Monday, 29 April 2013

Spring: All That Is Done May Be Undone

Look out of the kitchen window this morning .... and watch a blue-tit carefully harvesting the string that The Old Man have used to tie up a plant. Guess the blue-tit needs some nice soft stuff for its nest.

Me? I do weed the broad beans and sow some mangetout. Potatoes are up.

Sunday, 28 April 2013

The Old Man's Harsh Verdict...

... is that I must bin the bagels.
And I do.

Then we do go for a walk down towards the sea. A small flock of waders do fly over. I think they have long beaks but maybe not as long as curlews. I think they may be whimbrels.

And then I do hear a skylark for the first time this year. I do love that song.

Today I Have Mostly Made... Flat Bagels

My first failure in the Sunday Breakfast ritual of bagel-baking. No. I do not show you a picture of them.
So let this be a warnin' to all of you beginner bread bakers like moi..... The flour makes all the difference.

I did use a perfectly good flour... stoneground strong white... but it do behave differently from others I have used up to now.

Result? The dough looked dark and the bagels sank to the bottom of the boiling pot.... like bricks. I have never seen this before.

Did I eat any? Do chefs wear hats? Of course I do eat some. Tasted fine but... they be flat and dense
Moral? Know your flours. Believe it or not the milling makes all the difference to how it behaves when you bake with it.

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Travels With My Film-Life: Paris - The House Of A Rich Man ("Intouchables")

OK. So sometimes you just have to watch what is called a "feelgood" movie.

And we do do that with "Untouchable" ("Intouchables")... a French film directed by Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano and released in 2011. Based on a true story... it tells us about about a wealthy man, paralysed from the neck down, and his carer...(depicted in the film as a Senegalese guy from a suburban ghetto estate). The film stars Francois Cluzot ... who I do very much like in "Tell No One"... and Omar Sy....

Oh and there are a couple of familiar faces, notably Audrey Fleurot, the voluptuous lawyer from French Crime series "Spiral".

Yes... it is a different world in a feelgood movie. No bedroom tax applies in this case... But I take time out to watch the film and enjoy it and I do laugh out loud at some of the sequences.... don't you just need that sometimes?

(What about Chancellor Osborne's tears at The Funeral, eh?)

The Intouchables Official Trailer

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

In Which The Old Man And Me Discuss "Broadchurch"

Under the influence of Mrs D...(who do herself seem to be mostly under the influence of "a large glass of red")... The Old Man be taking an interest in crime drama on the telly.... and has loyally followed the recent British serial "Broadchurch" on ITV.

Now that we do know whodunnit... (well we do cos we did watch the broadcast of the last episode last night...) we fall to discussion this morning at breakfast....

..... and The Old Man do pronounce judgement which be rather a harsh one. He do feel it is largely the strong acting of the cast that saved the day. Now..anyone who knows The Old Man do know he often pronounces harsh judgement....

For myself....(in my best "Mrs D" mode but with a cup of tea instead of the wine)... I do offer that I feel a bit cheated on certain plot points and feel as though we be led up the garden path of episodic suspense and "would-be" murderers. Indeed some of those paths do be conspicuous dead-ends and I do feel a bit grumpy about that.

But we did indeed enjoy watching it. And the news is out that the series.... "will be back"

Monday, 22 April 2013

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Looking For My Memories Of Lepage Productions I Have Seen

... and this is the awful truth... that being elder.... the productions that I do see of Robert Lepage's work in London in the 1990s.... pre-date the wonders of web memories and clips. Now... I do feel elder.

.....And to try and explain the impact of "Midsummer Night's Dream" at the National Theatre... with a stage covered in a mud pool, Puck played by a contortionist and the front row audiences being issued with plastic macs against the splatter... (Did I just make that up?)

Or "Needles and Opium"  ... Cocteau, Miles Davis.... the wonders of stage illusion ...

Ah well go and Google around and you will find much more stuff that is more up to date.....
Than me.

Robert Lepage - Short Documentary - National Film Board of Canada

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

The NY Met, Lepage... and Wagner

So next Saturday (April 20th 2013) the Live from the Met broadcast on BBC Radio 3 will be "Siegfried"... and if you want a taster of what I mean by a Lepage production you can see the Met's clip in the next post. Yes... I know... not much to see on a postage stamp blog post...

So bear with me over the next post or two whilst I recount my admiration of Robert Lepage's work.
You see I am a set-tilting, smoke and mirrors kinda girl when it comes to theatre.

"Siegfried" - Act 3: Wanderer's Entrance - The Metropolitan Opera

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

One Fine Day....

The Old Man do think I am mad as he gets the old jallopy into the lane... and I stand there, staring at the sky and waving my arms.

First swallows. Two of them.... chit-chit-chattering as they fly about the hill.

Monday, 15 April 2013

A Hilltop Walk Leading To Wagnerian Ramblings

Today we do walk up the hill. As you can see it is misty.

I do have a rather martyred weekend in terms of evening entertainment.... First there is the weekly BBC Radio 3's  Opera on 3 - "Live from the Met" broadcast... which do be Wagner's "Die Walkure."  And I be no fan of Wagner.... but The Old Man is.... so I do grit my teeth and bear nearly all of it.

Then I be hijacked because The Old Man announces that he be giving the BBC's paltry allotment of  "The Masters" Golf Tournament priority over my Scandi-crime...Much to my chagrin...
(He have better recorded my "Arne Dahl".) These are the disagreements of the elder kind as we both insist he said, he didn't, and so on. I be not in good humour.

