Early Films

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Yesterday was Matthew’s birthday, and he, Tess, and Poppy will be flying to New Zealand on Christmas Day. That is why Jackie drove us to Upper Dicker and back. I just had time yesterday to publish a taster in the form of a picture of the sunset from one of the flat windows.

Train crossing

Although Berwick is a very small station with few trains passing through, we always seem to have to wait at the level crossing just a few miles from our destination. This time was no exception. We sat patiently behind this young man as the transport trundled past. We were caught again on the way back home.

 

The Birthday Boy and his family were pleasantly surprised. After Becky and Ian joined us, Matthew opened his birthday presents and we all unwrapped our Christmas gifts from each other.

 

Several people noticed a deep pink sunset, so I nipped into a bedroom and poked my camera through a window.

Later, Tess ordered the delivery of a truly excellent Indian takeaway meal. We shared plentiful pilau rice, onion bhajis, vegetable samosas, and naans. My main choice was lamb naga, and Mat gave me the whole green chillis from his jalfrezi. Peroni and a good Chateauneuf du Pape were imbibed. Poppy chose orange juice.

As always, we turned to reminiscing. Knowing that Shane is my all time favourite film, Mat told me he had just seen this masterpiece from the 1950s and agreed that it was an excellent production.. Our son had not known why I had enjoyed it so much, so I enlightened him. He then told us of his earliest remembered film,

and why it was also a favourite. This was because I had collected him from school and taken him to see it. The singer on this clip is the late great Roger Miller.

Coincidentally, one of my favourite songs is by this performer.

Becky’s early memory was the 1975 Disney film ‘One of Our Dinosaurs is Missing’. I don’t appear to have had an input to this. It was, however, very topical, because Poppy really likes dinosaurs and we had given her a toy one which she had immediately identified as a triceratops, which was more than I could have done.

This afternoon I enjoyed studying the Victoria & Albert Museum’s 2016 production of The Twelve Days of Christmas, beautifully illustrated by Liz Catchpole, who has incorporated William Morris’s designs. This was one of the presents given to me by Mat and Tess.

Here I feature the decorated front board and two of the spread sheets of the text.

For our dinner this evening, Jackie produced succulent pork chops topped with sage and onion stuffing, pork sausages, new potatoes, firm Brussels sprouts, and crisp carrots, with meaty gravy. I drank Somontano Pyrene 2011.

 

Becky’s Book

Sunrise

The sun, peering across shrubbery on our lawn through the trunks of naked trees, rose into a clear pale slate-blue sky, ready to dry the dew this morning.

Becky's book frontispiece

Sometime in 1973 I began to make a book for Becky, then my youngest daughter. It was planned for her fourth birthday the following year. I used water-colour pencils on a pad of thick cartridge paper, leaving the spiralled spine in place and binding the boards with a William Morris furnishing fabric, sealed by a press-stud on a flap. Taking a wee bit longer than anticipated, this labour of love was not finished until my little girl’s seventh birthday by which time she could read it for herself.

Here it is:

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Tonight’s dinner consisted of perfect slow baked gammon, crisp carrots and cauliflower, a tangy melange of tomatoes, peppers and onions, and mashed potato and swede with a cheese sauce, followed by lemon and lime jelly. I drank more of Lidl’s Bordeaux.