This week I went to our local cinema for a one off screening of this 1961 classic film. I had forgotten how good the film is. It helps that it was on the big screen, tv takes away the grandeur from films I think. My highlights were New York in the 60's, the elegant Givenchy couture, George Peppard's blue eyes (maybe they were digitally enhanced in the version I saw this week..?), and of course the unique Audrey Hepburn. But one thing shocked me after such a long absence away, how thin Audrey was. I doubt she ate pastries like the one she is eating when the opening credits roll, very often. Her waist was tiny. But it did make the outfits look great - tightly belted macs, shift dresses and capri pants don't look good if you're carrying too many pounds round the middle.
I have read that Truman Capote who wrote the original novella wanted Marilyn Monroe to play the title role, but she turned it down due to it being the part of a prostitute. Marilyn would have played it differently for sure, but I think it was Audrey's innate elegance and purity that ensures the seedy side of her life is dismissed by the viewer as a bad habit, not a bad character.
My next film to rediscover is Hud. Seeing Patricia Neal playing George Peppards 'sugar mummy' in the film has made me want to rewatch her in this Paul Newman classic.
It was a fine sunny morning yesterday. Whilst out walking with my sister we spotted this work of art..
then another shed, this time a steampunk one!
then another shed, this time a steampunk one!
then this profile pointing to the bluest of skies
and some magical creatures...
It was like stumbling upon a field of unicorns!
The poem by Edward Lear, The Pobble That Had No Toes was the bane of my life when I was 7. I had a teacher hell bent on making us learn it by heart. It felt very tedious having to stand up and recite it. I rebelled by pretending I had forgotten it. On the other hand, The Owl and The Pussy Cat - another poem by Mr Lear, makes me smile every time I hear it. So when I saw this book I had to have it. Aside from the lovely colour of the cover I wanted to learn more about the man behind the nonsense. It turns out he was very shy, severely epileptic and not just a great writer but also a talented drawer and painter. I wish he'd drawn a Pobble, at least I could put a face (if indeed it has one) to my childhood nemesis.
The following from the Edward Lear home page - (http://www.nonsenselit.org/Lear/ns/pussy.html) .
The Owl and the Pussy-cat went to sea
In a beautiful pea green boat,
They took some honey, and plenty of money,
Wrapped up in a five pound note.
The Owl looked up to the stars above,
And sang to a small guitar,
'O lovely Pussy! O Pussy my love,
What a beautiful Pussy you are,
What a beautiful Pussy you are!'
Pussy said to the Owl, 'You elegant fowl!
How charmingly sweet you sing!
O let us be married! too long we have tarried:
But what shall we do for a ring?'
They sailed away, for a year and a day,
To the land where the Bong-tree grows
And there in a wood a Piggy-wig stood
With a ring at the end of his nose,
With a ring at the end of his nose.
'Dear pig, are you willing to sell for one shilling
Your ring?' Said the Piggy, 'I will.'
So they took it away, and were married next day
By the Turkey who lives on the hill.
They dined on mince, and slices of quince,
Which they ate with a runcible spoon;
And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand,
They danced by the light of the moon,
They danced by the light of the moon.
This shed is not in the first flush of youth. It can no longer rely on it's own charms to captivate. A strategy has been sought, arrived at, and finally executed with panache. The bunting detracts from the rather careworn exterior, it gives it a certain jauntiness and a cheery air of shed glamour that it wouldn't be able to achieve sans bunting. Can you tell I heavily identified with the said shed?
When from old Winter's back is rent
her garment grey of discontent,
branches their gentle greens unfold,
daisies their laps half-fill with gold
and rabbits tumble in the corn.
Birds tune the sky, and lambs are born.
Seeds bursting from their winter sleep
run their appointed hour to keep.
They strive and thrust, they twist and run
to lift their hearts towards the sun.
Beneath the deep, soft quilt of snow
they waited, row on sleeping row.
And when the fingers of the thaw
tapped gently at each hidden door
they stirred, the seeds no man can number,
yet turned again to dark and slumber
til the first trumpets of the sun,
tilted to heaven, afresh begun,
their song of spring. Their seeds awoke
shook off their hard and heavy yoke
of clay and stones. Then, furrow -free,
they leapt to fulfil their destiny.
Lord of all life, of joy and pain,
of seed and harvest, wind and rain,
we praise you with each heedless breath
for annual victory over death.
And You whose hand can hold the tides,
whose everlasting power abides,
as nature to Your passion yields,
and life from death strides through the fields,
so rule and change the hearts of men
That Spring may walk the world again.
Peter Howard, from Country Company.
Fenella Fielding is set to play the 'deliciously malicious' Nancy Mitford in a play based on letters between Nancy and Evelyn Waugh called Dearest Nancy, Darling Evelyn. What a treat. Only on for a short time (Feb 14th - 17th at the Jermyn St Theatre) I cannot think of a better way to pass a February evening.