Saturday, 19 July 2014
The wonderful "Beckett", made in 1964 and starring Richard Burton in the title role with Peter O'Toole as the weak, petulant but ultimately vicious Henry 11.
Back in the day I was under the spell of the Burton voice and added to that the beautiful blue eyes of O'toole, which had it not been an excellent film with 1st rate acting would still have coaxed the price of a good seat from my shabby purse.
The original un-edited film lasted for about three hours, today's trunkated for tv version was still a hefty 2hours and 20 minutes.
How faithful the dialogue is to the Anouilh play I don't know, but the witty barbed comments of the two lead characters illustrate beautifully just how intelligent Beckett was and how devious Henry.
Not historically faithful it is still an intriguing picture of these two Titans of Norman England.
Despite the occasional whiff of 1960's England the film stands the test of time well and for anyone who missed it, well worth the cost of a DVD. (I'm sure there must be one)
If this oppressive weather ever relents i shall return to sanity (and a shed-load of work)
Retreats back under stone.
Posted by Ray Barnes at 5:18:00 pm
Friday, 11 July 2014
So just because I thought it would be a shame to waste it and anyway I wanted to look at it again, here it is.
Posted by Ray Barnes at 5:37:00 pm
Monday, 7 July 2014
Saturday brought about a change,
It was Roald Dahl day, an annual event in Aylesbury and celebrated by the town as a whole, and traditionally at St. Mary's.
Every year there is a procession starting at the church and making its way down into the town centre and eventually back to St. M's
This consists of a fabulous variety of characters from Dahl's books in puppet form, some tiny and hand held, some gigantic and needing several adults to manipulate.
Local schools spend weeks making the puppets and the procession is led by a brass band.
There are related events throughout the day and always a lot of activity in the church. Displays of flower arranging with the chance for people to make their own little arrangements, stalls with Dahl related chocolate
bars in a chocolate tombola, raffles and a lucky dip for the smallest children.
The choir puts on a couple of 20 minute shows of mixed music.
A local dance group for handicapped children gives a short display, and there is a hamburger and hot-dog stall in the churchyard.
The refectory and kitchen are run off their feet, and about 3.oopm everyone capsizes heaves a sigh of relief and toddles off home.
I had my lunch at 4.oo pm and reluctantly cleaned myself up and headed back to town for a concert in the church.
I am so very glad I went.
The concert was called "The road home", was given by an a cappella chorale called "Oasis", and I can say with all my heart it was the best choir I have ever heard in my long life.
It was formed in 2003 by a group of young Anabaptist people who worked in a home for handicapped children.
They invited a conductor to join them and began to recruit members from all over America and Canada.
These are all volunteers and are drawn from many Mennonite missions and care organisations.
They have toured the UK before and also Ireland and all down America's East coast.
The choir we heard had 36 members, 18 each of men and women, and had some of the best voices I've ever heard,
They resemble the Shakers in some ways, dress very simply and without ornament and are active in prison ministry and in promoting peace.
They mingled with us in the congregation before the concert, in the interval and afterwards.
Several of us found ourselves in tears by the end of the concert, not just because of the beauty of the sound but the overwhelming feeling of love they generated.
The final item in the concert was "God be with you till we meet again", beautifully sung and made even more moving by the way they left their positions in the choir and began to slowly walk among and around the church until we were surrounded by these lovely people and an immense feeling of peace.
Terrific theatre I know, but not theatrical.
There was absolute silence briefly as they finished then a roar which would take the roof off.
There was not a trace of cynicism on any face and the whole audience wanted to stay an talk all night.
Eventually we let the poor tired people get into their coach to their hotel begging them to return soon.
Saturday was lovely!!.
Posted by Ray Barnes at 9:02:00 pm
Thursday, 12 June 2014
I would take umbrage should I hear anyone describe me as a " slut," or more vernacular,"lazy cow", or even "a bit blind to what needs doing", but, I have to admit to taking my time to get around to matters domestic.
Not only have I an aversion to washing, scrubbing, polishing vacuuming dusting etc but I also have little energy these days so 'prioritise' those things I can't any longer avoid.
Today I was determined to wash my sitting-room curtains. For those who have been reading this blog for a while, they were hung, new, when my sitting room was redecorated.
