I have to acknowledge that I seem to be out of step with more regular reviewers of The Favourite which we watched on Prime after dinner yesterday.

I am not competent to comment on the historical accuracy of this story of the last years of Queen Anne, a very sad eighteenth century English monarch; nor for the depiction of Court life of the period. But maybe that is not the point of the film which focusses on the battle between two women for the position of Royal Favourite.

The three stars of Yorgos Lanthimos’s alleged tragicomedy offer undoubtedly excellent performances. Olivia Colman and Rachel Weisz certainly deserved their awards. Emma Stone was also very good. Unfortunately, although one could sympathise with each of them in their own struggles I found it impossible to like any single character in the film.

It was an assault on the senses, not least for dirge-like banging music(?) and weird cinematography seemingly making use of a fish-eye lens and dizzying panning effects. Tragic, yes. Comic, not for me. Maybe I just don’t find it easy to laugh at people who are struggling.

Today was another of unceasing gloom.

This morning we each took our cameras into the garden at different times.


My pansies were photographed in the front garden, Jackie’s, somewhat nibbled, at the back;

Jackie photographed bright magenta cyclamen while I pictured the stone cherub reclining ย against the tree trunk beside them;

the first two pelargonium images are Jackie’s;

two more are mine;

The Head Gardener produce her own photos of her pelargonium cuttings in the greenhouse;

she also photographed her stumpery, with watching owls and brown grasses;








euphorbias Silver edge and Rubra;

and primulas.

I contributed a range of camellias.

Soon after lunch we drove into the soggy forest, where the green at Bramshaw has been ploughed up by the hooves of


mucky sheep;

dismal donkeys;

and mud-caked cattle.

We each photographed a weather vane. Jackie’s bore Father Time,

mine a pair of geese.

A pair of riders road past.

Nearby a robin tweeted to one of a trio of

miniature be-rugged ponies.

Further on, approaching Newbridge we encountered

another herd of cattle. The second of these two photographs of Jackie’s includes a redwing and a crow, two of the avian entourage

accompanying the bovines.

Here is a redwing

and a wagtail.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s spicy chicken Jalfrezi, savoury rice, vegetable samosas, and parathas with which I finished the Garnacha Syrah while the Culinary Queen abstained.







  1. While I appreciated the garden blooms and rustic scenes, is was this bit is wordsmithing that brought the smile to my face:

    It was an assault on the senses, not least for dirge-like banging music(?) and weird cinematography seemingly making use of a fish-eye lens and dizzying panning effects.

  2. I didn’t see The Favourite. I like all the actors involved, but I so hated the director’s previous film, The Lobster, that I suspected I would have the same opinion that you had of The Favourite.
    So many beautiful photos. Those sheep are certainly “mucky.” ๐Ÿ™‚ I like the weathervane photos.

  3. You know, I’m beginning to develop a hunger for some good Indian food. The restaurants nearby are fairly pedestrian, but in a couple of weeks I have to go into Houston for an appointment, and I just might double up and have a nice lunch at one of the fine Indian restaurants in town.

  4. I love the bright cheery faces of pansies. There is so much going on in your garden at this time of year! And the forest drives are always a pleasure. The man riding the Appaloosa with western tack caught my eye. I don’t think I have seen many western style riders in anyone’s photos from your side of the Atlantic.

  5. Those sweet pansy-faces always make me grin! ๐Ÿ˜€
    And, oh, those cow and donkey faces! ๐Ÿ™‚
    I’m so glad the owls are guarding The Stumpery! ๐Ÿ˜‰
    HUGS!!! ๐Ÿ™‚
    PS…spicy and savoury makes for a great meal!

  6. It’s always lovely to have a few flowers to brighten these dreary winter days. Even when slightly worn, pansies always make me smile and I love those pink camellias.

  7. The redwing is very unusual to be on his own at this time of year. I wonder if animals can get trench foot? Your pictures certainly show some very wet and muddy feet.

    1. Sheep and cattle can develop foot rot, but in my experience sheep are far more prone to foot rot than cattle appear to be.

        1. Iโ€™m assuming thatโ€™s why my fields with their underground springs and all the rain have been left empty since September. The ones at the other side of the lane donโ€™t have the same problem. We noticed that two or three of the Tups they brought up are limping, but Richard is a good farmer and they treat them regularly.

  8. You have dispatched to the dumps the atrocious cinema about Queen Anne with your considered critique. And you have made the best of a gloomy day inclined to wallow in mud cakes.

  9. I haven’t seen that film Derrick, I don’t really like movies that mess with the facts.
    Last week I watched ‘Fisherman’s Friends’ which gets my recommendation.
    My pansies are struggling, I don’t think the weather quite suits them.
    Lovely muddy pictures, reminds me of my grandchildren!

  10. What amazing colour you have for a winter garden. Mine is varying shades of khaki! I enjoyed the favourite immensely – high time we had a historical drama (or documentary, come to that) that wasn’t about the Tudors!

  11. Stunning garden and the other photos are great too.
    I always am curious to know if the animals are still enough to capture a photo, or you just catch a good pic when you can?

  12. You and Jackieโ€™s flower photographs make me excited for Spring! Beautiful.

    Such poetry, too, Derrick, in your words: Mud caked Cattle, dismal donkeys, mucky sheep. Picturesque speech!

  13. I enjoyed the sheer absurdity of ‘The Favourite’ the first time around, and appreciated all three lead performances, but after watching it again a few months later, I found it just sad. I hope that one day someone makes a film that does justice to these three remarkable women.

  14. Usually gardens in winter are pretty plain and whatever plants have left, are hibernating…but your garden is so full of colors and life! That camellias are amazing!
    And that redwing is so so cute!
    Great photos both of you ?

  15. The pensive cherub appealed to me most, although the camellias are magnificent. I felt a bit troubled for those muddy animals although with our weather they must be used to it. I am often out of tune with films and even a good many modern books.

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