a tube back to the hotel
were I soaked my feet under some cool shower water.
After a nice breakfast…We are now both on the way home .

Our next meeting Is London Comic Con 2023

Wednesday, 23 November 2022


My favourite photo of Leo , watching ducklings

Administering antibiotics to one of the ghost hens

I’ve arranged to meet my nephew at St Pancreas around 2pm but my train connection from Crewe has been cancelled.  
At least they texted and emailed me the news.
I’ve caught the earlier train just to make sure.
Trendy Carol’s husband Ewan agreed to sort the dogs out.
What a star.

No comic con today, we are keeping it simple.
Check in to hotel, visit to superhero mega store on Shaftsbury ave.early dinner at Dishoom in Covent Garden and Six the musical down on the Strand .
I haven’t seen him for a year so we have lots of films to mutually review and news to catch up on. 

Leo isn’t my blood nephew, but I’ve known him since he was a baby
Over 20 years now 
Man and boy…..
I wonder how long he will keep in touch as we lead very different lives on opposite ends of the country
Who knows 

Tuesday, 22 November 2022

Where Is Fanny Stain When You Need Her !

 I always spell my surname out when I encounter any officialdom.
It’s a habit, I’ve got into as many people spell my surname as in the colour and not the Scottish/Irish monika.
The receptionist was polite enough, though I did have to wait a little as Karen still hadn’t come back from her break yet , cue much eye rolling.
The ultrasound department is like any other small hospital outpatients. 
Faceless and sanitized.
Another two men, patients too were sat in a gown to my right. 
One looked nervous .
Another receptionist called out “ Thomas Jefferson “ but no one reacted.
She snorted and picked up the phone
The three of us sat in silence for a while longer.
I got out my phone and started to write this blog after Karen or was it Annette could be heard muttering 
I don’t know where Mr Jefferson has got to…what does he look like?”

We are all invisible, I thought to myself , invisible  men in our sixties

I galloped backwards in my mind to the minors unit at Sheffield’s Royal Hallamshire Hospital.
Circa 1989
A student nurse with a set of false notes was calling a patient into minors for a procedure, she was blushing with the importance of calling the next patient in whilst surrounded by the poorly general public 

“ Fanny Stain? Is there a Fanny Stain here?” She called out hopefully

And from behind the nurses station came the muffled hysteria only hospital staff can be responsible for .

Monday, 21 November 2022

No More Walking Dead


For nearly 12 years I’ve stuck with The Walking Dead and it’s been a variable ride all told.
I’ve always thought of it as a 1970s disaster movie with zombies and that is how it has felt for most of its history.
It’s a shame that the tv series followed the comic novels, most of which feel cold and rather absurd.

Most of the action scenes in the finale were rushed in order for everything to be wrapped up so neatly we are left with only a few threads to be answered.
The Walking Dead, has always been shite at crowd scenes anyway but it crammed in it’s Easter Egg moments….Daryl mimicking Shane’s hospital moments in season 1.The dinner party scene in Alexandria.
Amy’s death scene in season 1….which was fun

I didn’t mind that as much, because the characters were left to shine and in probably the first time in the Walking Dead history, the remaining characters stopped and told each other I love you.

Diane, who hasn’t spoken for three seasons survived too!

Rosita ( Christian Serratos) had the biggest role in the finale and her death scene with best friend Eugene (josh mcDermitt) was incredibly moving to watch as it was left centre stage and wasn’t hurried at all.
  Daryl and Carol voiced their love for each other when they came to say goodbye and with the exception of Luke all of the  other characters all settled down to a normal life in Alexandria or the Commonwealth with hugs all round.

Will I watch the spin offs? 
I’m not sure…..I doubt it. 

I wonder how long my Walking Dead T shirt collection will last? 
Who knows..