I know that curtains never look the same again once washed but felt it was time (almost three years) to see off some of the dust which has been making my throat (already suffering from a virus) even more sore.
The label on the curtains says "dry clean only", a phrase I seem unable to translate. To me this is a clear indication that they need a little care when washing.
Tentatively, I washed just the one pair initially to see whether I had once again got away with my reading of the label, and surprise surprise, they emerged from the washer and later the dryer in perfect condition.
The second pair is currently enjoying my version of "dry cleaning".
Contrary to popular belief I am not completely mad, just good at reading all the labels. If the material is synthetic (these are) then as long as you follow instructions on your washing machine and dryer for 'delicate' items it is generally perfectly safe to wash in a machine.
I might add that the ordeal of taking curtains down, packing them up and getting a bus into town to a dry cleaners then the revcerse action to get them back again seems to me totally unnecessary.
Not guilty M'lud.
The snippet of a picture above is the way they looked the day they were first hung, and that is exactly how they look today.
Posted by Ray Barnes at 12:25:00 pm
Thursday, 29 May 2014
Settling into a comfortable snooze I was startled into an abrupt sitting up position by a loud and insistent crashing sound from downstairs.
I knew the back door was locked so was more than a bit worried as to who or what the intruder might be.
Even standing in the kitchen I at first couldn't locate the source of the racket.
Then as it recommenced at last I realised that the cat-flap was being systematically bashed.
Opening the door I was confronted by a large pale ginger and white cat which was attempting to put its head through the locked (for the past 6 years) cat flap.
I have been feeding this monster for about two years whenever he appears, since, though I am fairly sure he has a home, he is seldom in it.
Often at 6.oo am he is on the step, cold wet and miserable so he gets a large handful of cat biscuits, drinks from the birdbath and wanders off.
Today he hadn't appeared earlier on and was obviously incensed that I was not waiting for him to show up biscuits in hand.
After he had scoffed every last crumb he took himself off to the centre of my rose garden and lay down on the yellow poppies in order to keep them warm.
My yelling "get off there" produced a yawn wide enough to swallow a whale and he curled into a ball, squashing everything in sight.
I know when I'm beaten so retired to resume my rest secure in the knowledge that my garden had its security officer in place.
Am seriously contemplating replacing the door with one without a cat flap.
Posted by Ray Barnes at 2:41:00 pm
Thursday, 22 May 2014
Every day another one falls and each day the tree becomes closer to being a skeleton, branches bare.
Sadness is in the air
We who are the leaves watch and wait for our turn.
That is not to say we have no other thoughts, but that we notice how few our companions are.
The gaps are more numerous than the leaves and the outline of the tree is clearer every day.
We mourn and miss each falling leaf but welcome the ability to see the shape of the tree.
Yesterday the leaf that was my brother-in-law fell to the ground.
Rest in Peace Terry. X
Posted by Ray Barnes at 10:07:00 am
Sunday, 18 May 2014
He had always wanted one and at least had the chance to buy one cheaply (he said), which needed some parts but was otherwise perfect.
Never really a car person (I don't drive), but none the less very drawn to this little beauty, I was even more attracted to it when Colin demonstrated how it 'opened its eyes'.
This and the Delorean (can't spell it) with its 'bat wing doors' have always had a special place in my affections/
Sadly Colin, a very busy policeman had to put on hold the work on the car until he could obtain the necessary bits and pieces.
In the interim it 'lived' in his garage.
These houses are small and many/most people use their garages for extra storage. Lynne, Colin's long-suffering wife had no such extra space, so was keen to see the car up and running.
Months, then years went by and Colin would push the car out of the garage at intervals tinker briefly then break his back returning it to its 'home'.
Their family grew to two children, both now teenagers, and still the space in the house grew less as the children grew and the accessories to their lives expanded.
At last the ever patient Lynne persuaded Colin to sell the car using the need to build on over the garage or move house as her reason.
Very reluctantly he agreed to part with it and advertised it.
Yesterday a truck arrived and after putting up an hour's 'fight' the little Lotus was finally persuaded onto the loader and left her comfortable home of ten years for places new.
The final glimpse of her, eyes open and staring straight ahead was the one below.
Half the close was out watching her departure and I think I detected a tear in Colin's eye. (Not really)
Lynne had a little smile on her face. Can't think why.
Posted by Ray Barnes at 7:51:00 pm