Musicals, My Fair Lady

I’m currently watching ‘My Fair Lady’ a musical based on the story Pigmalion by George Bernard Shaw.

The story is about a flower girl, Eliza Doolittle, who is trying to improve her cockney accented voice by taking lessons from Professor Higgins. She is taken in by the Professor who says he will turn her into someone who sounds like a duchess in six months. However his methods are unfeeling and really push Eliza. The film seems to sympathise with the professor rather than Eliza.

Songs like ‘all I want is a room somewhere’, ‘the rain in spain’ and ‘I could have danced all night’.

Audrey Hepburn stars as Eliza. She was able to sing the songs but they were dubbed by a singer called Marni Nixon, whose voice is in about fifty films!

If you’ve never watched it, you may feel the ideas in it are old fashioned, but it is set in Victorian/Edwardian times. The music is amazing and energetic. Worth watching.

Black and white films

Oh I love a good black and white film noir film. Lots of riddles to solve. Not too much actual violence. Tension rising, suspenseful music (we sometimes have the subtitles on for hubby and it will say ‘suspenseful music’, ‘door creaking’ and other remarks). The films often have a moral point that makes it impossible for the victim to make a bad decision, like killing the suspected murderer before they themselves are killed. Usually they seem to have to go through great distress and danger before surviving/escaping their fate.

What I like is, despite being farfetched, they are less violent, less verbally abusive, and more thought provoking. In other words its not like watching a film that is more like a video game. I think I prefer a time of old fashioned films, real Hollywood a listers and less ‘celebrity’.

Codd neck bottle

A friend painted one of these and wondered what it was called. I thought it was a codswallop bottle, but looked it up and codswallop is a word for nonsense, for instance used in a phrase ‘a load of codswallop’ meaning a load of rubbish, or inaccurate, or something that isn’t true?

Then when I looked up codswallop bottle it came up with this: ‘A Codd-neck bottle is a type of bottle used for carbonated drinks. It has a closing design based on a glass marble which is held against a rubber seal, which sits within a recess in the lip. Wikipedia‘.

Thinking about it, could this be a cleaner, greener method of closing a bottle? I think it’s an interesting design. I think it’s Victorian?

Book Review ‘They walked like men’ Clifford D Simak

I’ve just finished an old book from 1962 by Clifford D Simak. It’s called ‘They Walk Like Men’.

A newspaper reporter is caught up in a mystery when he comes home after a night of too many drinks. Something is happening and he is pulled into a weird situation where aliens create substitute human beings. They are trying to take over the world, but it’s less great big monsters and more subtlety mixed with a type of film noirish storytelling.

Each time you think you are getting somewhere the plot twists. It could just be a shaggy dog story? But it’s deadly and serious…..

If you like old sci-fi (originally published by doubleday in 1962) you might like this. My edition is second hand. It’s a good read. X

Apple a day

Apple found in our garden in December. I wrote about it in a blog about Wassails. We joined in a virtual Wassail at the weekend and drank too much cider. People posted photos of previous years Wassails when they walked about with flaming torches around the boundaries of the parish. No threats were made but there were so many of us we had to have a police escort and cars were stopped as we wandered down the road to the Penkhull apple tree. A few jolly hours to beat back the cold and the dark. In some places in the past they used to shoot shotguns at the trees to make them flower and bear fruit. There are other traditions where they beat the trunks of Walnut trees to get them to bear fruit. We’ve never had that problem with ours. The squirrels always find enough nuts and then we have to find places far away to plant the saplings, we’ve already got too many!

Favourite film


Tony Curtis and Kirk Douglas fight each other for the love of a woman Janet Leigh who plays Morgana, she is kidnapped by Curtis but then taken captive by an English king and taken to his castle. Curtis is maimed and makes his way back to the vikings. The vikings attack the English and the outcome is resolved in battle.

I don’t want to go into details because you may not have seen it. I think it was made in the early 1958. The music is tremendous. There is a beautiful theme enhancing  rip roaring, death defying fight scenes.  I fell in love with Tony Curtis when I saw it as a child. He was always ‘my hero’. I’m showing my age!

Old film projector.


I was looking through my old photos and came across this from about a year ago. This is a film projector that was used for a local cinema. I have no idea what all the bits are for. But it’s interesting to see what used to be used before digital came in. My partner once did a training course to learn how to project films. There is usually a splodge marked in one corner of the film so you know when the next piece of film  (reel) is due to start. Apparently some films could have up to eight reels. I don’t know enough to describe it properly. But these machines are beautiful, so well made, which allowed classic films to be shown to audiences. There is a national film and cinematography museum in Bradford, England, which is well worth a visit. I think it still has an IMAX cinema which shows twice the normal sized film. I think it’s 70 millimetres instead of 35 and the film has to be run on its side…. I might visit again soon.