Tuesday, 30 August 2011

The Dead Hand of Re-Organisation: BBC4

So you know how I be a fan of what I like to call Euro-telly? I post about such programmes sometimes - like Denmark's "The Killing", Iceland's "The Night-Shift"... then there's all those lovely "Wallander" and"Spiral" crime stuff.

Well I find these excellent things on BBC4. As well as comedy like "Getting On" and arts, music and documentaries.

So if you be at all like-minded... watch out. The BBC is implementing cuts and these will be announced on Sept 22, I think. And there is talk of changes for BBC4.

Have a read of this: Stand up for BBC4 | Radio Times.
And maybe this thread on Digitalspy.

Let us be blunt. I think that interesting telly is shrinking.
BBC4 is what BBC2 once was. BBC2 is what BBC1 once was. And I don't really watch BBC1 anymore.... except for Dr Who....

The ice floes of entertainment are melting once more. (Sigh) Radio 6Music was rescued. (Or was it all a cunning plot?) But now it's time to stand by your bunks to protect BBC4.

So don't forget to sign the petition at savebbcfour.com

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Bank Holiday Sunday: But This is not a Dahlia

Mmmm... We do mean to see a field full of dahlias over towards Penzance. But there be a notice to say "Open Day Postponed..." because the Spring drought made everything start too late for there to be a good showing.

(Dejected sigh. Fancied some dahlia viewing.)

Meander all over the place trying to get a bit of a place to park and go for a walk.... on an August Bank Holiday Sunday.

Eventually find this old stomping ground. The coastal path on the north side, just past Godrevy and looking up coast towards Newquay.

A nice little spot just near Hells Mouth.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

The Seasons Turn

I likes this time of year. Just the start of autumn coming. Dahlias in a jug on the the table.

The Old Man walks through the house leaving trails of seasonal hints; wet grass, bags for collecting blackberries... and this morning?
A dead wasp.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

The Natural Life: The Great Green Bush Cricket.

And what is this? First spotted munching in my marigolds? Then it goes jump hop hop, to sit placidly clinging to the house wall.

I find one in the garden or thereabouts most years, but not all. The first time I see one is down on the nearby cliffs, when we first move here.

They be big, about 5 centimetres. And this one so calm, maybe newly moulted? Cleaning its feet and antennae. When I first spot it on the marigold stems, I can see the jaw parts working. Science fiction time. Beautiful vivid green creature.

I turn away to carry on dead-heading the marigolds. Turn back. And she be gone. Hop!

Monday, 22 August 2011

The Old Man's Health Report

So I just want to say for those followers that get concerned over The Old Man. His health, I mean. The rest is just The Old Man.

We's been a little stressed recently cos he does feel a bit ropey. After many discussions he decides that it is one of the many drugs he takes that is making matters worse for him, headaches, muscle pains.

So he mentions it to his heart doctor on the rare occasion that he gets a check up with him. The doctor sets in motion changing the beta-blocker.

Finally he has a supply and has started the new drug a few days ago.

Whether out of relief or what, I don't know, but he is sleeping better, looking a bit better, and is generally jollier.

Then he turns to me with a worried look and says:

"It might make me too cheerful."

That's my boy.

Sunday, 21 August 2011

"The Killing": That Sweater. She's Back.

Sara's back. A series of repeat showings of "Forbrydelsen" - the original Danish crime series known as The Killing, starts tonight on BBC 4 at 10pm. Be warned, if you haven't seen it before, it's a long old series. But I's been hooked.

Channel 4 is still showing the U.S. remake on Thursdays at 9pm. I will now admit to starting to lose interest in this version. Though I think the lead actress, Mireille Enos, is very good. But for me... I dunno... times like these I realise that I feel at home with... European!

So, if you haven't seen the Danish original. And crime telly is your thing. Turn off the phone. Get out the popcorn.... or nicotine gum... and settle in for the duration. Cos then. Mmmn. Series 2 starts in the autumn.

Saturday, 20 August 2011

The Old Man's Words - Don't Panic

So we sit in the kitchen discussing Anthony Blunt and the spy thing and the art history thing... following on from a BBC Radio 4 "Reunion" programme.

