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November 2007
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January 2008


talk about an ego boost. It seems a bit daft writing that but hell, you oughht to try being aturated with love by a 22 month old. it's pretty cool!

Yesterday I came home from work a little delayed, and they were both in the bath. James heard my key in the lock (god only knows how - I  was quiet as a mouse) and shouted "Mama!" with all the inflection of a dool that you squeeze. and he did it again, and again. By this time Bora decided to join in. the two of them were shouting, and I mean really bloody shouting, for a good few minutes...

Mama! mama!

In other news, I was reading the Gruffalo with Jame tonight, and he remembered the ends of several lines,  and we had a rare old time. Nose! Good! Nut!

He said the, No help. But yet he'd neer said those words before.

...interesting. times, they are a changin'...


Hey, first half pissed entry for a while. It can't be helped though, since I had to just jump in to say to the loyal first eleven (twelve, or so - a few more these days, curiously... anyway...) that we just saw the Cronenberg film, "Spider".

I can't tell you that much about it for fear of spoiling the whole thing. If you love films though, you must see it. It's unsentimental(ish), clear, tough, sad... it's a great, great film about someone rediscovering through sheer bogged determinism the actions which conspired tyo bring him to the point he is in the film. Ralph Feinnes is just astonishingly good. they all are, but y'know, without him being totally convincing, the whole thing would fall apart - and he is brilliant.

the film though, I mean, Cronenberg? Really? Wow. It's absolutely fantastic. The lighting is gorgeous, the colour palatte is absolutely inspired. so many shots are incredible from purely a composition perspective... it makes me want to go back and re-examine his other films actually. Is he always this painterly, but the extreme subject matter may have clouded the public perception of the movies before now?

As I say, I don't want to dissect the story because it's highly unlikely you have seen this film (I remember it being talked about as 'the one that got away' and which received minimal distribution). I can't recommend it highly enough. It's a film, not a movie though. just remember that distinction.

Watch it! Immediately!

Food recommendation

I ordered some boneless kippers so we could have something a bit special for Christmas morning breakfast (and the kids would like them). Whilst I was there I also bought some "Smoked Finnan Haddock" because it looked interesting.

The company is tiny, and the whole experience of buying was just lovely. The web form didn't work so I reported that with screenshots, then gave them a ring.

It came during the day yesterday, and Mackay and I shared a Haddock for tea. What a mistake. He should have cooked 2.

The Most Delicious smoked fish I have ever eaten. I cannot sufficiently articulate just how delicious it is.

Buy, buy, buy... if you have a brain in your head and you like fish:


Danny Elfman and films from books

Danny Elfman, who even sounds like a children's character, is the man behind The Simpsons theme tume, as we know. He is also the man who wrote the influential and rather beautiful Edward Scissorhands music, as well as the music for probably every other Tim Burton film.

Including "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory", the soundtrack of which we gave Noo as a nice small extra birthday present.

All I can say is, thank god he's such a decent tunesmith, because we're being subjected to tracks 1-5 of the CD probably anything up to eight times a day,or were, until we exerted the "once a day only" rule - now we're managing to hold it off until just after breakfast.

The first track is a bizarre introductory number Burton's Wonka uses with a bunch of electronic marionettes to explain who he is ("Willy Wonka! Willy Wonka! He's the greatest Chocolateer!") then the 4 serial killer songs for Augustus, Violet and Veruca and Mike. Violet's song is a misfired soggy funk number with a fun chorus but all the others are brilliant. All using of course  the original Dahl lyrics. The Mike TV song really doesn't work in the actual film - you can't hear the lyrics and it' goes by in a whirr. On CD however, having a chance to really listen to it, it's a very clever parody. My favourite, which must at some point soon be included in the live repetoir of some fun loving indie band or other is Veruca's sugary psychedelic number.

Both Mackay and I have told each other off for humming, whistling or singing these bloody songs around the house.

Meanwhile, Nora has not been back to the book of Charlie since she got the film, which she adores. this makes me think that maybe we shouldn't get her any more films relating specifically to classic, wonderful stories which as a kid I must have read, and re-read countless times. When we were yuong, a film might be on the TV once a year if you were lucky, and if anything  made you wantto go back and read the book again even more. Now, with films available at the drop of a hat, almost no media title is unfindable, or unviewable, or at least, searchable for, then having available permanently within a couple of days. I don't think that kind of ubiquity is necessarily to the detriment ofthe "magic" of a wonderful film, but it does get in the way of helping a child to enjoy the whole reason the film was made in the firstplace - the glorious magnificent cruelty of the original novel.

I hope we haven't lost her to the movie completely, and she will return to it eventually (it has a chapter title "The Buckets begin to starve"!). In the meantime, we will not be seeking out the delightful animated" James and The giant Peach" just yet.

Father Christmas letters

Just how many CBeebies Father Christmas letters did the Post Office get through their post boxes this week?

Nora (and I) used all three of her letters, envelopes and special stamps (free on the front of CBeebies magazine) to ask for: Nora: a red bicycle  - she was very particular; James: An Igglepiggle (Hmm... I believe Father Christmas may be able to oblige!) and Danny and Mummy: A nice film by The Beatles (I do believe that "Help" has been released on DVD at last. Father Christmas? are you listening?).

...and Nora very carefully posted them in the post box down the road. So we know he's got them.

Coincidentally picked up in The Guardian today:

Referring to the previous post:

"She describes what she calls the "surround sound" of pornography - on television, in advertising, on the internet, in pop videos. "Younger women are being coerced into valuing themselves by what they look like and men's definition of how a woman should be valued. It's like being at the top of a hill and looking down and I can see all the little cultural landmarks, like the launch of Playboy, the internet, music videos celebrating a 'pimp and ho' culture, lads' magazines, burlesque. Women are being told that their bodies should be accessible at all times to men. I believe there is a conspiracy to turn women into readily accessible semen receptacles. Men are twisting this now to make women think it's a level playing field and it's equal and liberating. No, it suits men, it's convenient for men. That's what is so insidious"."

From "You're consenting to being raped for money".