Thursday, 30 October 2014

Animated Goings On: Seating The Guests

So Mrs D finally got her act together and I be worn out again.

About this film she do say: "One should do all that one can to make one's guests feel comfortable - seating them in an informal manner for example......."

Seating The Guests from Mrs Doonuthin on Vimeo.

Edit: Sadly have had some problems with this video playing choppily in Firefox browser. Current solution lies in Firefox "Advanced options".  Views fine in Chrome and Explorer. Let me know if you experience problems.

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Animated Goings On: Waiting For The Guests To Arrive

OK. The doorbell has just rung and Mrs D has got us sitting here waiting for the arrival of the supper guests....

Today she is filming the actual arrival and speaking personally... at my age.... I can't hold this pose for ever.

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Travels With My Film Life: Ireland, 1930s - Ken Loach's "Jimmy's Hall"

.... County Leitrim during the 1930s ...and Ken Loach's latest,  and perhaps last, feature film. (He says you need a lot of energy to make a film... and as he is nearly 80....)

A right blood-boiler is "Jimmy's Hall"  too... based on the true story of Irish exile-returned Jimmy Gralton who rebuilds the local "hall" as a place to learn, dance (jazz even), meet and so on. But it is shortly after the Irish War of Independence and such socialist goings on were not to be countenanced.
The film tells the story of Jimmy and his friends' struggle to keep the Hall going against strong opposition from the Church and local Law and Order....

Beautifully shot and filmed...
You know how you can see a scene in a film and know what time of day it is by the light and the quality of the sound? Well that's just what happens with some of the exteriors around the "Hall" ....And... veteran Irish actor Jim Norton gives a splendidly chilling performance as the local Priest.

Friday, 24 October 2014

Falmouth Comics Convention - This Weekend 24-26 October 2014

That's right... The Poly in Falmouth is hosting a comics convention this weekend (Friday 24th - Sunday 26th October). Tickets about £6 per person. (I'm not finding the details absolutely clear... but hey! I'm an elder person.) with exhibitors, artists, workshops, sellers, talks etc.
Thinking about going... though we are shrouded in deep mist as I write... so...

You can check the details at  22 Panels Comic Art Show

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Animated Goings On: A Demanding Situation

.....In which I start to demand cutlery and dishes like a demented bride-to-be making her wedding list.

Mrs D is scratching her head over the relevant merits of Fimo..  (cups and plates).... Newplast (the original "plasticine" for us oldies, seen here as oranges and pie!) and Polymorph.....(cutlery handles).

But I still want MORE....

Friday, 17 October 2014

Grey Doll And Criminal Reading: Jan Costin Wagner

If, like me, you are cheered by discovering a new "crime series" to read... you'll understand my "hurrahs" when I recently read "Light in a Dark House" by German writer Jan Costin Wagner.
And if, like me, you enjoy a Nordic setting, then you get two treats in one because Wagner lives part of the time in Finland and it is in Finland that he sets his crime series featuring detective Kimmo Joentaa.

"Light in a Dark House" is his latest in this series to be translated into English (by respected translator Anthea Bell). The story centres on the murder of a coma patient in the local hospital, a mystery patient about whom nothing is known since she was found unconscious by the roadside. What follows is a multi-stranded investigation that brings Joentaa back into contact with Helsinki detective Westerberg and embraces several apparently unconnected murders. The narrative also uses passages from diaries, some from the present day and some from the 1980s.

I enjoyed this book and hope to backtrack to Wagner's earlier stories in the series. Be warned. If you don't appreciate a large slice of introspection or emotional content in your crime detection and detectives.... this may not be your style of reading. But it is mine!
You can read a full Euro crime review here.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Animated Discussions: Wind by Robert Loebel

Prize winning short from Robert Loebel concerning a land where the wind always blows and the adaptations of its people to their circumstances. A monument to ingenuity.
Sound design by Berlin-based David Kamp.

WIND from robert loebel on Vimeo.

Monday, 13 October 2014

Animated Goings-On: The Old Man Makes The Stage

Much as he would love to be a thespian....
..... it is more that The Old Man have done what I say on the tin. He has made an animation stage for me to do my thing on.... (such devotion).
About 6 inches high.....steel floor for the magnets.....
Er... I'd better get some proper magnets to hold me feet down.

Friday, 10 October 2014

Saturday Night Thrills... On the Telly: "The Code"

How did you get on with BBC4's Saturday Crime Spot of "Crimes Of Passion"? Well... I was having my doubts after Episode One but thought I would give it a more generous go..... And then I gave up. It just continued with its strange red herrings and retro fashion bloops. Sadly, it was not for me and The Old Man refused point blank.
We had to substitute DVD Saturday nights....

