Here's the front page of yesterday's East Anglian Daily Times. It tells the amazing story of young local man Mat Bayfield who, while we've all been grumbling about Brexit and Trump, decided to put something positive into his local community and arranged a series of Suffolk walks for every day in January to give people the chance to meet up, take some exercise, chat together and maybe raise a few pounds for Brain Tumour Research. Sadly Mat is a victim of this horrible disease and was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour four years ago.
His initiative snowballed and his series of walks reached a climax on Sunday when no less than five hundred and forty turned up at Glemham Hall for a three mile hike across the local estate followed by abundant refreshments, some jokes from Mat's dad and a performance of folks songs by Mat's band The Broadside Boys.
As we were in Scotland and then Bequia for most of January we were unable to participate in many walks but Marion and her friend Jane did one in Debenham on Thursday and I joined them both at Glemham on Sunday.
I've never seen so many ramblers together.
Mat (apologies for misspelling it as Matt on Twitter) and his girlfriend Kelly gave a moving speech explaining that their main intentions had been community based and the cash received for The Brain Tumour Charity was secondary. But with a total now in excess of £15,000 raised that is far from secondary. There's still time to make a small donation (he's not the sort to expect you to break the bank). Here's a link to his just giving page.
After months with very limited cinema going we're finally back into our stride and, in the middle of Oscar season, there's been plenty of choice. We've managed to see three films this week.
Lion, the story of Saroo an Indian boy who ended up lost over a thousand miles from home and was eventually adopted by an Australian couple is a "nice" film. There is a wonderful performance from little Sunny Pawer as the young Saroo and, as Saroo grows up and Dev Patel takes over the role Patel plays the part with great feeling. I enjoyed it but it was not as moving as reviews suggested.
Unlike Manchester By The Sea which was incredibly moving. Casey Affleck must be a certainty for an Oscar for his intense portrayal of a young man whose one act of stupidity destroyed his life. It's unbearably grim (think I Daniel Blake and double the bleakness) and I can't say that I enjoyed it but it has to be one of the best dramas made for some time.
The last of the three films was La La Land which we've just been to see at the lovely Riverside in Woodbridge. I can't say much about this. It's been nominated for tons of Oscars but, apart from a very charismatic leading couple in Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, I though it was all a bit meh.