Wednesday, 28 August 2019

The Park on the 28th: August - late summer

On the 28th of each month, I take photos in the park where I go for my regular walks.  I take many in roughly the same places each month, so that we can observe the changes in season - the trees, the plants, the flowers, the weather, and the light in the sky.

August has always been special for me because it's my birthday month, but I've always loved the lazy, hazy feel it has, a step away from reality; I imagine this is a hangover from years gone by, when August meant sandy beaches and the sea, or walking down to the fair on a weekday afternoon to meet some boy, instead of being at school, or, later, drinking too much in sunny pub gardens, knowing that in another month's time it would be too cold to do so.  The whole month still has that dreamlike quality.


I actually took these on the 27th, not the 28th, because I suspected that circumstances would prevent me from taking them today - and as it happened, I'm glad, because the lovely weather of the weekend broke last night.  I could feel autumn in the air; yesterday the early morning had that dampness about it that wasn't there earlier in the month.

I've now done all twelve posts; you can click on the month, below, if you would like to see the previous ones - and next month I intend to do a recap, with a note about why I started this series. 😎

Previous months:
July 
June 
May 
April 
March 
February 
January 
December 
November 
October 
September 











Underneath the foliage in the foreground is the stump of the tree 
that fell over in a storm last year - see October's post in the link above :)


The Flowers are dying now.....


The leaves are turning....


....and starting to fall


Definite touch of autumn about these two pictures!




Saturday, 24 August 2019

Lately I've Been Watching....

My irregular series of mini TV and film reviews, with trailers, for your enjoyment and consideration....  for more of the same, click the Lately I've Been Watching tag at the end :)

A good haul this time!


Documentary series: The Family

5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Another of those 'everyone should watch this' documentaries... about a devout, conservative Christian group until recently headed by the mysterious Doug Coe, that influences US politics and seats of power all over the world.  Based on Jeff Sharlet's book The Secret Fundamentalism at the heart of American power, it is truly shocking.  I've just read that Netflix has now dropped it....but I'm sure it will be available elsewhere.
The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power

Read more: https://metro.co.uk/2019/08/15/watch-netflixs-family-documentary-based-10576210/?ito=cbshare
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MetroUK | Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MetroUK/
Sharlet, a journalist, did intensive research into a secretive Christian organisation, also known as The Fellowship Foundation, after he spent a month living in their house near Washington in 2002. As a result, Sharlet discovered the group, led by Douglas Coe, was extremely well-connected to congressman, senators and world leaders around the globe. In the trailer, the The Fellowship Foundation is described as a group whose main motivation is power – and Coe is said to be ‘the most powerful man in Washington you have never heard of.’ The organisation, which has been around for more than 80 years, has no official membership list and each year holds a National Prayer Breakfast which is used to build relationship with foreign leaders.

Read more: https://metro.co.uk/2019/08/15/watch-netflixs-family-documentary-based-10576210/?ito=cbshare
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MetroUK | Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MetroUK/
Sharlet, a journalist, did intensive research into a secretive Christian organisation, also known as The Fellowship Foundation, after he spent a month living in their house near Washington in 2002. As a result, Sharlet discovered the group, led by Douglas Coe, was extremely well-connected to congressman, senators and world leaders around the globe. In the trailer, the The Fellowship Foundation is described as a group whose main motivation is power – and Coe is said to be ‘the most powerful man in Washington you have never heard of.’ The organisation, which has been around for more than 80 years, has no official membership list and each year holds a National Prayer Breakfast which is used to build relationship with foreign leaders.

Read more: https://metro.co.uk/2019/08/15/watch-netflixs-family-documentary-based-10576210/?ito=cbshare
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MetroUK | Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MetroUK/




Series: The Handmaid's Tale, Season 3

5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I wasn't quite sure about this third season at first, as it seemed rather slow, and concentrating too much on long, lo-oo-ong views of Elisabeth Moss's various emotive facial expressions, but boy, did it pick up.  I finished watching it several nights ago, and I'm still thinking about it.  This time, we find out a little more about what's going on outside Gilead, and about Free America - not much, but enough to make me optimistic that there will be yet more about this in S4.  There's more backstory, too, notably about Aunt Lydia.  If you love this series, you won't be disappointed.  

