Catching Up

It’s been a few days since the last post, and all remains well in our household. I have been up and down – second guessing anything that doesn’t feel quite right with my body, always expecting the worst. Otherwise, it’s been a case of writing out a To Do list every day and trying to keep busy by doing as much of it as possible.

I started writing out my To Do list just after I wrote my last blog post and it has been great at enabling me to see very clearly what I am doing right (the things I need to do) and what, day after day, I am not doing at all (my more creative work). Of course, I knew where I was succeeding and failing before but there is nothing like seeing it on the page to really bring the truth home. Now all I need to do is BE CREATIVE (still easier said than done).

I am still exercising. My sales tell me I am losing weight, too, which is great, although I am always suspicious that the scales are not so accurate. I am still watching films. Here are the ones that have carried me across the hour,

In my last post I said I was going to watch Frozen; I did, but only after two other films. The first was Genius (2006). I have wanted to watch this picture for the last three years – it stars Colin Firth as the famous book editor Max Perkins and covers the years of his relationship with an author named Thomas Wolfe. Perkins edited F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway’s books so it was for them as well as Firth that I watched the film. They show up in neat cameos by Guy Pearce and Dominic West respectively. Jude Law absolutely chews the furniture up as the brilliant but selfish man-child Wolfe. By contrast, Firth’s Perkins is about as exciting as the furniture. Despite that, I still rate Firth 11/10. Why wouldn’t, I; he’s Colin Firth. The film, though, while I enjoyed it, was a bit flat so I rate that 7/10.

After Genius, I turned to another literary film – Vita & Virginia (2018). V squared is about the love affair between Vita Sackville-West and Virginia Woolf. Sackville-West is happily married to diplomat Harold Nicolson (who I spent the whole film confusing with Harold Acton) but her bisexuality and strong sex drive lead her to pursue Virginia Woolf. At first, she has no success: Woolf is distant in her psychological fragility and not interested in Vita’s advances, but eventually, there is a breakthrough. The story of Max Perkin’s relationship (all professional, by the way) with Thomas Wolfe is told with a very straight bat. Vita and Virginia’s, however, with much more energy both in the plot and – especially – in the music. I rate the film 8/10.

After V & V I finally got round to watching Frozen. At first it felt like there were too many songs but I soon got used to them and more into the story. The king and queen of Arendelle are lost at sea. Their eldest daughter Elsa, rules in their stead. On the day of her coronation, a magical condition that she suffers from – the ability to turn things to ice – runs out of control. She flees from the capital city and hides in the mountains where she creates a fabulous ice palace to live in. Realising that the whole of Arendelle is now stuck in a permanent winter, Elsa’s sister, Anna, pleads with her to reverse what she has done. But Elsa can’t. A wise troll tells Anna that only an act of love (not that kind! This is Disney, remember) can heal Elsa and reverse the winter. The story is simple and well told. With its princesses and dashing men it is a very typical Disney tale but there is more to it than that:- Elsa does not see her ice powers as a curse but simply part of who she is (see the lyrics to the song Let It Go). It’s easy to see why she has become an important figure within the LGBT community. And while the men may be dashing, it is Elsa’s sister Anna who searches for her. I rate the film 8/10.

Finally, I watched Spiderman: Far From Home (2019). There were points during this film that I had my doubts about it – it combines super heroics with teen drama and comedy and I felt that the comedy was getting a bit too far ahead but the director (Jon Watts) managed to reign it all in in good time and make a good, fun picture. I think Far From Home came out not long after Avengers: End Game. If so, Marvel did well giving their fans a film to laugh as well as gasp at after the terrible events of the earlier picture. I rate it 8/10.

My current film is The Sting (1973). I first saw this film in the 90s and have been wanting to watch it ever since. When I saw it was on the Sky app, I couldn’t start it quickly enough!

Well, here in the U.K., we will be in lockdown for at least three more weeks. And then, who knows. I haven’t been paid for two months now and my bank account is creeping towards the overdraft limit. I might get away with it for this months bills, but I won’t for May’s, so that is a concern.

I started writing notes again for my Camino story this week, which was a great boon. As I said above, though, I need to be more creative. Not just one day here and there, but every day. I also had a good idea for the twitter stories I want to write. It was a combination of two separate ideas that have come to me previously so the way in which they merged effortlessly into one was very appreciated.

I am still reading Antony Beevor’s account of the Second World War. My goodness, it is a sad read: all the violence, violence, violence of the eastern front. After I finish this post, I will be picking it up again and reading about Pearl Harbour.

Outside – shopping trips have gone alright. Most people are respecting the stay-at-home instruction although I have seen a very few people standing around chatting.