Farewell Terry Jones

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Terry Jones, one of the Monty Python team, has died today aged 77. He had been ill for a while with dementia. He was born in Wales in Colwyn Bay.

He was very funny and one of his lines while playing Brian’s mother in the film ‘the life of Brian’ was ‘he’s not the Messiah! he’s a very naughty boy!’

Monty Pythons flying circus was a TV programme in the 1960’s and 70’s. It was a surreal sketch show where Terry Jones, Micheal Palin, John Cleese, Eric Idle, Graham Chapman and animator Terry Gilliam (who’s film about Don Quixote is just being released) all worked together to create the most bizzare and wonderful and mad series of sketches. Terry Jones would often be dressed up as a woman and talk in a very high silly voice.

The pythons also made several films and Jones was of course involved with them. He also wrote sketches for the Two Ronnie’s along with Micheal Palin and went on to make history programmes later in life. He was awarded a Bafta for his work.

It’s a sad loss. He will be missed

36 red

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It’s late and I’m waiting for a TV show to start on another channel. I was typing here and started listening to a gambling programme. Why are they even allowed on TV.

So I’m randomly calling out numbers and colours while typing this. And I got one exactly right and a few of the colours right. But I wouldn’t play games like this, what a way to waste your money! It’s frightening how many people can get hooked! I worry about people who lose their homes or their families. And also think about the companies who make billions out of their ‘customers’. The game on at the moment is roulette but they are also promoting slots. The music in the background is like a beating heart. It’s taken me by surprise as I’ve never watched a casino programme before. I can say- never again!

Favourite 12

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I’m doing an art challenge for January and today it asked for 12 books or films that you would say were your favourites.

I decided to draw a quick sketch rather than going through my bookcases to find things. Because I read such a lot it was hard to be specific so I have generalised some of my choices.

My list starts with the Sky at Night TV programme which was on the BBC tonight. I’ve been watching it on and off since the 1960’s which is a long time, but it’s been great finding out more about the universe as human knowledge has increased. No one knew about black holes when it first started, and it was before we¬† went to the moon.

The second book could be anything about painting and drawing, either full of brilliant art or about exciting new techniques. I once bought a book from the National Gallery full of all sorts of art. I was enthralled.

Third is Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, I’ve seen the play of it but to my shame I’ve never read the book. There are a lot of classic books I would like to try and read.

Four. I was introduced to The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien, by my hubby. He had a copy for his eighteenth birthday. We then heard the story on the radio. It was abridged but still ran for thirteen hours. A lot of the book was cut from the radio show and a it more from the films. I must read it again.

Fifth, any book on Art and Design. It could be about theatre design or clothes or architecture. As long as its interesting.

Six is any book about Evolution. I don’t think I could manage Darwins Origin of species. I have got the Blind watchmaker by Richard Dawkins, but I haven’t remembered to read it.

Seven (halfway-are you bored yet?). Any book by Terry Pratchett. From the Colour of Magic to Making Money, and all his other titles, this is fantasy fiction with a grin on its face.

Eighth, is a film, Spiderman, with Toby McGuire. I liked it because it was one of the first Marvel films. It isn’t a fight fest like some if the later ones, and again it’s fantasy, lights, special effects. My favourite things tend to be visual.

Nine is an old film, the Sound of Music. I saw it again on the TV recently. There is a lot more to it than I remember. And the songs are lovely.

Ten, almost there, Cats, not the musical, but Old Possums book of practical cats, by TS Elliot. It’s great to read McCavity the mystery cat, or about the Jellicles cats. I would recommend it.

Eleven is any book about Frida Kahlo. I didn’t really know much about her until I got a present about Women Surrealist Artists. When you find out about her incredibly difficult life, but see her art I just have such a strong admiration for her.

Finally, twelfth, any book on Anthony Gormley, artist and sculptor. He created the Angel of the North, a winged human up in the Newcastle-on-Tyne area. Its a huge sculpture next to the motorway up there. He has done other sculptures of figures emerging from the sea near Liverpool. His work is always interesting and thought provoking.

Looking at this list makes me feel like I am only dipping my toe into the things that interest me. Maybe some if the things will interest you too….

What to do when your digital signal breaks up?

This is a weird solution, thanks to my hubby. We have a set top ariel because there is a large building across the road with a metal covering. So we have found that we don’t need a TV ariel on the roof. We have hung it up by the curtains to get a stronger signal. With it there we have a good enough signal to get most channels.

But when the weather is clear, or we have high pressure it effects the TV. On a few channels the picture breaks up into lots of little squares and patterns.

What to do? First he wiggled the ariel about, then when that didn’t work he held a saucepan up with the idea that the metal of the pan would boost the signal – and it did! Now there is a saucepan hanging off the ariel now. Its a temporary solution. I don’t want it falling off and hitting the television! I might get a better ariel.

Volume

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Oh dear, mumbling films! When you want to watch a movie on the TV, but you have to put the volume up high to catch what they are saying. You know its high when the adverts come on and blast your ear drums!

I don’t know why the broadcaster can’t adjust the volume at their end? Is it not possible?

Old Christmas films don’t tend to have this problem, it’s modern ones. Is it because it’s recorded digitally?

Cat staring

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One of our cats watches TV. If she sees animals she gets interested. If it’s a dog she will get nervous and walk away. But if it’s a cat, leopard, or lion she gets very interested and stares at the TV. She sometimes goes up and puts her paws or nose on the screen. She seems to notice movement mostly. If it’s a cat stalking another animal she stares intently. She is the first cat that I have ever seen take an interest in TV programmes.

Having a quiet day

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Somehow I’ve ended up watching a Disney film today. I’ve tried to do a bit of tidying up too. I haven’t just been completely lazy. But it’s been one of those wet, miserable days, when you look out of the window and the world seems to be crying. So you just want to cuddle up and stay warm.

I’ve got things to do, but it’s been nice to have a rest. Life carries on, I’ll do things tomorrow. I need to shop, I need to do more tidying, and I need to paint.

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