Thursday, 7 July 2011

Back Home

It really was a flying visit to St Andrews yesterday. I didn't know the Prius would go that fast. I'm normally the world's most boring driver with the cruise control set at bang on the speed limit but with the prospect of arriving at Dundee's Ninewell's Hospital too late to see our new granddaughter I thought "what the hell" and even touched over 80 for the last forty miles. She came home today so we beat a hasty retreat back to Southport as it's a really important time for the new family to get used to life together without any intrusion. However they won't be escaping us that easily as we nipped out this morning and bought a caravan at a site two minutes down the road from their house. It will be sited in a couple of weeks so we hope that we'll be regularly commuting to St Andrews for baby sitting duties from then onwards.
The family back home

In the meantime we're still able to travel to Lichfield  a day later than planned for our great friends' David and Jane Haworth's daughter Katie's wedding. We were going to make a short break of it and still will by stretching our stay to include Sunday night. There's a big festival on in Lichfield this weekend and, weather permitting, we hope to go and see an outdoor Shakespeare performance on Sunday afternoon and possibly an outdoor showing of Casablanca tomorrow night. On the way down I'm dropping off a couple of antiques at an auction in Knutsford as we are doing a bit of de-cluttering.

It's been such a hectic week that this is the first opportunity I've had to mention this week's cinema outing. We went to the wonderful FACT in Liverpool again to see the multi award winning Iranian film 'A Separation'. It's not difficult to see why this film has won so many plaudits. It's a gripping tale of a young couple with a problem. The wife wants the family to emigrate. The husband wants to stay in Iran and look after his aged father who is suffering from dementia. Their  eleven year old daughter is torn between the two when the mother moves back to her own family home. Though set in Iran, it is a dilemma that anyone in the world could encounter and, when a problem arises with the young woman taken on to care for the old man, life becomes extremely difficult for all involved. The acting is superb and totally believable and the drama is intense and ultimately very moving. Although I said that the dilemma could happen anywhere in the world,  the Iranian justice system and the religious undertones depicted in the film do add an extra dimension to the story. It is a beautiful study of relationships and you should not be put off by the subtitles.

After another excellent light lunch at Salt House Tapas in Hanover St (where they serve the nicest olives you will ever taste), it was back to FACT for 'Life In A Day'. This is an experimental film made by Ridley Scott and Kevin MacDonald who asked the world to send in their videos of July 24 2010. It was a very brave and exciting idea but was totally dependent upon the clips sent in and the end result is a bit of a disappointment. There are some memorable moments - a segment centering on three African women threshing grain to their own rhythmic singing was outstanding, a teenager's first shave was touching and an old couple remaking their marriage vows were charming but too many clips washed over me without leaving any impression and I feel that it was an opportunity lost. I did enjoy the final clip which may or may not have been contrived but, for me, the fact that a couple of the audience left before the end, spoke volumes.  All credit to Scott and MacDonald for giving it a try.

Whilst at FACT we saw the trailer for Brad Pitt and Sean Penn in 'The Tree Of Life'. An intriguing trailer which certainly whet our appetites and has to be our choice for next week.
Here's a taste.