Wednesday, 29 February 2012

I thought love was only true in fairy tales

My first celebrity musical crush has died. Davy Jones of the Monkees has passed away in Florida from a heart attack at aged 66. I was so sad to see this in the papers today as I really loved him as a child and a teenager all over again with the revival of the show on Nick at Nite in the late 80s.

Isn't he adorable? he was really tiny--like 5 foot 3--the same height that I am and so I always felt close to him. Plus he was the only Englishman in the band--the rest were American (and some with a noticible twang. I'm talking about you Mike Nesmith!) But Davy had this cheeky little British accent that made me fall in lurve with him. I think Jack Wild from Puffinstuff and Davy Jones from the Monkees are the reason I became an Anglophile.

Who can forget when he did a crossover onto the Brady Bunch and went to the dance because Marcia had promised (as president of his fan club) that she could get him there?

I really loved the music of the Monkees as well. They did a reunion tour (sans Nesmith) when I was in the 11th grade and my mum took me and a friend to see it in Texas. It was a magical night--I swear Davy looked right at me when he was singing I Wanna Be Free. Really. Seriously. He did.

So Davy--may you rest in peace and know that always--I'm a Believer.

Monday, 13 February 2012

Butterfly Porn

Spiderman took this footage on one of his days volunteering at the London Zoo. It is a good shot of some buterflies mating.

It reminded me of lovebugs. Remember them?

Every Louisiana summer they were flying around, joined up. We used to say they were kissing with their butts.

They weren't kissing.

Saturday, 11 February 2012

I am a Cumberbitch

According to a Cumberbitch is:
Any woman who has a deep fasination with the wonderful, beautiful, talented English stage and on-screen actor Benedict Cumberbatch.

That would be me. We ordered season one of Sherlock from amazon for Spiderman's birthday and whoa! I was blown away by the show. It is written by Steven Moffat (hereafter known as "the Moffat") who is currently the head writer for Dr Who and one of our other favourite shows Coupling. The Moffat is the man. The series was also dreamt up by Mark Gatiss one of our favourite actors and writers and all around clever sod.

I have always like Sherlock Holmes--we own the complete Jeremy Brett series--and I adore the Mary Russell books by Laurie R King where Holmes was a real person (Conan Doyle his agent) and he has retired in Sussex Downs where Conan Doyle left him raising bees until her meets young Mary Russell who is an intellectual match for him and he trains her and they work together as equals solving crimes. The books are full of history and feminism and Holmes and Russell eventually marry--despite the age gap--and each book is better and better as they enter the early part of the 20th century together. But I digress.

The show Sherlock is an amazing update to modern times--that all works. Watson is just back from Afghanistan (as Conan Doyle wrote him to be) and they make a marvellous team. Watson writes not a journal but a blog of their capers. Holmes' tendency to send telegrams all the time is replaced by texts. But he is the same genius--sometimes cold and unfeeling--matched by Watson's warmth and humanity that make this sing. And it does. The writing is good--the acting is good--the show is thrilling. We immediately ordered season two from amazon. Couldn't wait.

We have the annotated Holmes series of books and we have had a jolly geeky time looking up stories as we watch. I'm all for making a big ole venn diagram of how the books differ from the show--maybe next time we watch. Which will be soon, I have no doubt.

Sunday, 5 February 2012

What's white and cold and falls from the sky?

Why it's snow! We lived in Louisiana for 34 years and it only snowed (as in covered the ground in a white blanket/stopped all road traffic/schools etc) TWICE, but it has snowed at least once every year we have lived in England. It started Saturday night and we woke up to this on Sunday morning:

It is so beautiful, but I find snow a bit wearing these days. The first few years I was out in the garden, building snowmen and having fun, but now I am older and want my cold bones to stay warm. I'd rather have a lazy day inside, admiring the view, drinking a hot drink and reading a book.

Besides, because it snowed on the weekend and there was time to grit the roads we still have to go to school. Boo! Hiss! I love my job, but walking on icy breakneck paths to work is not my idea of fun. Nor is giving detentions on the playground for putting snow down some unsuspecting person's back.

My main concern these days has been for the homeless people all over the UK, but particularly Hitchin. We have been having beastly weather--lows at minus 7, highs at minus 1--that sort of thing. Now with snow it must be terrible for them. I have the choice to stay in and have a hot cuppa, but many do not. Pray for them as the weather slowly makes its way to spring.

In the mean time, stay warm.

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Let Them Eat Vegan

My favourite cookbook author Dreena Burton has a new cookbook coming out. Look at the cover full of beautiful photographs of food you just can't wait to try. Her food is amazing and the recipes are all "plant powered" meaning they don't ask you for for lots of fakes --like fake meat or cheese or butter--just honest to goodness real delicious food. And all recipes are either wheat free or gluten free which is perfect for me these days.

I've preordered mine and can hardly wait for it to arrive. I know I have to wait--but boy will it be worth it. YUM!