Sunday, 12 June 2011

Playing Catch Up

Far be it for me to complain about the luxury of being able to take a three week holiday but one thing that has been difficult has been catching up with everything that's on the Sky hard drive. Before we left we set series links on all sorts, The Good Wife,  The Shadow Line, Modern Family, Spiral and a lot more and now we have to decide wether to watch or to delete.

I'm certainly glad that we didn't delete The Shadow Line. We've almost caught up now and I have to say that this is a TV cop show that's a cut above the rest with beautiful cinematic direction an excellent soundtrack and an abundance of outstanding performances from a first class cast. The "baddies" played by Stephen Rea, Rafe Spall and Anthony Sher are as sinister bunch as you would ever imagine and terrify me even in the safety of my armchair. It's rare to find TV drama that is the equal of a cinema visit but this one must be in line for a bagful of awards.

We've also been catching up on The Hotel, the fly on the wall documentary about The Damson Dene Hotel in Cumbria. I had to watch this as my dad and I stayed there forty years ago and had a few days fishing in the Lakes. For the eighteen year old me it was the height of luxury although luxury would not be the word of choice for most reviewers today. The documentary has certainly been entertaining and we have grown to love the cast of eccentric characters from the hard working Welsh general manager and the moustachioed chef to the united nations of Eastern European staff. The show comes up with some classics. For me the highlight was the customer who complained to the receptionist that the toilet seat was "literally the most worrying thing I've ever seen". Now I don't know about you but if I had got to my mid fifties and the most worrying thing I'd ever seen was a wooden toilet seat with a couple of rough splinters then I'd think I'd had a pretty cushy life. Another wonderful sequence showed a shrewish woman who had brought her daughter on a last minute break (£50 for one night dinner bed and breakfast  - for 2!) complaining about anything and everything. For fifty quid you'd be lucky to get a three course meal for two never mind a room and use of the spa as well.

I don't know wether to love or hate the iPhone weather app. Without it we would have gone to Gresgarth Hall today and seen the wonderful gardens which open to the public just once a month. But we would have got soaked as the app seems to be uncannily accurate most of the time and it seems that it's p*****g down today at Gresgarth as predicted. Great pity as we can't go in July and may not be able get there in August either. The app is certainly a great aide to planning but does it spoil life's unpredictability?

Two weeks on from the cycling holiday we're missing the bikes. There aren't too many interesting cycle routes around here but there is a BMX park. Perhaps we should try this.