Saturday, 29 September 2012

Good Morning Starshine: That 1967 Thing

I do find myself singing over my breakfast making.

"Good Morning Starshine...." goes I.  "Dibby dub dooey... la-la-la-la-LAA...." as you do. "Hair" ... that 1967 musical thing.

The Old Man drifts in and expressionlessly drifts out. Soon the record is on the turntable. But not the big 1969 musical version. True to his nature, The Old Man never has just one recording where two will do. So he do have a recording  (what he do get from a charity shop) with the original off-Broadway cast who opened Joseph Papp's Public Theater in New York in 1967.

Neither of us have listened to it properly before. Stripped down. Sounds more clearly like the current rock/pop songs of the time in some ways. Not the lush musically enhanced versions we be familiar with. I like it.

Ah. 1967. A year when I do enter art college. The world my oyster and "Art" calleth. I do remember a party .... daisies in the field, daisies caught in the car door as we drive home.... "Giddy...Glub...Gloopy..."
I do let my own hair grow. It be curly and grows out rather than down. By the early 1970s bus conductors (I know... that's a retro job, I am afraid) are remarking that they be surprised that I can get onto the bus.... the hair be so high and wide.

Thursday, 27 September 2012

The Badger Thing

Clarissa Dickson Wright says that we should not waste the badgers that are to be culled in the government's great Bovine TB experiment. We should eat them. Their meat be a perfectly good thing, say she.

Tell me.... is there something I have failed to grasp in this situation? I understood that badgers are to be culled on the basis of being "reservoirs of disease" for the whole cattle rearing industry thingy. Pardon me if I do pass up on the opportunity of sampling "Reservoir of Disease aux Clarissa"..... leaving aside the whole wussy vegetarian thing, I mean......

Oh! And that will stand for the grilled fox giblets, smoked deer haunch, llama livers, chat aux cerises and Jack Russell Supreme that be sure to follow the "diseased badger" entree.

Monday, 24 September 2012

Happy Concert-Going: IMS at Porthleven

This is just to say that yesterday afternoon we did indeed get to a concert from the IMS series in St. Bartholomew's Church in Porthleven. Well I enjoyed it very much. In part, it is so long since I have been able to listen to live music of this kind and it is so different to be in the room with the living music. Like the difference between looking at a painting and looking at a reproduction of that painting.

Although it be "lucky dip" at the time I got the tickets as to what they would be playing, I be lucky and it turned out to be just fine with me. Webern, Schumann (OK, not too keen on Schumann) and Schubert, all fine. And I be entranced.

The Old Man do grumble about the acoustics in the church venue. And the gentleman sitting next to me did lapse into snoring from time to time. But maybe it was too soon after a good Sunday lunch for him.

Me? I be adrift in Schubert String Quartet in G Major... and they did play it fine.

Friday, 21 September 2012

Sunny Afternoon : Wheal Coates

 A walk around Wheal Coates on the Cornwall coast near St Agnes. Sometimes people do hang-gliding from here. But this afternoon... which be in fact yesterday afternoon.... there is no-one in the sky. Down on the Chapel Porth beach, with the tide well out, I do see a party of surfers in the narrow band of water that they are allowed today.... and the RNLI lifesaver Landrover.

See how the landscape stretches with little vegetation except heather and gorse. That's the legacy of tin-mining for you. Though here is a bench when you need one ... cos the path up has been steep.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Travels With My Film-Life: Brittany 1969 - and Chabrol

Alors mes enfants. The other evening we do travel to Quimper in Brittany courtesy of Claude Chabrol and his 1969 thriller "Que La Bete Meure". Tis elegant, thoughtful and dashed clever this one. I very much enjoy it as do The Old Man. A grieving father seeks revenge on the "beast" hit and run driver who knocks down and kills his young son. Having located the man with obsessive cunning and a few coincidences, he do find a thoroughly unpleasant piece of work who bullies and terrifies everyone around him. There are twists and turns and the whole thing is very good. Not a thriller so much as a cool puzzler. Add a Brittany landscape that be very reminiscent of Cornwall....

