Tuesday, 29 January 2008


As has been pointed out to me recently by comic-genius BPP and blogging-legend Five-Centres I've been a bit lax with my posting of late. There's a couple of reasons for this. Father had hip replacement, Mother had seventieth Birthday, Sister requires an operation (Good Luck for tomorrow JJ!), and there's the apathy which seems to have afflicted many of us through January.

So here's one of those posts which tell you what I've been watching and reading. This should demonstrate the vapid hollow observations and lack of insight for which this blog has become famous (largely ignored) for.

Firstly in my 'books and films about mental illness' section, I read 'A Spot of Bother' by Mark Haddon. I really enjoyed his 'Curious Incident' novel, but this one's very ordinary. It' concerns the breakdown of a retired man in the run-up to his daughter's marriage. But it's mental illness written like a sitcom and the characters didn't strike me as real. So thumbs down.

I watched a film called 'Reign Over Me' starring Adam Sandler and Don Cheadle. Adam lost his family in 9/11, Don' his college ex-roommate trying to help. The film itself is diverting enough in a Hollywood feelgood way. Again I have to question the realism. I was in a similar situation some years ago, when a close friend went through a breakdown. In the movie, Don has to nod stoically whilst Adam, primally lets his grief trickle out. In my reality, I remember lots of screaming, and pinning people down to stop them self-harming. Happy days.

I've been listening to Cat Power's Album 'Jukebox', which is soulful and mellow. I love her 'Song to Bobby', which is a song to Bob Dylan (why has Adam Sandler never been cast as him?) in the style of Dylan. Excellent. And the picture on the cover makes me 'feel funny'.

I went, with pal JT, down to look at how the Severn was looking, as we've been starting to think about when we can get start messing about in kayaks again. On out last trip we got out of the river about three miles downstream of Ironbridge, at a pub called 'The Boat'. To get to this inn, we had to drag our boats about seven feet up a steep bank, and then another few feet of grass verge to the door. Last week, the pub looked like this.

Reading back, this has not been the most cheery of posts, so I've included a picture of my dogs. Scroll back up to the top and enjoy them, and my nice new logo!


BPP said...

I bought the missus that book for Christmas. No good, y'say? Right then, I'm throwin' it in the bin ... WHERE YOU SAY IT BELONGS.

Anonymous said...

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Thumper Plowman said...

Glad to see you back VS. Here's some more record covers that might make you feel funny:

"Country Life" by Roxy Music
"Je T'Aime .. moi non plus". You know, THAT sleeve with Jane Birkin
Any 7" single sleeve by Blondie

Also, while it may not be a record cover, that photo of Bat For Lashes that was in The Word a couple of months back certainly put the yowsers in my trousers

BPP said...

I'd like to thank you for the information on this site. Last week I was climbimg over a wall after stealing knickers off my neighbour's washing-line when, just my rotten luck, I caught my foot on an ornamental fountain and crashed headlong over the wall and straight through my greenhouse roof. I shattered my hip, cracked my knee, twisted all my joints, and broke my spine. To be honest, I've been at a loss as to what to do until I read your blog today.


Clair said...

I'll have to disagree over A Spot Of Bother, I thought it was like Alan Ayckbourn. I've also just read My Lucky Star by Joe Keenan, a fantastically funny Hollywood romp by one of Frasier's best writers.

PS Good luck to the various members of your family familiar with NHS procedures.

Five-Centres said...

Hooray! You're back.

Know what you mean about January. I'm devoid of inspiration at the moment.

I'm all for films and books about mental illness. I presume you've seen Sybil, Girl Interrupted, The Three Faces Of Eve and Walter?

And have you read Scar Tissue by Michael Ignatieff, The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath and Winter Doves by David Cook?

There must be more, but I can't think of them.

BPP said...

I can hardly cope with this torrent of posts. Give it a rest, Valentine, you're wearing out my reading bone 'ere.