Much of a muchness

Things that make you go 'hmm'…

Category Archives: Movies

What else?

I know you will think this is just another excuse for a gratuitous George Clooney photo and you are probably right but hey! it’s my blog, right? And there is a reason for mentioning him – a tenuous reason I know, but read on and you will see why I mention him….

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I’ve never been a big coffee drinker. I went off it big style when I was pregnant with my first son and never really rediscovered my liking for it. This all changed when I was in Los Angeles last year, the apartment I was staying in had a Nespresso machine and I was hooked. My son, also impressed, bought me one for a gift and now I drink a wonderful latte every morning – delish! Of course the fact that Nespresso use George Clooney in their advertisements has nothing to do with my sudden passion for coffee – although it is yet one more thing George and I have in common :-)

I am reminded of gorgeous George as I am off to Cannes on Saturday for the film festival. I’ve never been before but my friend Claire’s movie is being premiered so we are going to see the film and to do some partying. It will be a short visit as I am getting up at the crack of dawn on Monday to fly to Geneva to rendezvous with my friend Edwina and we are then travelling to Crans Montana to begin our epic road trip to Barcelona and then Mallorca.

It will be so good to see some warm sunshine (I hope).  I love the Mediterranean but it is interesting to note that one of the places I used to go for days out when I was a child living in Manchester, is trying to attract French visitors. It’s a great many years since I last visited Blackpool – my memories are of bitterly cold winds, grey skies and a brown sea. Although they are stuck with the weather,  I’m sure the town itself will have improved –  here is the latest ad campaign by the Blackpool Tourist Board. In the immortal words of John McEnroe ‘You cannot be serious!’

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Now then, I need your help. I’ve been invited to do a reading at my god-daughter’s wedding in October. I wouldn’t be MY first choice of people to wax lyrical on the joys of love and marriage but I will do my best. I’ve been searching for something suitable to read, it has to be a secular reading – and not too mushy (remember it’s me reading it!) I found this extract from ‘Captain Corelli’s Mandolin’ by Louis de Bernières which I think is rather nice.

“Love is a temporary madness,
it erupts like volcanoes and then subsides.
And when it subsides you have to make a decision.
You have to work out whether your roots have so entwined together
that it is inconceivable that you should ever part.
Because this is what love is.
Love is not breathlessness,
it is not excitement,
it is not the promulgation of eternal passion.
That is just being “in love” which any fool can do.
Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away,
and this is both an art and a fortunate accident.
Those that truly love have roots that grow towards each other underground,
and when all the pretty blossoms have fallen from their branches,
they find that they are one tree and not two.”

Any other suggestions will be very gratefully received!

Now, I’m off to pack, it takes several packings and unpackings before I am ready to go, so I need to start early! See you in a couple of weeks.

Procrastination rules…OK?

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My youngest son is travelling in Australia and the Far East for four months and I spoke to him the other day. (Don’t you just love Skype?) He asked me what I had been up to. I replied that I had been working relentlessly on the music anthology books and clamshell boxes. He said ‘I thought you must have been, I checked your blog a few times to see what you had been up to and saw that you hadn’t posted for ages’. I checked and was horror struck to discover my last post was on February 22nd! Eeek! Where does the time go? To remedy this sorry state of affairs here is a list of things that have been preoccupying me the last few weeks. (Apart from making books that is)

  • Bought my Glastonbury ticket this morning. Blur, Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen are confirmed so far. Woo hoo.
  • My friend,  Claire Fordham whom I have mentioned many times here, has just found out that the film based on the story of her trying to get her book made into a film (still with me?) is being premiered at the Cannes Film Festival! So exciting! So I am going over to Cannes for the weekend in May to attend the premiere and hang out with my mate. The film is called ‘The Making of Plus One‘ and Claire and her sister Julia, both appear as themselves in the film.

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  • Julia Fordham, Claire’s lovely sister is a well known singer/songwriter and she is performing in the UK for the first time in ages. She is on in Newbury on May 6th and at the Pigalle Club in Piccadilly, London on May 8th. I am hoping to go to the Pigalle gig which should be brilliant as usual.
  • I am flying from Nice to Geneva after the film premiere to meet up with my friend Edwina. We are then driving from Crans Montana to Palma in Mallorca. We have done this same drive twice already and so we have it all planned and ready to go.
  • I went to the premiere of ‘The Boat That Rocked’ last week. Well, the Weymouth premiere! As it was filmed in Weymouth and Portland, the cinema in Weymouth was allowed to have a copy of the film early to have a charity fundraising evening – there was even a small red carpet! I really enjoyed it – despite it getting bad reviews in the press – what do they know? But then I love Bill Nighy, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Rhys Ifans so I would, wouldn’t I?