I didn't know that the film is based on a British crime thriller written in the thirties by Nicholas Blake. Even more... I do not be aware that "Nicholas Blake" be the pseudonym of  Poet Laureate Cecil Day-Lewis. There's a thing.

You can read a Eurocrime review of the 1938  "The Beast Must Die" by Nicholas Blake, republished by Vintage earlier this year,  here.

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Concert Going Mirage

Every year there is an event called the International Musicians Seminar which is held at Prussia Cove, here in Cornwall. I know thet they put on local concerts but I have never been to one. So this year I have booked tickets for a Sunday afternoon concert in Porthleven. Which be quite near us.
It will be good to go and try it out.

Except I do not know who is playing.
Nor what they will be playing.
.....Now I see there is a "NB" on their diary next to the "Time" of the concert... but no explaining what that NB be for....

It do get mysteriouser and mysteriouser.... will the venue disappear in a puff of smoke before I get there, do you think?

Friday, 14 September 2012

The Rook Be Singing Again

So I have talked before about the singing of the rook. (Singing Rook Post) And now I know that rooks sing in autumn not spring. Because here it is the same time of the year and the rook be singing again.

He/she be a groovy rook. Wherever it takes up a singing post it do let go with a gravel croak of syncopation and blues shuffle worthy of Tom Waits.

Groove, groove my blatant birdy.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

A Night Out: Footsbarn's Tempest

Last night we do see Footsbarn's "Indian Tempest" at the Hall for Cornwall. I must say that Truro do look deserted at 7 o'clock in the evening.

I told you a little about Footsbarn Theatre in a previous post. So.... I enjoy the production once I get the hang of it. First of all the players speak to each other (and us) in English, French, and Indian languages... But then I do think.... that this is Shakespeare's "The Tempest" which be set on an island ruled by the shipwrecked magician Prospero with his young daughter Miranda... along with various spirits and monsters. So I do reckon that multilingual speaking be fine for this magical place.

Performances full of gusto, Indian costumes, masks, European costume, flames, smoke and magic... as it should be in all theatre, I do reckon. (Well. Almost. I like my Beckett stripped down as intended.) The clowning is wonderful, clear and part of the plot as I do not often experience in Shakespeare. And the musicians are great. I enjoy the whole premise of the production. The Old Man desperately wants to connect it all to Commedia dell'arte but I'm not so sure... although where do you get away from Commedia dell'arte when it comes to theatre? One did see and hear some audience members desperately trying to piece together what they knew of the plot of The Tempest. Nevertheless we do give the company a warm applauding.... and clap to their drumming, singing finale.... and they seem well pleased with our effort too.

Just a shame to leave a theatre that for all the world feels like a closed-up municipal building... which is what it is I guess. Shutters over the bar and coffee place.... magic gone.... and there you are.... tiffed out into the still deserted streets of Truro. Ho-hum.

Footsbarn continues their production in Truro for the rest of this week until the 15th of September. After that.... its Amsterdam, back here to Exeter, then Corbeil-Essonne in France. You can see the details on their website here.  If it sounds like your stuff... go see and enjoy.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Last Night I Dreamed...

.... a friend have come to stay. I be trying to welcome and get food ready. She have brought a little plastic dish of some food like a south-east Asian soup. It do taste nice..... but my whole welcome and food thing do get out of hand. In fact the south-east Asian soup be all we eat.... cos Things proliferate. Not to mention the spare people cluttering up the place (which is not my home as now...) who be like members of the Royal family and bankers' children and such like. So that I be forever trying to put food on the table but not quite managing it and it do get ridiculous and be like champagne and cakes and right at the end..... sugar spun fripperies like a "prince on a white horse-type" cake ornament... and....and....
What an awful dream.

