So sorry I’ve been away for ages and sorrier still this break will continue.
I still love craft but I am finding it harder and harder to write about. Contrast this with writing about cinema, which flows off the keyboard since I have been accepted to write for the very fabulous Lost in The Multiplex.
I leave you with a picture of a bracelet, a handmade present from my friend Dany.
I’ve appreciated every visit, every comment, every subscriber. I may be back but until I do thank you so much for making time for me.
Warmest wishes, Lydia.
Reading “Simple Blogging” alerted me to the un-niche-ness of my blog. Folk who want to read about “Justified” aren’t necessarily folk who want to see my baby blue, hand dyed alpaca bobble yarn. There’s an overlap, but it’s minimal. So henceforth I am Lydia-two-blogs.
Judah’s blanket: the haven of domesticity it always was.
*What Would Sherlock Do?: all the stuff you’d find in The Times Culture magazine, but in an inferior writing style.
Some of you followers may be leaving us to sample these new pastures. I’ll miss you, when your name popped up as a subscriber I got a little jolt of fatheaded joy.
*Garry suggested “Bludah’s Janket”
Just watched “The Kings Speech” (label me “early adopter“) Marvelled that the climax of the film, the bit that has your white knuckled hands sweatily gripping the arms of your club chair, is a man in a darkened room speaking into a microphone for nine minutes.
Much mainstream storytelling has situations dramatic but remote, causing us to identify with the characters in the bluntest way possible. It’s a natural disaster and the peril taps our adrenaline. Someone is being stalked and we feel a creeping horror. But by focusing not on King George VI and the constitutional crisis but on Bertie and his fiercely guarded anxieties, we relate in a richer way, we empathise. We see frustration, anger, helplessness and need, everyday emotions it takes no effort to call to heart. It’s the Lords prayer on a grain of rice when normally we get spray painted letters on a railway siding. There are only so many ways you can portray the end of the world without boring your audience but focusing on these discrete, internal worlds offers up limitless, enduring, relatable yarns.
Took tots to the circus, the yin to television’s yang. No “If you need me, I’ll be in the winnebago drinking champagne with my reflexologist” for these guys. Albert (winner of “Russia’s got Talent”) has an impressive balancing act but is also the interval photographer. Antonio Candela eats fire and works the box office. Everybody helps out everybody else.
Some of the team are young, slim and beautiful but others are older, average looking and carrying an extra pound or two.
Instead of a product ruthlessly filtered down to synthetic perfection, you get baited breath reality. At times a ball would be dropped, but it would be picked up and the trick tried again. I’m happy for the children to see talented people not being perfect, seeing that being great at something takes perseverance and humility.
Francis Durbridge is the creator of Paul Temple and the master of radio drama, to me the most transporting and transformative entertainment. We witness Paul and Steve tottering into wobbly dinghies, standing safely back from blazing vehicles and discovering ransacked rooms or bludgeoned corpses, with only our ears to give us eyes.The characters are vivid, not mannequins carried on when Paul needs someone to interrogate. They have plans, ideas and affections that live off speaker, so on speaker their behavior is always realistic and often enigmatic.
Durbridge excels at exposition, in any episode you will be brought up to date on the intricate plot by the natural dialogue which characterizes the show and which flows best with Peter Coke, Marjorie Westbury, James Beatty and other cast regulars. The rhythm of their speech feels spontaneous, interactive.
Episode for episode it can match “24” for plot twists and significant characters slain. Like Jack, Paul has a high-handed disregard for authority. Jack snaps people’s fingers askew and bosses surgeons about at gunpoint. Paul withholds evidence and meets up with known suspects. Just as Jack will bunt a computer programmer aside to more effectively work on a laptop, Paul knows more about everything than anyone.
(Don’t start with “Paul Temple Intervenes” an early effort, disjointed and dated)
The children are playing “Paul Temple” complete with episode breaks and previously’s.
C (age 11): Charlie, bring me a dry martini!
J (age 4): Here you are, careful it’s very hot.
I have not died tragically in a charity attempt on Mt. Everest.
(It’s been pointed out that everyone and his great aunts have been clawing up those majestic slopes. Once Blessed Brian’s stomped about on your face you can kiss goodbye to any mountain mystique you had)
No, I simply lost interweb connection for a month. Now I’m virtually back.
Whilst away I’ve been rewatching “Sherlock”. I’ve only re-viewed “Study in Pink” so far, but I’ll write about it now as I remember feeling vaguely disappointed in the following ‘sodes. Casting is perfection, Benedict’s (no formality between us, I did make him a scarf) gaunt, attractive horse bones and luxurious mop marking him apart, Martin Freeman exuding honest likability, Mark Gatiss a mask of aloof menace and so on. Also, this adaptation capably answers the ancient, thistley question of what MensaMan Sherlock sees in certifiable non-genius Watson and it’s here the modern setting really shows it’s worth. Sherlock’s fascination with the violently dead is met with suspicion and his arrogance met with hostility, in such an atmosphere Watson’s straightforward admiration is a refreshment. This praise would be meaningless if it came from the lips of a buffoon (sorry Nigel) but Martin’s Watson is intelligent, brave, quiet, useful, disciplined and companionable. Of course Sherlock wants to split the rent with him.
“Hidden” is conspiracy thriller with some great players including Anna Chancellor and David Suchet, his gently refined English tones eradicating all moustache twirling memories. It has Thekla Reuten, last seen (by me) on Lost snuggling up to and failing to assassinate Sayid. Thelka is my favourite kind of gorgeous. Carey, Kiera and Katie are undeniably beautiful women but they are notes of the same chord. Glimpsed only briefly, you would have trouble picking them out of a lineup. Thekla’s stronger face print is fixed in your eye from the moment you see her.
Her male counterpart in the show is Philip Glenister. We see his stunning blonde ex-wife and we witness him breaking up with his stunning brunette girlfriend, she’s distraught. Whatever sledgehammer of charisma he used to fell these lovelies is left to our imagination. We must accept it happened.
There are two strands of story (I’m ignoring Phil’s dopey, whining son and I suggest you do, too) There’s political intrigue and there’s gunmen chasing after Phil and Thekla. I look forward to seeing how it all ties up but this is a show which can patronise and confuse simultaneously. Flashbacks are seen many times over, in case we’ve forgotten something they showed us five minutes ago, sometimes the actor slips on a wig to play his younger self, sometimes a different actor is used. I mistook one visually gloomy scene for a flashback until present day Phil popped into view (that may just be parading my simpleton credentials)
It features one of my pet hates. The characters are not allowed a moment to themselves. If, after a particularly gruelling encounter, Phil slumps back in a chair (open dress shirt displaying his eerily featureless baby chest) we are not permitted to speculate what he might be thinking. We must be shown. He’s thinking about the past. Cue another flashback. It dignifies actor and audience for a character just to be seen to think. Not every actor can do this without furrowing their brows or darting their eyes about. Two top thinkers: Steve Carell in The Office and Zeljko Ivanek in anything.
Robert. In case you were wondering.