Btw, finally got round to reading the book, and it's fab.  Written in 1984, so June's old life seems pretty different... and Margaret Atwood has now written a sequel, to be released next month.




Series: Yellowstone, Season 2

5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

LOVE this show! If you haven't watched it yet, start with S1 - I describe it as a 21st century Dallas, set in Montana.  Rancher Kevin Costner and his family do battle with both land developers and the Native Americans, who seek to reclaim the land.  Kelly Reilly is spectacular once more, as the show's cross between JR and Sue Ellen, the story is gripping, the scenery fabulous...highly recommended.  As an extra plus plus plus, Josh Holloway is going to be in Season 3 (pic below!).



 



Musical documentary series: Tales from the Tour Bus, Season 2

4.5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Series about the lives of various musicians, including interviews with those who knew them - and it's all done in a graphic art style.  So clever, and well put together.  Season 2 is about the funk-soul artistes of the 70s and 80s, like Rick James. 





Series: Jett, Season 1

4.5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐ 

Underworld crime series starring Carla Gugino in as professional thief Jett, and Giancarlo Esposito (Breaking Bad).  Very much in the 'superwoman kick-ass heroine' mould, but not overly so - the story is great, and it's a real 'just one more episode then I really will go to sleep' sort of show.  Jett is pretty damn awesome, and just entered my top ten of female TV characters I want to be.




Dark comedy series: Why Women Kill, Season 1

4.5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Only two episodes of this so far, but I really like it.  It's made up of three stories: a stay at home wife in 1963, a married LA socialite in 1984 (Lucy Liu), and a lawyer in 2019 who has an open marriage with her screenwriter husband.  It's great fun, highly entertaining, and I look forward to seeing what comes next!



Musical documentary: Steely Dan: Aja - Classic Albums documentary series 

4.5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐

I adore Steely Dan, so loved this.  Aja is not one of my favourites of theirs, but apparently it's known in production/mixing circles as one of the most perfectly mixed albums ever made.  Watching this made me realise why they're as spectacularly good as they are - and it gives great insight, for non-musical people like me, into what goes into the making of an album.

Below is not a trailer, but the whole documentary.




Comedy series: Big Bang Theory, Season 1 and part of Season 2

3.5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐ 

I know this is something of a classic, but I'd never seen it until someone recommended it to me.  I did like what I've seen already, but I felt that the same jokes were reiterated over and over, and I didn't feel compelled to keep watching, though I may watch some more in the future.  I thought the apparently 'real' studio laughter sounded fake, too, and once I'd noticed that it got on my nerves.  The dialogue is terrific, it's well-made, clever, etc.... but it just didn't totally do it for me.  Humour is such an individual thing, though - I could appreciate how good this is without really loving it.



Saturday, 10 August 2019

Beautiful Cromer #Norfolk

August 5th ~ 9th.  I went back to Cromer, where I used to live, for a few days.  Missing it already.....

If you've read my book Tipping Point, you might be interested to know that Shipden, where the virus first breaks out, is based on Cromer, which was originally called Shipden-juxta-Felbrigg.  More about its history here.







I always loved going for walks early on summer mornings, 
when there is hardly anyone about.






Love the narrow streets....

I made this plate in 2001 for Breakers Café's then-owner, when I lived there; three owners later, it's now older than some of the girls who work there 😁
The food is and always was first-rate, by the way! 

(It is called the Seagull café in Tipping Point ~ as for Lawrie and Gemma, who owned it... I admit a slight resemblance, apart from the fact that they're both alive and kicking 😉)




For four years I lived in a flat in the white-ish building at the end of this photo.  Lovely morning views :)