WHAT YOU'LL FIND ON THIS BLOG

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Evidence that I have lost an ovary but gained an addiction

That's it. I can't go back to my teaching job. I've got myself addicted to watching DVDs while I've been on sick leave after my operation, and now I don't have time for a career.

First, a friend at work gave me a film called 'Sideways' about two guys who go on holiday together as a last fling before one of them gets married. I won't go into what kind of flinging they get up to but it involves other people. This is a family blog, or it would be if any families would sign up as followers and send my follower rate to 390 - families with octuplets, listen up. The friend slipped a little note inside the DVD saying, 'You'll need to have a glass of wine while you're watching this'. I wasn't sure what he meant. Was the film really that bad? In which case, why lend it? Not a very nice 'get well soon' gesture, then, dumbo, eh? In the end, it turned out that the holiday the guys go on is a wine-tasting trip. Ah. Get you. Actually, it was quite a long film, so I had three glasses, but that still wasn't as many as the characters in the story drank before they got up to their flinging. I still haven't worked out why it was called 'Sideways', although they weren't exactly vertical much of the time, and after my three glasses, neither was I, but not for the same reason as them.

Second, my sister lent me an 11-DVD set of 'Brideshead Revisited', an Evelyn Waugh novel about upper-class English country house life and all the tragedy, broken hearts and disappointed lovers underneath the linen-clad tables and the glasses of champagne and the butlers with the white cloths over their arms and the 'Dahling, you look marvellous'es. It was pretty fab, and the music was great, too - all violins and music-to-cry-by. But ELEVEN? I never thought I'd get through it. Each one was an hour long. I mean, I know I'm on sick leave, but I didn't think I could justify 11 hours of sitting on my backside watching just one long story. That's just asking too much.

So, for 11 hours, I sat on my backside watching just one long story. Not 11 hours back to back - I stopped to use the phone at least once to call downstairs and ask my husband to bring up another plate of biscuits and a mug of tea, although I felt like I was drinking from a bucket and eating pizza bases, watching the English aristocracy drinking out of thimbles with their little fingers in the air and nibbling on the odd fish egg. By episode 8, although I was enjoying the story, it was like being in a restaurant and having ordered a fantastic meal but which turns out to be five times what you'd normally eat, and you just plough through it, determined to get your money's worth even if you do have to vomit into a hanky and leave it under the leftover vegetables. When it was all over, I went downstairs and said to the Husband, 'I feel like a great burden has been lifted; now I can get on with my life'. And in some ways it had been annoying to watch, because the country house was the size of Africa, and made me feel as though I lived in a shed, and all that dressing for dinner in ivory silks and L'Oreal brushing of the glossy manes before the mirror made me look like I'd slept rough for a week, in my elasticated waist trousers and old sweater with my hair like a gorse bush. I've lost a body part; I don't need to lose my dignity too.

Finally, today, I've been watching Elizabeth Gaskell's 'Wives and Daughters', a mere snip at 4 episodes. Hah. Lightweight, then. It's one of those costume dramas in which there's always someone with that little 'ahem, ahem' cough that says CONSUMPTIVE CONSUMPTIVE - WILL DIE SOON. The ladies are dressed in family tents overlaid with lace and silk and the men are dressed in the strangest trousers with a front panel that looks like a door, shoes with bows (?) and collars starched so stiff that if they look to the left they get poked in the eye. One of the men always gets wet, either rescuing a silly girl who's wandered out in the storm because of a row with Mother (rows with Mother always happen just before storms) or More Sensible Sister/Friend (rows with Sisters/Friends ditto ditto), or emerging from a lake fully-dressed, or chopping logs in the rain to get rid of anger/lust/the starch in the collar. Every time anyone goes shopping in the village, the same two or three ladies are standing by the bread shop, gossipping, and if their bonnets get any more intertwined, they might never be separated. There are always at least twenty misunderstandings in love, despite soulful gazing and hints the size of barges, and you think, 'were they all thick in the nineteenth century or what?' In 'Wives and Daughters' there are some shots of Africa, to which one of the male characters travels, and at one point, because it's hot, he has his shirt off, which is a high point, but not for very long, as this is meant to be a costume drama, and generally the costumes stay on, leading to a lack of drama, but hey. If you want something in which the costumes come off, watch 'Sideways'.