I do know what it be though ...... pasta machine guilt.

Monday, 10 September 2012

Tied Up...

I been practicing making pasta for a bit. I have enjoyed it. But I do only have a rolling pin and try as hard as I can... squeezing and rolling... I cannot make the pasta thin enough.

We do eat it and make out we do enjoy it... but it do require a lot of chewing.

So I do decide to get the pasta machine.

Thumbs and Fingers...

I have to take a chunk of pasta and run it through just to clean the machine from new... cos you can't wash it.

I eventually manage to make it through the rollers from thickest setting to thinnest..

Woah. That be very thin....

Pasta, Pasta, Everywhere

So thinnest setting is a problem. Everything is getting a little tricky to handle. The Old Man hovers anxiously... his fingers dying to clamp on MY machine....

Cos next... I have to try the cutting contraption. What does this fine one do? Ya... it do make intricate squidgy mess it do.

Am starting to scream and make a fuss because I am my mother's daughter. Soon I will have to, like her, resort to weeping in the kitchen with a glass of sherry....

The Old Man hushes me aside and attempts to clear out the cutter with a pastry brush. Remember. One must not wash the pasta machine....

I recover and we agree to stop the rolling process at one before the thinnest setting. More manageable. And I do go for the other cutter what be more like tagliatelle. Better.... but it's all getting stretched and tangled and Yah.... I cut the sheets in half. Hurrah. We get pasta.

I stagger into the kitchen to make the sauce and cook the noodles. The Old Man remains to mop up all surfaces and apply the pastry brush to the machine again.....

Knead, Cook, and Eat

So.... several hours later than usual....
The pair of us do eat tagliatelle with olives and tomatoes.

All our own work.
Tastes like.... tagliatelle really.

And that is why I be exhausted and do not appear to have had time to write anything else for some days.

Sunday, 9 September 2012

All Wrapped Up In...

Some of you may say... where have she been all week? Somewhere exciting? What be she doing that be at the forefront of exciting counter-over-60s culture?

Well the answer is... leaving aside The Old Man's Birthday celebrations which means spending all day shopping cos that be what The Old Man do love to do....

.... the answer is.... I did buy myself a pasta machine. You know? One of those cute shiny metal roller thingies? So I be exhausted. I do not have time to write posts for the blog.

You see - first I have to get the thing out of it's box, all of it. Then I have to work out how to put the bits together. And for me... Well you know how The Old Man be facial recognition challenged? Me... I be 3D challenged. Up, down, left, right, back to front... I do not know.

Then I do have to find somewhere to clamp the thing down... with room for it to squeeze out in both directions... and somewhere where I can get everything all floury and foody. And for sure that means nowhere in my kitchen. I have to move the whole kit and caboodle on to the dining table.

Then... I have to make the pasta. And that is just the start....

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Travels With My Film-Life: Le Havre

The Old Man and I do sit down and watch "Le Havre" by Finnish director Aki Kaurismaki. (You can read a Guardian interview with the gloomy Finn here).

I haven't seen any Kaurismaki films before and so this one may be jollier than others but I do like it very much. Anyway, "Le Havre" is set in place of the same name and is a story about a shoe-shine man, his wife, a policeman, and a young African boy... an illegal immigrant.... And some of the people in the neighbourhood... and the dog Laika. When The Old Man do see the characters in the local cafe he says with relief:
 "Oh Good. What a bunch of wierdos. I can tell them apart!"
The film has a stripped down style, to the point, and lovely to look at. It's humane, almost a fairy tale in modern translation... The Old Man do say.... a "morality tale". We do agree that the stripped down almost unemotional style is maybe what's necessary. Cos if the same plot had been lushed-up by Hollywood ....we would be throwing up in a bucket.

As it is. "Le Havre" is a lovely film and you get a Little Bob concert thrown in! ...Yes, I know that I do like things of the weirder sort. But really... see it if you can.

LE HAVRE - Little Bob Konzert