(Eh-Em.. I would like to point out that decades ago I do myself attend an interview for a place studying art history at The Courtauld Institute (where Blunt taught). That would be a thing, if he had been on the interviewing panel. Of course I am not accepted. I do not "have the languages".)

So, like I say, we's be discussing such things as study and research...

"Of Course...." say Old Man: " there has to be sigorous research."

Silence descends on kitchen.

"Sigorous?" say I.

"Sigorous." say bit less confident Old Man.

"What you mean... SIGOROUS!" say panicked me.

Dear Reader, you may now wonder why I have such a dramatic reaction to The Old Man mangling his words these days. Well, he does report to his nurse and GP the incident where he cannot remember a word no matter how hard he try to say it.... (see this July post). And they both say that if such a thing do happen again we must dial 999 for Ambulance for it may be a mini-stroke or TIA thingy. But what they do not know is that The Old Man's speech is frequently sprinkled with malapropisms and spoonerisms. This latest instruction from the medics simply creates an almost permanent state of alarm and alert.

Seriously, one does not sleep so well for fear that he will literally mis-speak; and if he does we both have to jump on chairs and scream....

"Aargh! Argh! Don't panic...don't panic... "

Anyway this time we decide that this is The Old Man's usual cavalier way with words and settle on the theory that he was trying to say RIGOROUS.

As himself says: "That's next in line in the alphabet isn't it? Rigorous. Sigorous."

Yeah! True. Rigorous, shigorous, schmigorous.

"And then there's VIGOROUS..." say Old Man.

We live to fight another day.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Kneehigh Theatre's "The Wild Bride"

So we's sitting in a big tent in the middle of a Cornish field, somewhere between Blackwater and St. Agnes. The lights have just gone out. It's pitch black. And everyone around us is hollerin and shouting and clappin - including me and The Old Man.

We've just reached the end of Kneehigh's "The Wild Bride" at their big tent venue, The Asylum.

Oh I'm a little choked. And when the lights go up again, the performance space is still strewn with leaves and big red flowers and the performers are being roundly applauded.

It's a fairy/moral tale in which a pure soul attracts the vengeful fury of the devil. In this case, a devil with a guitar. It's gruesome; it's funny; it's moving; it's full of music. There is also a fair amount of mud, blood, smoke, lights, dance and a little puppetry. In short - it has everything I need in theatre.

The performers and performances are great.... sharp, tight and very skilled. The set is minimal but ingenious. Bravo! I'm happy. You can tell I's a fan.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Mrs Doonuthin's Dilemma: Part Two

So.... Mrs Doonuthin would still appear to be on the horns of a dilemma. (See here for previous related post.) She be more distracted than usual which is saying something. The bottle of red wine be ever at her side and these days she's not that worried about the accompanying tortilla chips. Finally she sidles up to me:

"I want to ask you a favour."


"Can I write about me learning to make animations.... on your blog?"

"(Sharp intake of breath)!"

"I know, I know... but you see I started my own blog about it but I just can't manage everything anymore; the animating;....."

"What animating?" ask I pointedly.

".... the blog; then helping you with your blog...."

"Say what?"

"And now.... er... well now I'm doing some reading and writing for another website...."

"(Mighty Gasp!!!)"

"So I was thinking.... as you are so insightful and amusing when you write about animation and films and your all-encompassing world view......"

"You're not buttering me up, are you?"

"Er... No. Definitely not. I absolutely mean every thing I say."

"Mmm.... This wouldn't be because no-one visits your blog but they do come to mine, Mmmmmn?"

"...I thought... No of course not.... I thought that maybe I could just slip the odd post onto your blog about... er... you know... learning to animate."

" (Mucho Silencio.)"


"(Todavia mucho silencio.)"

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Graphic Passions: Craig Thompson's Habibi

Oh! Oh! Oh! Take a look at this post from DRAWN. And follow their link to Habibi Process gallery. And in my case, marvel and despair.
This looks wonderful and six years or so in the making.

