A Film For January: After Life

Every Monday a group of recently deceased people are checked in at a small mid-century nondescript building where a group of councillors meet them and explain why they are there. They will be there for a week and must choose one single memory that they can take with them into the after life.

Over the next few days they meet and chat with their assigned councillor to identify and describe their memory before the memories are staged, filmed and screened. Their souls are then free to move on taking with them their chosen moment of happiness to be with them for all eternity.

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The Lark

Reading this is to be wrapped in sunshine, just looking at the cover makes me happy!

First published in 1922, it’s 1919 when cousins Jane and Lucilla, after spending the war years tucked away in a small boarding school, are finally set free in the world. Their guardian meanwhile has gambled away their inheritance and the girls find themselves with just a small cottage in the English countryside. After deciding against marriage they agree that they’re going to earn their livings. They won’t see themselves as genteel spinsters but as adventurers with the world before them.

‘If we’re going to worry all the time about the past and the future we shan’t have any time at all. We must take everything as it comes and enjoy everything that is – well, that is enjoyable. . . Live for the moment- and do all you can to make the next moment jolly too, as Carlyle says, or is it Emerson?’

Picking themselves up and jollying along, presence of mind and the belief that everything will be a lark (the lark of the title), while still having breath to whistle Mendelssohn is the order of the day, and the girls’ carry on with aplomb; meeting an assortment of characters and getting mixed up in a series of misadventures until everything ends happily – I won’t give the plot away but there’s no point even considering that this is a novel with an unhappy ending!

But before we all dissolve in a puddle of brown sugar Nesbit saves us with her humour.

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Checkmate to Murder

It was a late start this morning because I couldn’t get up until I had finished this brilliant murder mystery!

On one of those wet, pitch-black, pea-soup foggy nights in London the artist Bruce Manaton is in his studio painting the actor André Delaunier in brilliant scarlet Cardinal’s robes while their friends Robert Cavenish and Ian Mackellon play chess and Bruce’s sister Rosanne Manaton makes supper in the kitchen. Into this bohemian den bursts the local Special Constable Lewis Varraby – Albert Folliner, the old miser at number 25 has been found dead, shot in the head, in his bed, a pistol lying next to him and his nephew Neil, (of the Canadian Army), standing over him.

Detective Chief Inspector Macdonald, is called in to arrest the young soldier but with Inspectors Jenkins and Reeves he can see that all is not how it seems

that’s all nice and plain, but I reckon this is a frame-up. It wasn’t just chance I walked in on the old man’s corpse and got copped before I’d time to think. I’m the cat that burns its paws on someone else’s chestnuts, and I don’t like it. You see, I didn’t do it.’

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2022 TBR Pile Challenge

I’m so pleased that Adam at Roof Beam Reader has resurrected the TBR challenge. The rules are simple, just choose twelve books that have been on your shelf for a year or more and read them. Two more emergency titles are added, in case there’s a dud in the initial 12!

Unlike my 10 Books of Summer challenge (which took me until December, although I loved it and plan on doing it again this year, thanks to Cathy at 746 books!) I’ve been quite successful with this one in the past and love that it gets me to pick the books up from the box at the end of my bed and actually read them.

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Just Watching A Film: 2022

It’s a happy crisp new year and that means a crisp new list of films to watch from my lovely daughter. It’s an eclectic list as usual but I think it’s slightly more modern – there are 4 titles from this century and 8 of the 12 are after 1980.

The highlight for me is in July, I think Almodóvar makes perfect films for summer evenings so I’m really looking forward to Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown. I found Lucrecia Martel’s The Headless Women quite difficult last year so I’m interested to see if I get on any better with La Ciénaga . Anyway here’s the list to be watched:

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