Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Jumping Jehosophats: Baby Grasshoppers

I am besieged. Every time I go in the sun room I do find babies. Baby grasshoppers. In truth they are smaller than this here one. The replicating of the little critters in scale was beyond Mrs D's skills. (What isn't, really.) But I have developed an eye for them and so far over the past week I reckon to have rescued about 18 from the wall or floor and tried to place them outside and somewhere more appropriate.

"First instar." Pronounces The Old Man loftily... and returns to his newspaper, whilst I do crawl around sayin' "Here baby baby... come to Mama..." Can you imagine that? Me... as a great big Mama grasshopper? Oh but my jaws would be head-crunchers.

I think "real mama" must have hopped in and laid eggs under the skirting or something last autumn... and now tis spring... and the babies be hatching.
How big are they really? Well imagine chasing jumping caraway seeds and you get the idea.

Friday, 24 April 2015

Travels With Our Film Life: West Cornwall, 1895 - "Tin"

Well, we didn't have to travel far for this one...a few miles down the road to be precise....
and a bit of time travel back to the 19th century tin mines, churches and mermaids of West Penwith.

We did indeed get ourselves to the local picture house alongside 40 or so others to watch Miracle Theatre's "Tin". And so successful has it been... the cinema chain has put on second showings and extended the run. (Get it while you certain salubrious cinemas.)

It's a gem of a low-cost movie... using quite a degree of green-screen digital scenes via the skills of St. Just-based animation company Spider Eye. Can one have an intimate melodrama? Think that's what it is. A tight-laced, religious mine captain, his invalid mother and their pretty housemaid...add the owner of a struggling tin mine and the swindling ways of bankers (boo!), a love lorn vicar and a traveling opera company bringing "Fidelio" to the Cornish masses.... and you do have plenty of adventure.
It is said that the banking swindle was based on a real-life "accountancy error" (eh-hem) what be written up as a novel by Edward Bosanketh in 1888. (It is rumoured the bank concerned bought up all copies they could find and did destroy them. Well, I never.... Obviously one or two got through.) Lovely performances all round... though the "walking" against a digital background did leave a bit to be desired, mind... Hats off to many and a special doff to Steve Jacobs's anguished Parsimonia, invalid mother of Ben Dyson's thoroughly repressed mine captain, Rundle.
The Old Man be beside himself to hear Ben Luxon and we all do wear a candle on our heads in celebration.

Monday, 20 April 2015

Animated Discussions: Stromae's Carmen - Music Video by Sylvain Chomet

A dark look at that little bluebird.
From Belleville Rendezvous's Sylvain Chomet for Belgian rapper/songwriter Stromae.

(I lurve Belleville Rendezvous aka The Triplets of Belleville).

Edit: Have just discovered that Cornwall based animation company Spider Eye also had a hand in this. Brilliant.)

Saturday, 18 April 2015

Cornish Mist: Second Day: Wednesday - Porthcurno

 Ha! Caution thrown to the winds. Sun in the sky. We launch out again. Penzance first for shopping. Then... shall we make a day of it? Shall we try again for West Penwith? Yes we do. And we can see that wall of sea mist again but it seems to be clinging to the northern side proper. So we  reach Porthcurno. And quite a few people are thinking the same...Its white beach containing a good old sprinkling of families and swimmers.
We eat our lunch stuff picked up at Archie Brown's, down some water and decide to tackle the coast path up to the top of the cliff. You can just see the start of the path that I mean in this photo here.
It do look beautiful mind. Yellow gorse, creamy white blackthorn blossom and all sorts of birds chiffing, chaffing and singing. Up we goes and if I say so myself we did tackle that path like mountain goats.... on all fours and sometimes backwards.
Did we see a basking shark?
No, my dears. But I don't care.
Aarh-Haarh! Poldark!

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Cornish Mist: First Day Out - Tuesday

Beautiful day Tuesday. We decide to take advantage. Where have we not been for a while? I've never managed this "basking shark spotting" that people are up to. The cliffs around Porthcurno perhaps?
We set off. But as Penzance comes into sight we do spot it.... The all-enshrouding sea mist, a wall of grey cutting off the hills behind Penzance. Perhaps not Porthcurno then.

A quick revise and a swing round on the old A30 to the north coast. Godrevy? Blotted. Portreath? Lost. Porthtowan? Not to be seen. Nothing for it. St Agnes Beacon again then. The hill is clear and we climb about it and sit and watch the mist blot out farms and fields then waltz away and leave them to the sun again.
The mist might be hard to spot in me photo here... but it's that grey wall at the top... wandering around the coast behind St. Agnes.
Aah-Haarh! Poldark!

