Blogging may be a bit patchy this week as I am up in London a couple of times with darling Florence but it is Monday morning and time for a catch up before I embark on a busy few days.
HP - well it can be nothing else but Harry Potter. I hied me off to a mid-day showing yesterday of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, working on the assumption that it might be half empty bearing in mind it was a Sunday and perhaps everyone was at lunch (mark you does anyone have a Sunday lunch nowadays?) and there might be the minimum of screaming children. I know one should expect children at a HP movie and I have no problem with that, but what I do have a problem with is their dire behaviour which is totally ignored by parents who are usually too busy chomping their way through an industrial size pack of popcorn swilled down by a gallon of Pepsi. However, only a third full and all the children there well behaved and totally engrossed in the film which was a stonker. The last in the series and with the final fight to the death between Harry and Voldemort it was obviously not going to be fun filled, though there were some marvellous moments, one being Maggie SMith as Professor McGonagal mischievously smiling and saying 'I always wanted to do that spell' when bringing the stone soldiers to life to safeguard Hogwarts. The special effects were breathtaking, the battle at the end riveting and had me on the edge of my seat and in the quieter poignant moments (and no background music as well - wonderful) the audience was totally silent. Alan Rickman marvellous as always and quite heartbreaking too.
I love the HP books and the HP films and have them all and I feel so sad they have now come to an end. I may have reservations about JK Rowling's writing in places, see my earlier post here, but anybody who can turn a whole generation of non-reading children and adults into bookaholics has my vote.
LC - on holiday my sister was reading a book by Lee Childs in which she was totally engrossed so of course I had to try one as well. Downloaded one on my Kindle - Amazon are very clever, they always have one book by a prolific author in the Kindle store at a cheapo price to get you hooked - and could not put it down. Have now fulfilled the Amazon prophecy and downloaded another two (more expensive naturally but still cheaper than a purchase of the paperback) and am gripped by the punchy writing, not usually a lover of short sentences but they are used by the author to great effect, and his hero Reacher who has immediately morphed in my mind into Daniel Craig who seems to fit the descriptive bill beautifully. On my second one now, hugely exciting and tense and as there are about sixteen of them to come, that will keep me going for about...oooh, a month? Will pop into my library I think if I am going on a Reacher binge and borrow them - much cheaper.
MP - well this is my MP, Bob Russell who I went to see this morning to ask for his assistance in my ongoing battle with the Inland Revenue. My last five page diatribe was sent to the IR office, special delivery and though that was over a month ago I have had no response whatsoever and this dilatoriness makes me furious. They are pretty quick off the mark to write when they want money out of you but not so keen otherwise. Bob is a LibDem and I always vote for him because he is a rock solid hard working constituency MP (not because I care for his party). He attends the House of Commons a lot and I mean a lot, and as most MPs don't seem to bother but happy to take the money (and expenses) and run, I appreciate this very much. I have a positive attitude to politics and those who are involved in it (I am positive they are all shits and on the make), but I do know Bob is one of the good guys. Last year when his ghastly leader Nick Clegg was whoring his votes around with Gordon Brown and the possibility of a LibLab pact loomed its head I had a very heated exchange with Bob Russell via email and told him in no uncertain terms what I thought of his leader. I also said watch the Libs nationwide vote plummet now and of course it has. However, I hope that Bob retains his seat and I think he will because the people of Colchester do appreciate him. He is going to send a letter off to the IR on House of Commons paper re my case and that does seem to do the trick.
At the end of our discussion when I said that I was never going to work again because I could not stand the thought of any more dealings with the IR, he suggested I might try the Citizen's Advice Bureau as I had a 'lively mind' and he thought they could use me. I thought this was a lovely compliment and may give it some thought....
And finally, TMS which is for those in the know - Test Match Special. This is on the radio and as I don't have Sky I listen to the Test Match commentary during the day as well as checking it on line in the Telegraph's live SMS updates. I have listened to TMS for years in the days when Brian Johnston was the main commentator who used to get the most dreadful giggles and make gaffes on air and was simply wonderful as he knew his cricket inside out. Sometimes the whole thing was better when there was a break for bad light or rain as it was just so entertaining to listen to the chat. There have been some immortal moments the main one I remember being when Jonathan Agnew commented, after Botham had tried to avoid a ball which was hitting his thigh knocked against the stumps and was given out and Aggers said 'oh dear Botham didn't quite get his leg over'. Brian Johnson took over as Aggers succumbed to hysteria and as Brian J read out the score card he gradually became overcome with giggles himself and all you could hear was stifled hoots of mirth coming out of the radio. It is impossible to listen to this without laughing and this gem was played at Johnson's memorial service where the entire congregation was reduced to helpless laughter once more. Marvellous and here it is on You Tube - do have a listen
And also have a listen to Jonathan Agnew, yes the same Aggers, in his discussion on how to put a new rubber on the bat handle. Not sure if he knew what he was saying or not. I heard this live and do not know how Michael Vaughan who was in the commentary box with him did not corpse completely:
Now I know some people find this juvenile but I listen to this every day and getting to know the different styles and voices of the commentators is a joy, and it is clear that they just love cricket and are happy to sit and chat and reminisce as well as keeping an eye on what is going on and reporting every ball played. I simply love it and am attaching a link to the Wikepedia entry about TMS - do scroll down to the heading Light Hearted Style as it gives more info about the presenters and their chat which is an enduring feature of this wonderfully old fashioned bit of broadcasting.
You will see from this pic that the named Aggers is seen here chatting to Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy who thankfully did not use any magic at the Test ground that day....
This current Test Match is proving engrossing and quite quite marvellous to listen to and watch and I am loving every minute. As I have had another back spasm over the weekend and spent a lot of it lying in bed or on the floor, TMS was my companion throughout it all. Thanks guys.
Final thought of the day - when in Leicetershire with my sis and bro in law last week, the UK Open golf championship was on. My knowledge of golf is practically nil, all that I know garnered from the movie Tin Cup which I only watched 'cos it had Kevin Costner in it, so I made sure I had a book to read while Jude and Wes watched the TV. Well, within ten minutes I was watching and having everything explained to me by Wes and finally realising what par, Eagle, Birdie and Albatross means certainly made watching a whole new experience. Also understanding what the rough was, why players were allowed a 'drop' when their ball had gone out of bounds, etc etc was fascinating and, to sum up, yes you have guessed it, I think I have found a new addiction to add to Test Matches, Wimbledon, Strictly Come Dancing et al.