Sunday 15 February 2009

Valentine's Day is over

seen on a wall in Bishopston

So I went to the cinema last night with Marta. It was at a humungous great multiplex at Cribbs Causeway, an out-of-town mega-mall thingy. We trundled for ages around a humungous great car park where there were ten thousand cars already parked, then walked past the TGI Fridays and the Burger King and several other swinging hot spots to the cinema.

"I'll get these," I said to M, as she'd made dinner for me.

"No, I've got my pensioner card," she said, and got her own ticket.

My turn.

"Revolutionary Road," I said.

"Is that an adult?" he asked.

I was a little surprised; it's been a long time since I've been asked my age - the last time, as I recall, I was about 24, although I was being very giggly in a pub with an equally giggly friend. Must have been something we'd taken....

"Yes, please" I said.

We went off to find the pic-n-mix.

"You should have said you were a pensioner" said M; "saved you some money..."

...and I realised what the (young) chap at the counter had meant...

...we went to see Revolutionary Road, by the way, which, owing to some out-of-touchness on my part, I'd initially thought was about Che Guevara and then had a vague notion it had something to do with socialists in Australia. Wrong. Suburban dystopia. Quite an appropriate venue for watching the film, then.


Bimbling up the motorway yesterday, young K and I had a go at thinking up Valentine's Day haiku. Here's mine

First robin singing;
That warm feeling inside me?
-maybe just the tea.


  1. Going to the cinema isn't what it used to be. They don't even smell the same anymore.

    So pensioners aren't adults? Have you got your purple coat ready and your red hat that doesn't go.

    I like the haiku - there is a stage when warm tea is preferable to anything else.

  2. And the review of Revolutionary Road? I'm off to see it tomorrow :-)

  3. For me it will be instant vanilla cappucino, yet both will still warm my old heart!

    There is a Guevara film coming out soon. "Che" by Steven Sodergergh. 4 hours, split into two parts, either loved or hated by those who have seen it. Whether that makes it a biography or hagiography I'm not quite sure...


  4. We're lucky to have a couple of small cinemas around here, Anji, run by enthusiasts. I have decided to try to avoid multiplexes in future. They're blah in so many ways.

    Infantile, that's me. Hrumph.

    Review, Jo? Hmm, I like a film that has redemption in it. I shan't say whether this film has got it or not, or it'll spoil it for you. I did want to throw things sometimes though. Must be my new found infantilism...

    I liked The Motorcycle Diaries, Alan. I'm not sure if I want to sit through four hours of Che, though. I went to see Pearl Harbour a few years ago; it was really funny for the first half hour, but then the joke wore off and I watched with an increasing sense of disbelief - "Surely it must end soon? -What? They're going to do the Doolittle raid too?" ...and so on. I'd better do my homework about the Soderbergh film, evidently.

  5. Pearl has it's moments for an old sailor. Having been there in '73 and '74, fully knowing the history, seeing the bodies pulled up in the cargo nets is still stunning.

    The "Doolittle Raid" takeoff for the movie was shot on the flight deck of the 2nd carrier I was on (though almost 20 years earlier), the "Ranger", about a year before she was mothballed. Knowing that she was actually larger than the "Hornet" that they actually flew from and having seen C-130's land and take off on the flight deck of the "Kittyhawk" during my WestPac cruise aboard her back in the early 70's, watching the then 50 year old aircraft take off from Ranger's deck was quite impressive and made me wish I'd seen it in person!

    Another more personal connection is that my grandmother and 3 of her sisters all worked in the North American aviation plant that built the B-25's and quite possibly had a hand in those used somewhere along the way...


  6. I can imagine, Alan; the name alone is evocative of so much. For me the most powerful sense of history I had in my seafaring was in Malta, where we spent a couple of months alongside and had chance to explore. It didn't seem much changed since the war; we rowed across to the Merchant Navy Club in the evenings and played billiards in a huge hall where we were the only people present (the RN had pulled out and things were very quiet). All around the walls were photos of the ships that ha made it through on the convoys.

    Crikey, I'd like to have seen a Hercules take off from a flight deck... I reviewed a personal history about flying in the RN, recently; "On and Off the Flight Deck". It had its imperfections as a book, but a lot of what happened was truly harrowing; so many accidents on take off and landing...

  7. The take-off was fairly routine, actually as she was unloaded and only carrying fuel for her flight back to Diego Garcia I believe.

    When she landed she was carrying two months worth of mail and packages along with whatever else they deemed necessary to send along and landed without using the arresting cables! I was in the catwalk as one of my helos was flying "plane guard"; she touched down just clear of the "roundown" at the edge of the flight deck, far short of where the arresting cables are, went to full reverse props at full throttle and by the way the nose dived I know they must have been standing on the brakes. She stopped just past a line drawn from the angle deck to the island on a 1,062 foot deck.

    Wish I'd had my Canon, but every time someone saw it they wanted my film!


  8. Sounds pretty impressive, anyway.
    You mean they confiscated your film? -somewhere in Stavanger is a Zenit-E camera confiscated by the Philips Petroleum Company when I was flying out to a rig. I liked that camera, but it's quite a long way (by European standards) to go and reclaim it.

  9. I went flying in one of the helos I worked on and we overflew our Russian trawler escort, my telephoto on and the shutter clicking away. The pilot knew and didn't care; when we landed the co-pilot, one of those "newbies" who had just come in instead of the veterans who had been through several cruises, demanded my film. I slipped the leader of a different roll of Ektachrome back inside the cannister and gave it to him while the pilot stood there over his shoulder and smiled, knowing exactly what I was doing.

    I did manage to take some photos of the flight deck and such, not that everyone else didn't. I seems that if you were using an Instamatic they didn't bother, but if they saw a 35mm with some nice glass they did. A friend used it to take a few shots during our "Shellback" initiation and other than those I don't have much to show for my trip 2/3 of the way around the world!

    Oddly, now you can go to the website of any ship in the fleet and find photos of most anything you'd want!