Due out 22 Sept 2011, published by Faber in the UK and Pantheon in US. Here's an extract from from Faber's synopsis/blurb:

"Habibi, based on a Middle Eastern fable, tells the story of Dodola, who escapes being sold into slavery and rescues an abandoned baby she names Zam. At heart .... a profound love story.... it also functions as a parable about the environment and the state of the world. Set in the place where Christianity and Islam began, it explores the fundamental connection between these religions, and also the relationship between the first and the third world...."

Oh and here's the link to Craig Thompson's own site.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

I Do Get so Fed Up With....

Mr Smooth-Face and his Cronies. He reluctantly comes back from his holiday in Tuscany and reconvenes his parliament... Yes George that means you too... Put down that Disneyland ice-cream, wipe your hands and come here. And up he steps with outraged pompous empty words about "sick" parts of Broken Britain and what he will or will not tolerate.
His remedies? Prison; eviction from social housing;...
What? You got room in the prisons?
(Suggest redeploy scrapped naval ships e.g. Ark Royal as Prison Hulks.)
You want more kids on the street?

Got no brief for trashing and robbin'... but let's just review the progress of these past few years?
Bankers who cause economic crashes with their greedy practices.
Do they suffer? No.
Greedy Media Moguls get sloppy with their in-house ethics.
Do they suffer? No.
Policemen get sloppy over who they bang-up, beat-up, shoot, or get jobs with when they retire.
Do they suffer? No.

How do you expect the ordinary people to engage in society when nothing they say or do matters? The power groups continue to get their own way... and their representatives in government blame society's decline on the criminally "sick".......

Oh never mind... just a rant. What do you expect from a soft, bleeding-heart, baby-boomer, liberal?

Read this Independent article by Camila Batmanghelidjh instead.

An Observation Upon the Relevance of Science-Fiction

People often dismiss sci-fi as fantastic gobbledygook. If it's not their cup of tea, that is. But I am still impressed at the rate at which ideas from the realm of science fiction prove prophetic.

Many years ago I read a novella by Larry Niven in which the invention of teleportation, instant travel from one place to another in the time honoured "Star Trek" manner, leads to unforeseen social consequences. The novella is called "Flash Crowd". And the unforeseen consequences are that as soon as trouble "kicks off"... to use the current parlance.... mobs and criminals teleport into the site of the incident and the whole thing becomes a Flash Riot.

Of course we haven't managed teleporatation yet. But we do have mobile phones and instant messaging.

You get my drift?
Stranger than fiction... shmiction.

Monday, 8 August 2011

Sunday, 7 August 2011

The Wonders of Wild Life: Doves in the Rain

Have you ever seen doves in the rain?

They like to take a shower.
They sit there in the really, really, heavy rain. I mean, pouring down. They sit there and they turn towards the rain and slowly lift up a wing; hold it for awhile then lower the wing; swivel - and extend the other wing for a good old underarm dowse.

Seen wood pigeons do it too.

Every other bird takes shelter - doves and pigeons take a shower.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Mrs Doonuthin's Dilemma

What is that woman doing now?

I's waitin' for that animated film life. And it's not just me.

The Old Man is now waitin' for that animated film life also. He be so impatient with that waiting, he be photographing himself and pestering Mrs Doonuthin to do something with the photos.

So what be Mrs Doonuthin doing now?

She be head down in the pages of a crime novel and making scribblin' notes in a bright green notebook.

Which way she going now?

Monday, 1 August 2011

That Aspergery Thing: Words

So today, walking along a rather drizzly beach, we fall to discussing Renaissance paintings. As you do.

The Old Man says: "... so for years I thought that God appeared in an ordinary tungsten bulb. You know... like you have in the kitchen..."

"Huh?" say I.

"You know... He appears in a light, like from the ceiling."

"You mean a light bulb?"

"Yes. Exactly. But of course it would have been an oil lamp, wouldn't it."


"The Light. That God appeared in... Would have been an oil lamp in those days."

The penny drops at last.

"God appeared in a Light..." say I "... like a beam of light with a Dove painted in it... Not a light as in lamp."

"O-O-o-o-h.... I see. I was being a bit literal there, wasn't I."