Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Summer bank holiday

Some bank holiday weekends are wasted as you try to fill the time with useful and interesting pastimes, but fail and end up watching a bad, highly edited film on ITV2.  This weekend wasn't one of those.

On Saturday we travelled to Grafham Water and took a leisurely walk around the reservoir.  Despite the weatherman's threat of rain, it was sunny most of the way around and this time was not muddy (unlike the last time that was really awful).  We stopped at a pub part way around and it seemed that everyone had a dog.

As it was a nice day, there were plenty of people about, mostly cycling, but some actually running the 10 mile route.

On Saturday evening I cooked a stir-fry, the first in years and then we watched Amadeus which I had recorded a few nights before.  I wasn't sure that I would like it, but it's an impressive film and a fascinating story.

On Sunday we went to Pete's mum's house and for another walk, but mainly to pick sloes, blackberry's and apples.  In the afternoon we made sloe gin, blackberry vodka and Pete made a mess of the kitchen producing apple and onion chutney.  All of this will be packaged up in December as Christmas presents!

In the evening, I cooked home-made lamb burgers, using herbs from the garden (basil, rosemary and mint) and spicy potatoes that were very spicy.  We then watched This Is It, the Michael Jackson documentary that happened to be on TV.  I would not have chosen it as a choice of viewing but Pete was keen.  I thought it was quite watchable but was nowhere near as good as the rave reviews I have heard.  Two things occurred to me throughout:  First, I am sure that had the shows taken place in London, they would have been amazing and very impressive.  Secondly, I am saddened at how quickly they cashed in on his death and wondered where all the money was going.

On Monday, we cleaned the garage (fun huh!?) before walking into town with Max to look around a couple of shops before enjoying a coffee and bacon sandwich.  We got back around midday, I made a curry ready for the evening and watched a period drama called A Handful of Dust before heading out again, this time across the fields for a few miles to a lovely pub in a lovely village for beer.

The curry was followed by yet another film, this time a gay one called The Fluffer that was silly, but OK to while away 90 minutes.  I have found that our Lovefilm subscription gives access to loads of online films for no extra charge, so that was how we watched The Fluffer.

And now back to work.  Boo!


  1. Sounds like a nice laid-back weekend for you.
    Can't resist commenting on some of the films you mention.
    'Amadeus' - okay on its own terms but I've always been spoilt by having known the original play, played originally in London by Paul Schofield, Simon Callow and Felicity Kendal - and in New York with Ian McK. as Salieri, the British version of which I have on audio tape. I find the original play, which I rate as one of the really greatest of the late 20th century, so much better than the film, with 'Mrs' Mozart given a much greater role - while M's father is totally absent. I always long for the deleted 'best parts' when watching the film. Of course we all now know the story is largely codswallop (even P. Schaffer knew that!) but it's a really superb piece of theatre.
    'This Is It' - yes, I agree with you. A piece of film to be seen just once, maybe. It's really a 'what-might-have-been' work.
    'A Handful of Dust' - for me improves on each viewing, though even first time round it's good (Kristen S-T partic fine). Having read the Evelyn Waugh book (also good) it's a pretty sound adaptation.
    Btw on Saturday, like yourself a few weeks back, I was on Brighton sea-front doing something very rare for me, i.e. socialising, with a friend of the past from Amsterdam whom I hadn't seen for 12 years, with two of his friends which he brought along. Great fun - a truly gay time was had by all!

  2. I swear, you guys watch SO MANY movies. We haven't seen any movies, not one, in more than a year.

  3. A Lewis - cinema is the only true 'luxury' I can afford these days, 'only' going about 70-80 times a year, many fewer visits now than the days when I could afford to see just about everything that appeared on screen.

    Stephen, I've just seen this very morning a film which (with, maybe, 'Inception'), is my very favourite of this year so far. 'London River' with Brenda Blethyn as a mother trying to find out what happened to her daughter following the terrorist London tube bombings in 2005. I haven't come so close to tears in a cinema for many years. Added poignancy because the male lead, a Somali (I think), simultaneously looking for his long-lost son, himself died shortly after the film was completed. Great pity it's not being given wider release - largely, I would imagine, because about a half of it is in French (the father can't speak any English but the Brenda Blethyn character does). I can't recommend this film strongly enough. Really shattering.