I am here in Ealing looking after grandchildren so the chances of reading, let alone reviewing, a book are non-existent. Peace reigns at the moment as the girls are at nursery/school and all is quiet until the return later on this afternoon. Helen is in her study working and I am up here writing this.
In the last month or so Florence has discovered Mary Poppins (MP) and the Sound of Music (SOM) and I have more or less been forced to rediscover them myself. As I watched these with my children to the point of nausea I have avoided them for some thirty years feeling I would rather put pins in my eyes than suffer them again. I was, therefore, astonished to find that I simply loved them.
First up, the music is wonderful. More so in SOM than MP but the song Feed the Birds has haunted me ever since my first watching of MP a few weeks ago. Dick van Dyke's accents is possibly the worst English/Cockney accent in the world but his charm and talent soon endear us and we forget about it. The excitement of Mary Poppins sailing in with her umbrella caused Florence to shout with delight and the cartoon bit in the middle with Suprecalifragilisticexpialidotious made her jump and down and she can now sing it with the best of them. Feed the Birds is a simple beautiful and haunting tune that has stayed in my mind ever since I heard it again. When in Orford we went to fly Florence's kite this was accompanied by me skipping along with her singing Let's go Fly a kite and to hell with what people thought.
And so to the Sound of Music. Glorious. From that fantastic opening scene with that swooping camera work down to Julie Andrews to Climb every Mountain, all glorious. One exception thought, for me at least, is the Goodnight number sung to the guests at the ball at the Von Trapp house. I find it totally nauseating, then and now and can barely watch it, but apart from that I love it all. And the orchestration! at the ball Eidelweiss played in Viennese style in waltz time got Florence up and dancing.
I have always sung Eidelweiss to the children since they were babies, to lull them to sleep or to calm them down and I loved the look of delight on Florence's face as she heard it and realised it came from this film, ditto Doh ray me which she has learned at school.
Both these films are over fifty years old and they are still here and will be for years to come. I love the fact that ipod and ipad savvy children with their seeming sophistication will sit and love these all over again. Helen has enjoyed rediscovering them again as well.
Yesterday we watched Beauty and the Beast, another gem, which the girls love and recently I have sat, with Florence, and seen Peter Pan and Bambi. Florence's total indifference to the death of Bambi's mother rather surprised me when I remember how I reacted, but later on when Gaston, the 'baddie' in Beauty and the Beast met his fate she said 'Well that's good he is dead isn't it grandma?' ......