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  • I have just found a reason never to visit Papua New Guinea. They have just discovered 50 yes, FIFTY new species of jumping spiders – that’s NEW species of JUMPING spiders!! Holy moly! How many were there to start with? And spiders that jump? My worst nightmare. You can read all about it here if you have the stomach for it…be warned. This is a jumping spider.

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How disgusting is that?

  • The weather has been wonderful but I have hardly set foot outside the door as I have been cooped up in my prison cell workroom. To say Milo is bored would be an understatement…

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  • The other scary thing of note is that it is my father’s 80th birthday shortly and I have volunteered to host the celebrations. This means that most of my family – parents, sisters, husbands, children are descending upon me over the Easter weekend for a party and three nights of merriment. Bearing in mind I have done no housework for several weeks now, and a decorator is arriving to paint my hall, landings and stairs on Monday, I am now getting severely stressed and it occurs to me I ought to be dusting and changing beds rather than writing this. As always though, procrastination rules and as I work better under pressure and with looming deadlines, I am assuming it will all work out in the end.  Milo at least will have plenty of company to pay him attention.

procrastinationBye for now….

My heroes…

I went to see the new James Bond movie ‘The Quantum of Solace’  on Friday. I loved it. Having read lots of mixed reviews, I was unsure whether I would enjoy it as much as ‘Casino Royale’ but I needn’t have worried – was action packed, full of exciting, jaw dropping stunts (all performed by Daniel Craig himself) and finished off the story started in ‘Casino Royale’ very well. Daniel Craig is impossibly gorgeous and the two girls, Gemma Arterton and (especially) Olga Kurylenko, are stunning and wear the most fabulous clothes. The locations are amazing – the scenes shot at the Palio in Siena and at a performance of ‘Tosca’ in Austria stand out. I highly recommend it (but make sure you watch ‘Casino Royale’ first.)

On Sunday, my friend Claire from Los Angeles came to stay. She was on her  way back from filming her cameo in the movie ‘Plus One’ in Cannes. She had a wonderful time but the weather was very un-South of France like – it poured down (unlike when I was there a couple of weeks ago). If nothing else it has convinced her that she would not want to leave the wonderful Californian sunshine for the freezing rain of Europe! You can read about her efforts to get her book made into a movie (which forms the basis of the movie!) over at her blog Claire Fordham, Diary of a Hollywood Somebody) there is also a link to Amazon where you can buy a copy of the book or you can click here. Claire and I have been friends for about 15 years now. She was the first friend I made when came to Dorset. Here’s a photograph of us both taken at a party – it’s what we do best…

We watched the Brazilian Grand Prix yesterday. I’m not a huge motor racing fan, I vaguely follow it but find the races themselves a little tedious. The battle for the Formula 1 World Championship was to be decided at this, the last race of the season.

Britain’s Lewis Hamilton was leading the table but was only 7 points ahead of Brazilian Felipe Massa, and Massa had the advantage of being at his home circuit . It was astonishingly exciting and was only decided during the last lap – Massa won the race and we thought Lewis had lost but as Lewis Hamilton managed to manouvre himself into 5th place right at the end, he secured victory. Claire and I were screaming at the TV in excitement – it was truly heart stopping. Claire’s husband Colin (who is a motoring journalist and avid motor racing fan) was back in LA and as he was watching a recording, he was about 5 laps behind us – Claire was able to phone him up and share the astonishment of the last lap with him.

I was very tempted to re-name Milo ‘Lewis’ in honour of the occasion but decided the poor dog was confused enough by all the screeching.

Today, my #2 son arrived home for a few days. It’s my birthday tomorrow (4th) so he has come to spend the day with me. He arrived home with a birthday cake.

Another hero.

Hey! from LA!

