13. I discovered that it now possible to renew my motorcar tax disk by an automated phone system just tapping in the reference number which triggers first your name particulars and can then check that you are insured and have a valid MOT without you having to supply any details. Clearly now there is a requirement for this to be registered centrally and which also means the police can check on the last registered owner, their tax, insurance or and MOT status on any vehicle seen on the road from their on board vehicle.
14. There are so many films to re-see at Christmas although finding new ones is nigh on impossible. One was Lilies of the Field, an excellent vehicle for Sydney Poitier in which he has become an itinerant jobbing builder who is prayered upon by a small group of new immigrants nuns to America (who escape over or under or through the Berlin Wall to minister to a small community of American Mexicans/Indians) into building a chapel, and who then moves on to make real money and continue an empty life when the next projects of a school and a hospital are mention, thus rejecting the offer to become a valued member of a community and possibly a wife and children The Oscar winning performance has no backstory and potentially no earthly future, but his effort to build the chapel is a gesture, and insurance against the possibility that heaven does exist as a self aware after life.
15. After that the film experience was downhill with When Eight bells toll, brought together Robert Morley as a gentleman club and gentleman's value M with a very young Anthony Hopkins as a Bondlike who saves the nation gold bars, and the lives of the hostages in a splendid Scottish island/peninsular setting.
16. Even less can be said for an Australian private eye hired to find the miscreant husband who committed suicide or disappeared rather than face the music of influential and powerfully rich characters one of whose rackets is to warehouse imprison the elderly for their pension books, other state benefits and savings, burying their remains in the garden when they die from malnutrition, disease and neglect. The Empty Beach also included Ray Barratt as a baddie who gets his come uppance even watched Firerfox once more as Clint Eastwood steals the latest Russian Plane.
17 I have been reflecting on the plethora of film available to be seen, viewed, experienced or as in my case to be used as a backcloth or screen saver to trigger memories and stimulate new thinking. Because of this if I am busy I do not re experience the more important offerings such as the Motorcycle diaries, Good Will Hunting and the History boys. But I do intend to experience with my full attention the Girl with a Pearl Earrings(DVD). Others in this category included Merry Christmas about the 1914 cease fire. The Enemy Below which along with morning Departure are two great films about submarines. Pan's Labyrinth contender for top 100 special for because it is about the Spanish Civil War, at one level, and all war. The English Patient is another war film (DVD) with a top 100 The Bridge over the River Kwai. Two great romantic films on offer were Casablanca(DVD and Video and Brief Encounter DVD. Combining war, adventure and romance between the unlikeliest of couples Bogart and Hatherine Hepburn in the African Queen. The Western Unforgiven along with Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,(Video). One comedy Groundhog Day. One good film because its music but otherwise overrated The Third Man and a top 100 crime drama Get Carter (DVD and Video)
18 I do not fault the Barry Norman Christmas Family film selection oh please bring back Barry to replace that who is he Jonathan Ross. Gone with the Wind(video), Doctor Zhivago,(Video) It a Wonderful Life(Video) for the mums and dads with the oldies. The Teenagers will enjoy the Great Escape and everyone ET, the Railway Children(video) and the Wizard of OZ(Video) Miracle on 34th Street deserved its mention. He should also have included The Red Shoes, Babe, Annie. Oliver, Marty Poppins, Chicken Run, Black Beauty
19 I am less sure about the early evening viewing of Robin Hood which I have only seen episodes11 to 13 and which appears to be a precursor to the more commonly known tale as the greater part of the final two episodes shown on Saturday comprised Robin and his men chasing after the Sherriff who go to the Holy land with Guy of Gisborne to kill King Richard taking Marian with them as a prisoner because Sur Guy wants her as his woman and the Sheriff to find a way to get rid of her after she has attempted to kill him. In fact the only likeable characters in the series who appear to have the usually spherical male attributes are Marian and fellow goody Arab girl who tells the truth and opens up her heart to one of the men who decides to stay and live happy ever after, as he also speaks Arabic The sheriff reminded me of Rick Gervais and King Richard came across as a stupid unreliable git. And therefore King John as a better prospect of turning the Kingdom effectively doing what Kings have to do. I think the writers were modelling Richard or player and the Iraq war,
19 Give me the original films or Ivanhoe with Elizabeth Taylor as the Jewess daughter who saves his life after injury in a Joust. Felix Aylmer played the chief money raiser for British Tribe promised to be given a place in their new homeland if they provide the bulk of get ransom for King. In order to save her from being burnt as a witch Ivanoe is forced into a dual with the excellent the Kings Champion who gives up his life out of love for Elizabeth, weren't we all although her time would come with Caesar and Mark Anthony, and Richard Burton.
20 Other oldies on offer included Changing Lanes worth seeing once. Fiddler on the Roof Video remains several times watchable along with My Fair Lady Video which I tool the aunties to see in the West End.. Mr Deeds goes to Town. Ryan's daughter, More recent oldie is Mrs Henderson presents, the story of the Windmill Theatre across the way from the Cy Laurie Club. The Queen. Primary Colours Political comedy (DVD) Von Ryan's Express seen at Sorrento, Mrs Brown on Queen Victoria and her relationship with John Brown. Spartacus the epic and everyone should see once the Rick Horror Show to understand why some people see it 100 times and know all the words and act the script. Samson and Delilah and why I grew long hair, Quatermas and the Pit, the first of the modern sci fi Horrors. Havana, Rob Roy and Local Hero and several hundred more if only I had the time to work through the Radio Times listings. River of no Return which I did see with Marilyn Monroe
21. A Quirky programme was the self congratulatory 30 year anniversary of the years of M*A*S*H although I enjoyed the film. I suspect the fund and games of the field medical unit is closer to the truth than most would admit to. Another programme which is of interest to social anthropologists , those who went their and found the love of their life or a one night stand, the story of the Hammersmith Palais.
22 It was also anniversary time for Saturday 5pm Sports report and it appropriate that Desmond Lynham should get an OBE. It was interesting that an OBE also went to the retiring rugby star, while the new English coach only got for an MBE
23. A one year old child is savaged by a dog when staying at the home of grandparents and left in the care of a sixteen year old aunt and two other children one a six year old. My sense of horror is mingled with anger at where were the parents?
24 I went by my former home of 30 years today four times and this will account for having a dream about going back to the house to see what changes have been made, but also linking in with a dream I have had before about another house which was part of a lager property, but which in turn was bigger than its appearance and was part of extensive grounds. I have had this dream before in various form but with the same core experience and appears to include a mixture of actual homes, and day dreams about a home I would like to have had. I understand part of the significance but not the whole which brings back to my work of cards each representing an hour in sets of 24 about my life and those of my extended family, back through time to the present.