Thursday, 29 September 2011

A Beautiful Day up the Creek

The ole Riverside at Devoran. The Old Man examining the places of his forefathers.

Me admiring the late September sun, the mud.... and best of all listening to the curlews. Love them babies.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

The Old Man's Hi-Fi

The Old Man makes a phone call to the makers' of his Beloved Arm (hi-fi equipment - see previous post). His voice drops from petrified treble to relaxed baritone as he exchanges "woof-tweet-arm" talk with person on other end of phone. Formidable! They will look at the poor mal-functioning arm.

Il est un homme transforme.

Monday, 26 September 2011

The Woof and Tweet of it All

Ladies and Gentlemen, you may not know this.... but The Old Man is a bit of a Woof and Tweet merchant. No, no... he has neither Dog nor Twitter account. (How times and the vernacular have changed.) No.... The Old Man is a hi-fi buff.

And I mean really....he would not know what to do with an iPod or an MP3 player, he is barely on speaking terms with a CD.

No.... he lerves "Vinyl".
And I don't mean he frequents S&M clubs (nor M&S for that matter but that's another subject). Blimey, how fugitive is the patois of hobbies and passions.

The Old Man lerves his speakers, his amp, his pre-amp, his cartridge, his stylus and his arm. He loves them all with obsession and parental tenderness.

People like moi who cohabit with Hi-Fi People will resonate more than said woofers and tweeters with the familiarity of such scenarios as ..... the day the three-piece suite leaves the sitting room in order to accommodate the wardrobe sized speakers; the hours that the whole house vibrates to the tedious range of sounds and chunks of bad music that is - "The Hi-Fi Test Record"; the evenings of mummified hostessing when Hi-Fi fans get together... obsessively comparing and evaluating the qualities of their favoured cartridge.

And last but by no means least, the fact that I have not played any of my once beloved scratched LPs for years, nay decades even.... because I will not go near The Old Man's set-up which sports a stylus (commonly referred to as a "prickle" .... nuff said) that required a small mortgage.

Anyhoo. The Old Man now looks very glum indeed. I can't have a conversation with him. His eyes glaze over. His thoughts are elsewhere.....

The "Arm" is refusing to "Track".....
Translation: the sacred hardware will not play a record.

Friday, 23 September 2011

Blue Flowers and Red Dragonflies

A day or so ago.
Another walk by the river near the woods. Find tiny "meadows" which are full of blue flowers. I think they might be Devil's Bit Scabious but not sure.

Further away - in a sheltered spot full of heather grown mine-waste ... and a shallow pool.

Red dragonflies. (Maybe Common Darter.)

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

"The Killing is Killing Me"

Gotta another mail the other day from my insomniac "Forbrydelsen-fan" friend. Now she is lying awake worrying about some plot points that are puzzling her. She did send me a whole list to clear up. But I says: "Don't look at me. You need Mrs Doonuthin for this."

So I has a go at passing some of the questions over to Mrs Doonuthin... like
"Was Nanna killed at the flat or in the woods?"
"Who cut the wire to the stairwell light outside Lund's flat"
"Why did the powers that be want to cover up the link between Nanna's and Mette's murders?"
... and many more.

Mrs Doonuthin, ever helpful, looks up at me with bleary eyes, hiccups, and says: "I dunno... didn't spot them dyscreppersies meself... I just thought it was a jolly good telly-thing, me."

Sorry, dear friend - despite her cutting edge critical faculties, Mrs Doonuthin is of no use whatsoever. Meanwhile, I can assure you that you only have to Google "Forbrydelsen Nanna..." to get plenty of blogospheric discussion links on the matter of plot points.

But I shall step over Mrs Doonuthin's snoozing form, ponder on your questions - and get back to you.

Monday, 19 September 2011

It Really is Autumn

See? Just come back from a bit of a local walk.
The Old Man says these be Horse Mushrooms. Dunno, me. But they look splendid.

Mind you we did leave them there... partly cos they do look so splendid. And partly cos we don't know for sure what they be.... so better safe than... poisoned.

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Ruining Your Friends' Sleeping Habits: Telly

I got mail the other day... from a friend who's complaining that she's not sleepin well... cos she's lyin there trying to anticipate the plots of both versions of The Killing. And this is also because she's stayin up half the night watchin both versions. She blames me totally for this. (see my recent post bout this here).

I am sorry, babe. Oh! but don't tell me the outcome for the US version cos I haven't caught up with that myself!! Good job I didn't tell you to catch up on BBC4's "Spiral" at the same time though.

