Friday, 20 December 2013

Old Films

I was talking about this with someone here and thought I'd share it with everyone.

I've always loved older films. I'm the youngest child of an older mum who grew up after the war going from cinema to cinema for her entertainment. The films she loved were on TV when I was young, so I watched them all again, with her, and fell in love with them. I have a special place in my heart for old black and white films.

The Ghost and Mrs Muir.

War films like 'The Cruel Sea' or, my particular favourite 'The Way To The Stars.'

I call this a 'Daphne and Roger film.'

You have to say this is a very tight, very clipped, very British upper class accent....

"Oh Daphne, darling, be brave. Be terribly brave."

"Oh Roger, come back to me, my darling.

Perhaps only my mum and I would find that funny!

I'm also very fond of 'Black Narcissus.' Not black and white but wonderful.

I always wanted to grow up to be Deborah Kerr or Jean Simmons. Now I look more like David Niven!

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Mandela and me

I usually make light weight posts but today I have to talk about something that’s really important to me.

When I was younger I was very into politics, music and boys – but not necessarily in that order. Now I’m a grumpy woman of a certain age I’ve lost a lot of the passion of my youth. Perhaps that’s why I get obsessed with things that even I know are silly and unimportant. Perhaps it’s because I now feel so powerless to make a difference. Whatever the whys and wherefores, I don’t get passionate about things that matter anymore, but this man mattered to me, and still does.

It’s taken me a few days to work out how I feel about his death but I was profoundly saddened when I heard. There are so few heroes anymore, so few truly great people. Obviously I never knew Mr Mandela but that’s how he seemed to me, a good man, a decent one. So many that met him remarked on his lack of bitterness when he came out of prison, how he was focused on unification, not revenge.

My kids view him as an important man from history, along with people like Martin Luther King or Ghandi. To me he’s much more. Perhaps that’s because I have such memories of the time he was in prison and his release.

I first got to know about him when The Specials AKA brought out this…

I went to the library – no google back them! – and researched him. I was fascinated and inspired. He was part of my political education and growing up.

The day of his release I sat in front of the TV and watched for hours.

Like so many millions around the world, Nelson Mandela meant something important to me. He will continue to be a symbol of how to hold true to your ideals and stay a decent person, in a world that is increasingly fast paced and harsh.

Rest in peace, Mr Mandela.

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Back to the … past.

On Saturday we had a power cut, the first one we’ve had for ages. It started late afternoon, about 4 o’clock, when it was already getting dark. The power company told us that it would be back on about 6:30 but it wasn’t actually restored until about 9:30. 

We’ve had lots of power cuts in the past and it was no big deal, although it was rather interesting as we had guests who’d come for dinner. No problem; we went to a restaurant. Plus, it was rather nice sitting, chatting by candlelight. They couldn’t see where I hadn’t cleaned!

I don’t like cleaning.

The interesting thing was my kids. They spend all day, every day on their computers. Well, all day, everyday that I don’t pull them off. Which I do a lot. Much to their chagrin.

They had no idea what to do with themselves.

No computers, no PS3, no Wii, no TV. They sat and stared at the blank screen for a bit but then it got too dark. They flopped out on the floor, moaning loudly about the unfairness they had to suffer in their lives, until we laughed at them.

Eventually they got so bored they decided to play a board game with each other. I can’t remember the last time they did this. Not only did they have play a game but they TALKED to each other. Really actually talked. Normally they do most of their communication through the computer, especially if they are playing an online game with each other. 

They were playing a game where they had to ping little balls at each other’s soldiers. The balls kept rolling off into the darkness. So they decided to play in the hall, where there was less space for the balls to disappear into. Result was no one could get by but, hey, they talked to each other. I call that a result.