So, I shall look forward to the new series for viewing. As of  Saturday 11th October at 21 hrs.... (er... tomorrow/today whatever...) BBC4 will be showing its UK viewers the Australian series "The Code" ....billed as a political thriller. Once again, I look forward.
I shall be there.... sat in my chair ..... glued.
Some people view Saturday nights as curry nights, I do view them as foreign telly nights. Hurray!

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Friday, 3 October 2014

Furniture: Its Limiting Effects On Sociability

So Mrs D do make us two stools and a dining table. All very nice. But not well received by Bike Girl when she do drop in for supper. She says she would like something to sit on as well... unless we want her to bring the bike to the table.

Think Mrs D has some more sanding and glueing to do.

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Mrs D Makes Furniture

Unbelievably, Mrs D be turning her unsteady hands to woodwork. She have made a table and two chairs already. Well... more like two footstools really.
She be singing the praises of balsa wood and glue, although it do make her cough when she sands the wood down... and believe you me... with the state of her woodworking skills there have been an awful lot of sanding down.
I mean, she do measure the legs but still ends up with one being quite a bit longer than the others.
Then too... her end-cuts are not the straightest to be honest. So they have to be filed level and all in all..... it be a miracle there is any chair leg left by the time she finishes.

But at least The Old Man and me do have something to eat our dinner off now. Even if the table is only about four or five inches high.

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Seven Ages Of Man: Sans Sight

The Old Man do finally go for an eye test. I be complaining for some time that he is not seeing properly. So when his frames broke and he is forced to dig out an older pair of glasses and is a bit shocked to find he can see better through the old ones than the current pair... he admits defeat and goes off to the opticians.
As you may know The Old Man be somewhat unique in all things... to the point of tedium really. So it is no surprise that his eyesight is an inconstant sense... now he sees it... now he don't... sorta thing.
Anyway. He be very pleased when he do emerge from said opticians with a grand total of THREE pairs of glasses on order. A new set of lenses in a new frame, a duplicate pair... in a new frame... and something called "enhanced reading" lenses in a new frame. Apparently this last is for viewing things slightly further away than a book. The Old man says... a computer.. (Ha! Optician don't know that the eyes what does his computer work for him be mine!)... or a newspaper....

These had better work. I see plenty of room for The Old Man's "Princess and the Pea" syndrome to rise up here... three times over.....

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Grey Doll And Criminal Reading: Homegrown Reading

You know me as a bit of a Scandi-crime enthusiast. Bit? Huh... total reading matter more like.....
But recently I do return to home roots with  M.H. Baylis's "The Tottenham Outrage" which I certain do enjoy... packed full of multi-culture and a lively view of the streets of North London.

It opens with the death of a family picnicking in Finsbury Park on a lovely spring day. The Hasidic family are found slumped over their food and onlookers are accusing a group of Muslim youths of spraying them with something. Local journalist Rex Tracey and his photographer friend Terry get caught up in the event and what follows takes us on journey amongst the streets of Tottenham and the Hasidic communities of Stamford Hill with Terry getting accused of another murder along the way. The crime story is interspersed with the account of one "George Smith" and his involvement with a true-life historical event, the failed Anarchist robbery of 1909 known as the "Tottenham Outrage".

The writing is characterful and funny and Baylis handles the two time threads very well. In all, this series featuring Rex Tracey and the streets of North London is certainly one I would visit again. You can read the full review here.

Friday, 19 September 2014

The Old Man Continues His Washing....

....which has caused the unearthing of multiple albums of Callas singing "Anna Bolena"....
This, in turn, be caused by us watching a DVD of the Vienna Staatsoper live recording (2011) with Anna Netrebko as Anna Bolena and Elina Garanca as Jane Seymour.

I like most of the singing... and certainly Elina Garanca seems very fine. Not so happy with some aspects of the production itself. The set, although fairly  restrained do seem a bit tricksy now and then for no good reason. And the characters are sometimes left bobbing up and down on one knee... erm... also for no good reason that I can see. There is indeed rather a lot of milling about stage business to no dramatic end. But on the whole - I'm happy.

I am a bit uneasy with my increasing tolerance of Donizetti. I seem to be starting to like some of his operas. Though don't ask me to rush towards "La Fille du Regiment"... I'm not ready for that yet. (Brisk shake like a dog).