The bad news is, I have a whole collection of about forty of these costume dramas, something I collected with a magazine called 'Classic Drama' a couple of years ago. This has been my first chance to watch them. And now I want to watch them all.

Ooh, I do feel ill. Ooh, I don't think I'm recovering very quickly after all. Ooh, what's that stabbing pain? Ooh, I think I might need at least till Christmas ...

18 comments:

  1. Glad to hear you're enjoying bed rest! Too bad you live so far away, otherwise I'd bake you some of my famous "magical brownies" Your movies would be even more wonderful...

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  2. Fran

    Best wishes for your recovery. You didn't like Sideways??? LOVED it!!

    Val

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  3. fran what's happened to the post where you murdered the chocolate penguin? Have we lost contact?
    i'll be back to comment on this latest aberration.

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  4. Amanda, fly over and bring me brownies. I will pay anything.

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  5. Thanks, Valerie. I know, I know, I have others who despair of my taste in films. I really am a chaste kiss on the cheek and dropping a glove or hankie person.

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  6. Hi Friko - I've submitted that post to a blogging website and while I wait for them to say we like this/we absolutely hated this/why did you bother? I took it off. How nice of you to miss it.

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  7. Goodness. These sound like very complicated movies. Do you have Blockbuster stores over there? I could send you my "Recommended Viewing" list. (also known as The World's Most Depressing Movies Ever Made) You'll love em.

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  8. Get well soon never seen that film but I have bad taste in them too.

    Kate xx

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  9. Fran, lol enjoyed the blog, I usually do the marathon thing watching action flicks, kinda a guy thing I guess. Didn't under stand the thing about daze that you left on my comment thing tho.
    BIG HUGS

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  10. Hi Lesley - yes, we do have Blockbuster stores, but in my present state of nascent addiction, I think I'd better keep away. Somehow I have to write some reports and do some marking before I get back to school ..

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  11. Kate, you should watch it. Don't let me put you off ... especially if you like seeing the interior of lots of people's bedrooms.

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  12. Thanks for coming along, PlainOleBob. Sorry I confused you. I left you another comment to try and undo the damage.

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  13. Hi, poor old invalid, I do so feel for you.
    told you I'd be back after registering my disquiet at having lost one of your posts. btw, I sometimes send one to a site in the US, they're usually quite happy to have contributions which are already/ or still on a blog. Best of Luck.

    I loved Sideways, missed most of Brideshead and love Mrs. Gaskell. Nobody does costume drama like the Beeb. Enjoy your leisure.

    If all blogs describing humdrum daily events were as amusing and literate as yours, I wouldn't have a reason for ranting.

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  14. Just started watching North and South, Friko. They must have spent a hell of a lot on cotton wool balls to make that one. The opening scenes are like snow scenes, only inside a cotton mill. More coughing. But this time, I think it's just the cotton fibres, not consumption.

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  15. Great post. Sounds like you are definitely going to need much more recuperating time to enjoy a lot more movies. Love your blog.

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  16. Rae, thanks! I will let my boss know you said so when I don't get back until 2012. Welcome to the world of Miss. Thanks for signing up.

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  17. And then when you get bored you read Madame Ov- I mean Bovary. Men chopping logs in the rain, are you kidding? Real men these days use electric chainsaws while standing in a pool of gasoline during a thunderstorm.

    (I wondered what happened to the chocolate penguin too. It crossed my mind that Miss thought, 'Oh no, I've gone too far this time' and withdrew it.)

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  18. Ho, ho, ho, Mark. Just like a man to make the Bovary/Ovary joke! (I'm only jealous - I wish I'd thought of it.) And the chocolate penguin will be back soon, once I've given the people I've sent him to a decent time to get to know him and decide whether they lick/like him.

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