Wednesday, 20 November 2013

A Wine Goose Chase

No that's not a misspelling in today's heading. We thought that it would be nice to give a couple of friends a taste of our new county as a Christmas present and, after a good deal of research online we found a vineyard with wines that had won awards. So off we went this morning on a sixty mile round trip to find that due to a heavy frost in 2011 there were no wines available apart from a sparkling wine at about £26 per bottle (we could get one of the Which best buys for that). I realise that things like this can happen but a quick post on their website to the effect that there were no wines available could have saved us both a wasted morning and a fair few litres of diesel.

It was a pity that the morning was wasted as we had put it aside to try and complete our Christmas gift buying before heading up to Scotland next week. Marion has located some further prize winning Suffolk wines so we're off to seek them out tomorrow. We'll be in Scotland for about two weeks and it will be good to have two weeks before Christmas back in Framlingham as there's plenty going on in the town in the run up to the festivities.

One of the less welcome things going on is the proposal by Taylor Wimpey to build two hundred new homes down the road from us. Now I don't want to be a NIMBY, after all we are incomers to the town and we don't really have the right to comment on what goes on yet. I want the town to be successful and I want the shops and businesses to thrive. But two hundred new houses! As far as I can see the population of the town is about 3,000. This means that if the average household in the new houses is say three people the population will increase by six hundred or a massive twenty percent. An equivalent increase in our old home town of Southport would equate to nearly twenty thousand people. These houses on top of other developments in the pipeline will surely put too much pressure on the town's infrastructure and risk damaging the unique character of the place. Parking is already difficult for visitors and residents. Add another two hundred cars to the mix and there's a recipe for disaster.

We bought our house for this lovely view. The roofs of the new development will just be visible at the top right of the yellow field. It's not the end of the world but once the houses or (worse still) the supermarket needed to service the expanded population spills into these fields it may sadly be time to move on. 

On a lighter note we went to see a preview of the new Disney movie Saving Mr Banks at the super Aldeburgh Cinema last night. This great little independent picture house was lucky enough to get the chance to show the film, a full ten days before its release in the UK. The screening was gifted to the cinema by Disney so all box office takings could go to much needed fund raising - a generous gesture by a very big fish supporting a minnow. 

The film tells the story of Mrs P L Travers (Emma Thompson) the author of Mary Poppins and the efforts made by Walt Disney (Tom Hanks) to buy the screen rights. The narrative is constantly cut between Travers' childhood in Australia and her time at Disney Studios in LA where she faces an uphill battle to minimise the Disneyfication of her cherished work while Disney faces an uphill struggle to get her to sign on the dotted line - he has been trying for eighteen years but only now in 1964 as Traver's finances are almost depleted has he come close. At the heart of the film is the author's relationship with her father Travers Goff during his fight with alcoholism. The outcome of the story revolves around Disney's handling of the character of the father Mr Banks and ultimately unlocking the key to Travers' apparently stoney heart. It's a very "nice" film - which is what you might expect from Disney and the PG certificate. We both enjoyed it very much and Marion was reaching for the tissues at the very sad ending but I felt that it could have benefited a little with a 15 certificate and Goff as a real drunk rather than a Disney one. Emma Thompson is perfect as the ever so correct Englishwoman that Travers became, Tom Hanks does an excellent Walt Disney and Paul Giammati is wonderful in his supporting role as the Disney Studios' driver.