Monday, 13 April 2015

Dieting Risk: Home-made Crumpets

Okay already. I am losing some weight on this 5:2 diet thing.
S-l-o-w-l-y, But that's for the best ain't it. So they say. Fasting days is 500 calories for us ladies (600 for the men).
But you have to beware of the sense of food-joy that arises on the five non-fasting days. I mean... on my eating weekend I kind of... just casually... made crumpets. They's quite easy to make.... but a nightmare to cook right. I mean, you have to try each griddled batch to make sure you done it right, don't you!

Friday, 10 April 2015

Another Night At The Cinema: Coming Soon... "Tin"

I do not know what have come over The Old Man. When I do yell that there is an email about the up-coming showing of Cornish film "Tin" at the local cinema and... does he want to go? I am momentarily discombobulated when he shouts back "Yes".
Can this be true? Am I to go out of an evening yet again? So Soon? Like... within the year?
It appears the ease of getting to a picture-palace to see something different have become an approved thing on his part.
So there it is. I have booked a couple of tickets for a week or so's time. Well, Well.....

So... Cornish film.... Cornish Theatre Company... Cornish story and setting.... retired Cornish  opera singer Ben Luxon, Kernow-philes Jennie Agutter and Dudley Sutton, and numerous Cornish and Cornwall-based actors. All celebrating a saga of tin-mining, banking and touring theatre. We is looking forward.
Hah-Haarh Poldark!

Tin Trailer 2015 from Miracle Theatre on Vimeo.

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Three Beings In Search Of Spring

Ah... it have stopped raining. Sun is out. Bumble bees buzzing. Have been trying to ignore my dieting hunger by getting active in the garden... and splitting, sowing, planting and so on. If I say so myself things do look spring-pretty with hellebores (some self-sown, some bought) planted up in a cleared bed. That there, in the picture, is a double celandine.

Mrs D has joined in the dieting... but her reactions be a little different. She is suffering gloom and guilt over a packet of crisps consumed on a non-diet day... and is contemplating making an animation about boiled eggs. (?? Me neither.)

As I do finish my garden labouring and admire the new plant-ups, The Old Man do approach with his camera. Aah, thinks I, he is going to celebrate my work.
Wrong. He is taking a picture of the single, opened, plum-blossom on the Kea plum tree. And I know him. He is not thinking "Spring!" He be thinking...."Food".
One way or another we all are thinking of our stomachs.

Thursday, 2 April 2015

A Night At The Opera.... In The Cinema...

Oh. Wow. I enjoyed that "Mahagonny" at our local cinema. The rural me can now sample opera on a scale larger than a dvd/telly combo. Great.
Live broadcast via cinema screen is a hybrid beast of an experience. We're not sitting in our seats peering at a stage with a single viewpoint. Here we get edited and interposed shots... like a film.... close-ups, long shots, cuts. It is all very jolly. And we do get interviews and such during the Opera House interval.
To add to the surreal quality of last night's relay broadcast.... Covent Garden had been hit by the electrical fire in Holborn. Fortunately the stage and auditorium were powered from another source.... so we got our show... but the punters at The Garden were in darkness elsewhere in the theatre, I believe. Bottles of water their only interval drinks. No nice bar snacks. In Penzance, popcorn and ice-cream be still in plentiful supply.

The production (and I had been a little uncertain before seeing it) is successful. Brilliant video projection on a great cargo-container set. (For do we not  live in a Mahagonnesque world with people smuggled in cargo containers, slaving in cargo containers and living in cargo containers?) And wonderful performances. The great Willard WhiteKurt Streit who as Jimmy McIntyre does a powerful job (both voice and acting) in a role which becomes very grueling by the end. And Christine Rice is no slouch in the theatricals either. The Old Man do say... she needs to match Streit's Jimmy McIntyre punch for punch.... and she does. I also greatly like Peter Hoare's performance as chain-smoking, money-man, Fatty. The production is much more powerful than my listening of the radio broadcast led me to believe. A dark, stark, ironic piece anyway, this version emphasises its timely link to a world where money and consumption are prerequisite values.... and ... an Easter equation for Jimmy's trial and martyrdom. I just don't think that poor Jimmy will be making a re-appearing act soon.

So. Opera at the local picture-house has been sampled and considered a success in this household. Trouble is.... The Old Man have noticed that Rossini's "Guillaume Tell" will be on offer as well. It's four hours long!
And me, I am not a Rossini fan. I had a frightening encounter with "Comte Ory" once that led me to extreme self-brutalising in order to stave off coma. And I had to ditch The Old Man in the interval and run off home...... Oh surely he cannot be serious.