Now! All this week, with it being Valentine’s week, I will be posting an extra blog post every day about the story of Mark and me; the near-disaster of our first meeting, the bizarre unexpectedness of our getting together; the startling proposal in a London pub which frightened many onlookers, the unusual wedding in which something blue was very much in evidence and when Tubular Bells went on longer than expected, and the disastrous honeymoon which nearly ended in our being stranded in France. Finally on Friday we will have the aftermath of that marriage and what happened next. So keep your eyes open for these extra posts, which will be scheduled to appear earlier in the day than these regular posts.
So, to business… yesterday I failed to go to Peter’s as I felt all floopy; the same thing happened when I set out for Yesim’s in the evening and turned back in a flurry of snow. So we shall see what today brings and whether I will actually make it into town to see Peter and claim my free bus ticket. Last night, having failed to get to Yesim’s Music Circle I watched ‘Film 2013’ (or the programme we always call ‘Film…’ because the year just will keep changing) and found it every bit as annoying as the last time I gave it a try. I found the presenters insincere, brittle and smart-arse and their comments unenlightening. Irritating as Barry Norman could sometimes be, he was intelligent, knowledgeable and interesting, whereas Claudia Winkelman and her colleague simply indulge in sofa-bound breakfast TV-style banter with the odd ‘clever’ comment thrown in.
One thing we did enjoy over the weekend, however, was a documentary on Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie. We had to negotiate this on youtube as it was from some obscure TV station, which also meant that at each ad-break the voice-over would summarise what we’d just seen, recap the entire premise of the programme and tell us what was about to happen (presumably to save us the trouble of actually watching the thing.) I wasn’t a great fan of ‘A Bit of Fry and Laurie’ as I found it a bit too clever and up-itself; in my view they come into their own in series such as Blackadder and Jeeves and Wooster. Stephen Fry came across as sweet and a little bit shy but Hugh Laurie seemed the epitome of the curmudgeonly and gloomy comic; however the friendship between them was genuinely touching, especially when they discussed the time when Fry disappeared (I remember it well) and Laurie put out a public plea for his return, saying ‘You just don’t appreciate how much we love you.’
There was a lump in my throat…
Here’s the link, though of course it’s in several bits:
Well in spite of such programmes as ‘Film…’ the British Film industry seems to be doing quite well at the moment. I remember a time back in the 80’s when it was considered to be on its last legs, but things turned around and we won several Baftas. Mumford and Sons also won a Thingy (I can’t remember all these awards, but it was a big one) and I was pleased, not only because they are English but because they are a genuine band who play stuff they like and follow their own voice. They remind me in a way of The Proclaimers, the raw-voiced, odd-looking duo who had a hit with ‘Letter from America’:
‘When ye goooooowwww, will ye seeeend bach
a letter fraaaaam Americaaaaa’
They were like a raw Highland version of Simon and Garfunkel. But genuine. And there’s the rub: it’s getting harder to find genuine people in public life. As soon as anything idiosyncratic rears its head, it’s immediately seized on, packaged, marketed and served up to do the same thing over and over until it gets tired and finally dies. It’s like the ‘I didn’t do it’ boy:
So let’s celebrate those in public life who can still surprise us: people like John Prescott, Robert Peston, Jo Brand, David Attenborough and Sarah Millican. And let’s remember mavericks who are no longer with us: Joyce Grenfell, Patrick Moore, John Peel and Spike Milligan.
Remember to read the other post! It’s called ‘My Mushroom Valentine’. And share your Valentine stories this week…
PS Grammys! That’s what they are!