Here I am in Venice, California, the sun is shining (as it has done for my entire stay) and I am having a ball. I have played tennis, eaten great food, been given incredible hospitality by some generous friends, been on a bike ride along the beach from Marina del Rey to Santa Monica, listened to wonderful live music, shopped, played with adorable children, hosted a party, watched tennis (Yay! for Andy Murray!) and seen a great movie (which incidentally also introduced me to my newest crush – of whom more later!) It’s surprising how energized and well, happy, I am, just being in the sunshine. It’s no wonder people are generally so friendly and sociable – how can you be anything else when the weather is so cheerful!

The film I went to see with my friend, Claire, was Woody Allen’s new film ‘Vicky Cristina Barcelona’ starring Scarlett Johannson, Rebecca Hall, Penelope Cruz and my new crush, Javier Bardem.

Having only ever seen him in ‘No Country for Old Men’ where he played a murderous psychopath with a very strange haircut, I was unprepared for the sex-on-a-stick, all round gorgeousness that is Javier Bardem. I am in love. If George Clooney doesn’t hurry up and come and find me while I am still in LA, I may just have to switch my allegiance…

Claire, who you may remember I have mentioned before in this blog, has written a very funny book called ‘Plus One – A Year in the Life of a Hollywood Nobody’ (she also has a great blog) and the exciting news is that it is being made into a movie as we speak! Called ‘The Making of Plus One’ (check it out in the Internet Movie Data Base here) it is a movie about the making of the movie of the book (still with me?) and the brilliant news is that Claire and her sister Julia Fordham, get to make a cameo appearance in the movie, playing themselves. They are flying out to the South of France to film their bit next month.

Gosh! I actually know a movie star! Two even! That’s even better than meeting (well, gazing across the room at) the great Harry Shearer (of Spinal Tap and Simpsons fame), Victoria Tennant (who starred in one of my favourite movies ‘LA Story’ with her ex-husband, Steve Martin. And, Kim, incidentally, she is your favourite ballet dancer, Irina Baranova’s daughter!) and meeting Robert Shaw’s daughter and Tess Harper, who played Tommy Lee Jones’ wife in ‘No Country for Old Men’. It just occurs to me that means she has met Javier Bardem. I have sat next to someone who knows Javier Bardem!! Here she is with luscious Javier at the end on the right.

Star struck? Moi? Well, this is LA…

PS Just been reminded by Claire that on my first night in LA, we were in Hal’s restaurant in Venice and John Voigt and his son (Angelina Jolie’s brother) were at the next table to us. And I didn’t pick up on it – until everyone mentioned it on the way home. My biggest star spot and I missed it. Well, I was jet lagged…

Now you see me, now you don’t…

I am back from Mallorca, rested and with Vitamin D stores replenished. I seriously think I was suffering from SAD (seasonal affective disorder). I’m normally a fairly cheerful soul – everything is fine (until it isn’t!) but I had started to feel that things most definitely were not fine any more – hence my visit to Mallorca.

I’ve not really had chance to catch up since I got back so I apologise if I have missed anything vital! I think I may have missed a few tags – if I have – sorry, I’ll try and get to them when I can. I must confess that part of the problem has been my obsession with the Olympics – I have been glued to the TV watching all sorts of weird and wonderful sports  and rooting for any one who took my fancy if there were no Team GB athletes involved. I am quite bereft now it is all over. It was a wonderful Games, the spectacular facilities, a wonderful backdrop to some truly stunning sporting performances. Now it’s up to London to produce a good Games in 2012. Fingers crossed.

This weekend, the weather has brightened up back home as well and I am feeling much better. Luckily, I am also off to sunny Los Angeles for two weeks on Friday so another blast of hot sunshine should complete the recovery. I will be taking my laptop with me this time so I hope to send you regular bulletins from California. In preparation, I have been indulging in a little retail therapy which has probably contributed to my improved state of mind…

Clothes shopping makes me happy so to continue this cheery vibe, watch this video it combines two of my favourite things – paper and babies!

PS My garden table is due to arrive today…it is almost 2pm, I am not holding my breath…

PPS – Just found out about this film, ‘Burn after Reading’. I HAVE to see this, it is the new Coen brothers film (love the Coen brothers’ films) and it stars George Clooney (and you all know how I feel about HIM), Brad Pitt (take him or leave him – am I the only person who thinks he is the WORST comedy actor? Think of his guest appearance in ‘Friends’ – useless) and John Malkovich (weirdly gorgeous) and two great female leads, Frances McDormand and Tilda Swinton. Here is a trailer. Maybe it will be on in Los Angeles….