Monday, August 27, 2012

Culture, birthdays and a Dilemma

Culture, Birthdays and a Dilemma


It was when he buried his head in the horse’s withers and, as the camera moved away, this stalwart’s despairing sobs could just be heard through the mist, that I was hooked.

Parade’s End dramatised by Tom Stoppard from three novels by Ford Maddox Ford is broadcast on BBC2 in five episodes at 9pm.

It could be named the thinking man’s Downton Abbey.  One has to keep one’s wits about one to follow the plot. It has an illustrious cast; Rebecca Hall and Anne Marie Duff – both of whom I would go far to see and Benedict Cumberbatch to name only a fraction of the talent.  Indeed my eyes kept checking the cast list so often I almost lost track of the action.  As it is I expect I shall end up reading the novels.

The title Parade’s End denotes the violent end of Edwardian Britain similar to Robert Grave’s title Goodbye to All That and the hero, Cumberbatch, is a brilliant statistician married to a wayward socialite played by Rebecca Hall.  Then on the golf course he encounters a young suffragette being chased by the police and he is captivated.  But he is an honourable man and his wife is about to return to the marital home after some high jinks on the continent.  Awkward!

It’s not too late to catch the first episode and then join me in what I’m sure is going to be a rare treat.  With a cast like that and Tom Stoppard writing for the BBC for the first time for decades it has to be a winner.

Two of our girl’s quartet have birthdays this week- 88 and 83.  They came round for coffee, cupcakes and pressies and then on Saturday J and I (her first birthday without her husband) went to a music recital at the town church – St Andrew’s in aid of a new window.  The pianist was a real music buff – batty about Bach and the rest of the German composers and keen to share some of his knowledge in an amusing way. One was reminded of the old programme Face the Music when experts spoke of music in an engaging manner.  Occasionally his wife was allowed to get a lyric in and I particularly enjoyed Who is Sylvia and I must go down to the sea again because I remembered all the words.

Apparently most musicians have a favourite key and a lady he met on a plane told him she could tell a lot about a person from knowing their favourite key.  His was D flat major.  I think. 

Then we had a jolly good lunch at the Bistro – really both jolly and good.  The real celebration is on Wednesday when the quartet meet in Taunton for a get-together which involves the much missed fourth member, Margaret travelling over from Cheltenham and here is my dilemma.

I am meant to have a long delayed business meeting in London ‘towards the end of August’ but as the girls insist they don’t want to have our get together without me and kept another date as a fall back I have to make a decision.  Then I read my horoscope:

With the dynamic planet Mars, helping you to focus on your long term hopes and dreams, you can begin to make real progress with a new creative project in the week ahead.  Do not let your social life distract you, or listen to well- meant advice.  This is your chance to win the recognition you deserve, so play to win this time around.

I’ve made my decision, what would yours be?

Photos below


The Unbearable Banishment said...

I thought that Dowton Abbey was for thinking men (and women)! Stoppard can be a bit long-winded at times but I do like him.

I just read that the BBC was going to serialize Wolf Hall. Oh, the joy and rapture! Have you read it or its sequel?

The horoscopes are a bunch of malarkey. You do read them just for fun, I trust?

Chef Files said...

With the moon in Venus and Taurus stuffing his fat face on a load of Capricorn I would suggest the following my dear lady.

Ambition is a must during our lifetime, the need to strive, the need to achieve is the crux of our younger years and should never be put off. However, when a natural beauty reaches the very pinnacle of so many careers, nursing, actress, mother, what else is there to aspire to?

Ahhh, but there is but one very important thing. Friendship. We would be very poor without friendship. The fact that your select group of ladies are so close is a clear indicator of which way the mystic winds should blow.

Afterall... appointments can usually be postponed, time with out friends is sadly limited.

Scarlet Blue said...

The girls have a fall back date, so all will be well.
And I am a piscean, too. Hmmmm... I have been putting things off that I needed to do by September. Interesting.

angryparsnip said...

What a busy time...
Parade's End sounds interesting. I wounder if it will make it over to us any time soon. One can only hope.
I enjoy your comments about what you happen to to watching or reading.
I like horoscopes and read them for fun. Interesting thing though they do make you think and sometime get you to finish up somethings you need to do or make a decision.

cheers, parsnip

Pat said...

UB: judge for yourself.
I think Stoppard has mellowed with the years and I enjoyed what I saw.
I stopped reading historical novels after Baroness Orczy so I don't know Wolf hall.

Chef Files: I'm so glad you said that:)

Scarlet: we had to commit to a date eventually and, for better or worse, Wednesday is it.

Parsnip: I woud expect Parade's End to travel to the States. All the good stuff seems to.

OldLady Of The Hills said...

I dearly hope the PARADE'S END comes here----From what you say, it sounds great!

Hmmmm. That is a dilemma, my dear....But, whatever you do, I know it will be the right decision for you! Your dear fourseome is very precious, I know.....!

Mickle in NZ said...

Oh my, something to look forward to on the tv screens here. We might even get it only a few weeks or months after you (compared to the years it used to take, lol)

Sending care and gentle huggles. Michelle and a snoozing Zebby Cat, xxxxx and puRRRRRumbles

Mage said...

Family first.

RYN: I live in San Diego on the West coast of the USA. It's down on the border with Mexico, and if you look at a map of my city you will see an an arm of land reaching out to sea. I live on that arm, called Point Loma, high on the spine. Check me out on Google Maps. :)

Keith said...

Not being into horses I have no idea what a horses withers are and when you said he buried his head in there you'll never guess what went through my mind. Saying that reminds me of an old joke.

A cowboy rode into town and tied his horse to the hitching rail. He went to the back end, brushed aside the tail, and kissed the horses rear. The town drunk standing nearby asked "Are you some sort of pervert?" To which the cowboy replied "No, it's just that I've got chapped lips". "Oh," said the drunk "and that cures them does it?".

"Nope" replied the cowboy, "but it sure as hell stops me from licking them"

Keith said...

PS. I just googled "withers" and it said she was an English theatre, film and television actress.

Seems like I got it wrong again! Sorry.

Marjolein said...

I planned to watch this show, and then forgot all about it again. I hope it will come out on dvd some time in the future.

Pat said...

Naomi: I made the right decision and meet the girls tomorrow.
I saw 'Precious' tonight.

mickle: hope you enjoy it. Hugs to both of you.

Mage: good thank you. So you are down aways from Naomi. East of Parcnip and way east of Judy:)

Keith: shame on you to speak of a horse's nether regions and dear Googie in the same breath!

Marjolein; you missed the first episode - there are four more.

lom said...

Go with the horoscope Pat.

I haven't watched Parade's End yet (it's been recorded for later), but OI think I am going to enjoy it.

About Last Weekend said...

Sounds fabulous - I'm going to try and see if I can get it in the US. I was utterly obsessed with DA and can't imagine anything getting better! What a treat to look forward to!

Granny Annie said...

Culture in every British production, birthdays with friends are wonderful and a dilemma that I could not begin to resolve. I might disappoint the "girls".

Pat said...

Lom: I ignored the horoscope in the end and glad that I did.

ALW: it's early days for Parade's End but I have a good feeling about it. And I think the Stoppard of today is a more interesting writer than Julian Fellowes.

Pat said...

Granny Annie: I bet when it came to it you wouldn't - but I could be wrong.

Guyana-Gyal said...

Phew! I feel busy after reading all this.

What a grand ol' time you've had.

I should be doing the dishes, making a phone call, but here I am, reading your blog. Very bad influence you are, dear Pat :-D

Pat said...

GG: plenty of time for chores later:)