....Until I do some research on the Met production. Because it is by Robert Lepage... who be a bit of a theatrical  must for me. Which cause me to look at some clips online at the Met site  and to talk to The Old Man about it.... which do prompt the usual Old Man lecture... which one may or may not find informative. This lecture continues during our hilly walk. Here you can see some goats momentarily enthralled by the concept of opera production of the Wagnerian kind.

Saturday, 13 April 2013

The Old Man's Singing Gets Political

Wake up to rain.
Can hear The Old Man giving full voice to "April Showers" as he wends his way around the house.....

"....It isn't raining rain you know...
.... It's raining coronets...."

It's The Old Man's "overactive thesaurus" again.

Friday, 12 April 2013

Further Democratic Gloom

Upcoming Local Government elections. What with Cornwall being a Unitary Authority... there is only one council to vote for (apart from Parish).

It do come as a shock for me to see from the list in the local paper that our district has a choice between precisely two candidates: Conservative or UKIP.
Our previously Independent Councillor has gone and joined the Conservatives... though he do not jump to tell us that fact when we had a political chat in the street the other week....

Alors! What with the last general election.... when I thought I was voting Lib Dem and found I had managed to get the Tories into government...

......My voting rights feel positively hi-jacked and sadly may soon be under-exercised methinks.

On The Political Climate Of Interior Design

The rustling of newsprint on the morning after the nation's Dreadful News....

"Did you know that Dennis Thatcher's family money was in "Paint"?" muses The Old Man. "....What with George Osborne's being in "Wallpaper".... you wonder what's next really.... Carpets? Curtains?"

"...Wish it were "Curtains" for this lot." Grouse I.

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

And May I Say How Much I Enjoyed...

... this last telly series of "Foyle's War".
Now that we've tipped the plot into the coldwar era, shady dealings abound and there are some tricky blighters about.

Wonderful production stuff, costumes, sets, etc. I do think that it's hard not to taint "period" style with current fashion but they did manage the period jolly well. Don't often watch retro crime but have always had a soft spot for "Foyle's War" and so I really do hope we have some more.

Jolly good show, I say.

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

The Surf At Porthleven

Just about midday ... one surfer in.... at the edge of the harbour-entrance and more on their way...

No... you won't see a surfer in these pictures...
that's not where they be.

Horse & Jockey pasties for lunch.

The Old Man Do Get To The Diminishing Truth Of Being Elder....

... for he do say to me: "Did you listen to "Personal Pleasures"?

and I do ask: "You mean "Private Passions"?

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Sun Out At Marazion Marshes

So yesterday we do go for a walk in the bird reserve. The bit you can walk in is quite small and can be very muddy, if not underwater, these days. Even after a week or so without rain there is still mud.....

Quite a few watchers and photographers with big scopes and lenses. Don't know what they are after.

Again I  think I do hear a quick burst from a Cetti's warbler. But maybe I be wrong. Whatever sang... it has a rich exotic little song.

Geese, ducks, swans, moorhens, little egret, a kestrel flying through and all the other little birds we are familiar with. A heron flying in to stalk around and see what it can see. RSPB have been angry with local naval air station. Say their low flying have caused about five pairs of nesting herons to abandon ship... or nests. Marazion has UK's only ground-nesting herons. Naval station say "Not us, guv." But RSPB still grumbling.

Don't know if the bittern is still in there.

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Fledgling Song

I be woken up this morning by the feeding call of a rooklet. Aah says I. Spring have finally come despite all this cold and the grass not growing and stuff.

I have described the demented klaxon of a hungry rooklet before.

....And here it have started up again. Aah Bless. All baby birds want their food. At the moment the ground is dry again. Perhaps the juicy, chewy things be more scarce which is what has drawn Mama Rook and child to the bird feeders. Certainly badger or fox have turned the ground underneath like a ploughed field.

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Travels With My Film Life: "BathTub", Louisiana - Waters Rising

Speakin of climate change...

We do watch "Beasts of The Southern Wild" and so we be in the shanty community of BathTub, Louisiana as the glaciers melt and the waters rise and five-year old  HushPuppy have to learn how to stand on her own two feet and find her own fierceness to survive. A fantasy set in a future world.... though how far in the future?.....rooted in the struggle of a drowning community that has major echoes of Hurricane Katrina. A lot of the film's "stir" is down to the amazing six-year old star in Quvenshane Williams as HushPuppy.

Cannes 2012 Beasts Of The Southern Wild Official Trailer

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Madame Deficit Considers Gove's Climate Of Opinion

Ah my darlings. Did you realise that  here in the UK our radical Secretary of State for Education Mr Gove have gone right off teaching younger children about the climate change debate? Only children studying for a GCSE in Geography may consider the subject if he gets his way.

Of course I do agree that the closest the dear things need come to environmental concerns is the annoyance of litter and whether you should recycle your tins or not. A tidy environment is a healthy one I do say. And who needs to learn about the pseudo-science of climate change when they should be learning Latin instead? Mind you I was quite keen on Latin myself.....

Alors?  Progrès, mes amis. Toujours au plaisir de regarder en arrière. (Progress, my friends. Always look forward to looking back.) But if you do not share this government's view on the merits of under-15s learning about climate change .... then 38 Degrees has a petition you can sign. As does