Oh where would we be without BBC4's foreign crime serials?

Well don't hold your breath. We may be able to find out soon. Remember those cut announcements are due soon. (See this post.)

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Mrs Doonuthin Says Take a Look at This...

...."Nosy Bear -Making of" a video posted on Drawn from You Tube.

It's a generous insight into "animating from a sketch book" by Fran Krause.

Mrs Doonuthin says that she'd hoped that it would inspire her to "play" rather than get all po-faced about animation. She said she'd posted it on her own blog .... but in all seriousness I think she is going to take her blog down!!!
She says she thought it was a good idea at the time, that she'd hoped it would be like a sketch book for her own puny animation efforts. But (sigh) she has just found it depressing and earnest and another source of guilt.

Oh-Oh... I do believe she has sloped off to open another bottle of red....

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

That Lack of Facial Recognition Thing - and Literature

We's havin' one of our literary conversations... The Old Man and me. This is because Mrs Doonuthin has taken up a new obsession which be reviewing crime books.

Honest. She's not just leaning out the window and pontificating on the state of the thrilling art to any unfortunate passer-by. She be reviewing books for the website Eurocrime. (Under another name of course.) And the place be littered with books now; chairs and tables stacked with crime, murder and mayhem; the floor knee-deep in discarded notes and review attempts.

Anyway, The Old Man is explaining to me why he doesn't read such stuff.

I have always taken this as hauteur on his part and a looking-down-his-nose at my (and Mrs Doonuthin's) literary tastes. But you see, I hadn't put two and two together had I?

I have long accepted that he can't follow crime series on the telly - cos he can't tell one person from another. Well in the main that is. I mean he seems to have a peculiar set of priorities when it comes to facial pattern recognition on screen. And as for the cosmetically polished world of Hollywood or even Telly phyzogs, well that's an infinitely slippery pole for him to slide down. And so, not being able to tell one character from another in a drama just about guarantees that he will never know whodunit, if you take my drift.

Well, he explains how it's a bit the same with reading. He can't remember one name from another, nor sometimes one character from another... And this, The Old Man explains to me with a beatific smile...

is why he likes to read Beckett .

He has a point. If there's only one character on the stage or in the novel.... it's harder to forget who they are.

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Animated Discussions: Persepolis

Monday evening 5th Sept 11pm (2300 hrs). Marjane Satrapi's animation feature film based on her own graphic novel or rather memoir - "Persepolis".

I love the book. I love this film. Have posted about it before. Its her own story as a young girl growing up in Iran before and during the Iranian Revolution. She has to leave Iran but doesn't manage so well adrift in Europe either.

Animated in the same deceptively simple black & white drawing style of her book. It's moving, tragic and funny. Love it, love it, try and see it.

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Animated Discussions: My Dog Tulip

So we sits down and watches a DVD of "My Dog Tulip"which The Old Man is most insistant gets purchased.

"My Dog Tulip", released earlier this year in UK, is an animated tale based on J.R. Ackerley's memoir of his long relationship with his German Shepherd, Queenie (Tulip). It took Paul Fierlinger & Sandra Fierlinger six years to animate using what they call "paperless" animation (drawn and painted straight into the computer.)

I love it. Laughing out loud and really enjoying The Fierlingers' chosen style which reminds me of magazine caricature of the period (1950s). But in some sequences, usually when Ackerley (voiced by Christopher Plummer) is musing on Tulip's inner life, this morphs into animated line drawings depicting Tulip as a dog -headed human in a dress. Sucker for that touch, me.

Be warned that this is not a cute film about a cute dog. Although in her own way Tulip is cute, she is most certainly DOG. And it is this that seems to divide critical opinion. It seems that Tulip is just too basic in her vital expressions, pee, crap, reproduction, etc - and that J.R. Ackerly appears to be too fascinated by her habits to be quite respectable.

But I think it's a truthful, loving, detailed observation of the dog and her solitary human companion. So I say... bravo for "My Dog Tulip".... not a dry eye in the house... thoroughly moved I be. See it if you can.

Friday, 2 September 2011

Mrs Doonuthin Cuts the Grass - Again

She's off again. Doing her garden duty. Dragging around the grass with the mower. At the moment she's going even slower, announcing her dangerous presence to all critters living in the plot laughingly know as "The Garden".

Scything away slowly and cautiously, she frightens all sorts of wildlife into springing out into the open.

On this occasion - umpteen grasshoppers, two small frogs and a young slow-worm.