Tag Archives: Colin Firth

Darcy’s puddle

Couldn’t help noticing there’s been a lot of Pride and Prejudice stuff everywhere. I’ll pitch in with the famous puddle, now that we supposedly will be flooded again. This swimming pool is more elegant than the one at the bottom of the Bookwitch garden.

Lyme Park

But strictly speaking I’d say the stretch of water in the photo is a similar distance from this – slightly larger – house, although I daresay it’s not all rain water.

I would like it to be summer again. Or spring. Something with sunshine and a little warmth, and less of the H₂O from above. I won’t absolutely require Colin Firth to make an appearance, but if he did that would be perfectly fine.

Don’t they read Sherlock Holmes?

Don’t their parents?

Because if they had – either of the above – today’s teenagers wouldn’t need to sit there and watch Sherlock on television, hearts in their mouths, ‘in case he dies.’ Honestly!

Or could it be they didn’t watch in the company of their parents, and if so, where were they? It’s gratifying that teenagers want to watch the Steven Moffat & Mark Gatiss Sherlock. All is not lost. But surely parents would want to watch as well? And wouldn’t they be aware that Sherlock Holmes didn’t die that time? Even if they hadn’t read the books.

It’s all my fault for being friends on facebook with someone young. It’s where I learned that they really thought Sherlock might pop his clogs forever. Maybe I’m wrong in watching the same programmes as Offspring? Worse, I gave Son the ten volume Sherlock Holmes collection quite a few years ago.

Arthur Conan Doyle, Sherlock Holmes

I think he thought they were children’s books. I certainly thought they were, when I was a child. Some of them definitely appeared in children’s books ‘livery’ in Sweden. (Like Dickens and Scott.)

Back to the weekend’s television. Even Daughter knew he wouldn’t die. (Sorry for any spoilers, btw.) The Resident IT Consultant and I were slightly disappointed when Sherlock was seen to be less than dead at the end, having hoped that a few people might be left on a cliffhanger. Just didn’t expect the potential cliffhangers-on to be quite as many.

So, just as well Benedict Cumberbatch was seen to be with us still, or we could have had a massive bout of teen tears. I’m reminded of the Colin Firth Pride and Prejudice, where viewers were surprised to learn they could read the book and find out the ‘would they or wouldn’t they’ in advance of the next Sunday.

Did the – more general – reading of Sherlock Holmes end with my generation? Or is it simply that today’s teenagers don’t actually discuss Sherlock with their ancient parents? In fact, the parents might have assumed the children already knew the Holmes story.

The thing is, unlike some classics, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories aren’t hard to read. Quite user friendly, really. And the Resident IT Consultant and I found that we had both happened to read The Return of Sherlock Holmes before the book where he ‘died.’ Which was confusing, but you can manage if you need to.


Or how I ceased to exist, yet again.

I didn’t even see it coming this time. I hate making phone calls, but thought (very uncharacteristically) that I’d phone right now. Get it over with. Had looked at the new membership cards from the National Trust, and realised that now Daughter has had the temerity to turn 18, she needs to be removed from the family membership. In fact, the whole family membership needed to be removed. We could be a couple again. Aahhh. Sweet.

Not. Deep in my heart I knew that this being the National Trust I’d not be speaking to any Indians (no disrespect intended) and they’d be polite and it’d be quick. Well, the phone call was over soon enough. They needed to speak to the Resident IT Consultant and he was, like, not there, was he?

Readers, I didn’t even shout at them. I hung up and wrote them one of my famous letters. I used to be a great letter writer. My letters of complaint used to be – well, more frequent than of late.

We joined the NT as a couple back in the olden days. Two names for two people. When Offspring turned up we morphed into a Family, and when I got sick and tired of all four of us addressed as Dear Mister, I pointed it out to the NT and they were most understanding. Gave me several options of forms of address and on fairness and equality grounds I plumped for the ‘Dear Mr and Mrs Bookwitch and Offspring’ version. It was a bit of a mouthful, but it’s a computer what writes them letters anyway.

So when I picked up the phone to pass on the glad tidings that even Daughter is legally an adult, I had not cottoned on to the fact that I no longer am. Anything. So with no Resident IT Consultant standing by to assure them all was well, it was goodbye. I mean, how many misters do normally hang around the home to support their darling wives in making difficult phone calls during the day?

I thought the National Trust was supposed to be sort of posh. A bit like Marks & Spencer. You get nicer treatment for paying a bit more. They do like sending letters begging for money. They have not once objected to it when I sent them some. How could they even be sure I was allowed to? Had I consulted my mister?

Anyway, I spent a further ten minutes on writing to Fiona about it. That’s the Dame who runs the place. She might not care, but she’s a woman, so maybe. And the boss. The Resident IT Consultant might get round to making Daughter an official adult. Or he might not. We could always sneak her in as our child, seeing as they have sent us the membership cards and no doubt will help themselves to our money.

But how did they know I wasn’t about to hand them more money, and not just deprive them of the £5 for Daughter? Maybe, just maybe, I was feeling magnanimous enough to fork out for her very own membership? That’s another £23.50. Depends who pays them, I suppose.

It’s not as if they’re a bl***y bank, is it?

Lyme Park

It’d be a shame to lose our local watering hole. And that of Colin Firth.

Post Script – When Son turned up he promptly phoned up and cancelled his sister, impersonating the Resident IT Consultant. No problem. But not exactly honest. Being male helps.

Bombi Bitt, James Bond and Mr Darcy

If it wasn’t for the title of this piece, this would have very little to do with books. I’m not grasping at straws, so much as wanting to add my bit on Mamma Mia!, the film. The Guardian has gone out of its way to find reviewers and others to comment as unfavourably and as ironically as they can. But I think that whatever your feelings on Abba may be, the film has to be judged as the film of the stage musical, and not as a straight film or as a concert, as it’s neither.

Daughter, of Swiss coach trip fame, arrived back at school at 10.30 yesterday morning, with minor coach crash on the evening before and everything. By 12.30 we were seated in the local cinema, showered and fed. That’s how important the film was to her. We were the last to leave afterwards, having sat through every second of the credits. Very enjoyable.

Mamma Mia! 1

Mamma Mia! is cheesy, but what’s wrong with that? You even get a glimpse of Benny and Björn, Hitchcock style. And I don’t usually sing in the cinema. Have never seen so many women over a certain age in a cinema audience before. The Guardian should have sent Nancy Banks-Smith.

Mamma Mia! 2

Bombi Bitt on television starred Stellan Skarsgård back when both he and the witch were teenagers, and these days Stellan is quite big, pirating around in the Caribbean. And I dare say you have all heard of James Bond and Pride and Prejudice? Not necessarily together, though. Pierce Brosnan doesn’t sing all that well, and I think Colin Firth would rather not have tried, but they do look good when you need something to rest your eyes on.

This one we will see again.