"for the happy, the sad, I don't want to be, another page in your diary"

Friday, 4 May 2018

In His Stride

On Sunday we head to the Lakes and to our usual camp site at Great Langdale where the Lad spends his first nights under canvas which he takes totally in his stride. Unlike our last few trips here we get a few walks in including a trip up to Stickle Tarn which was Doggo’s first walk when he was a pup. We had to carry him down but the Lad bounces down although he is a little older than Doggo was. 

On other days we walk Mickleden Beck, the old Elterwater/Little Langdale loop and along Coniston Lake. As all the exercise just seems to be bouncing off the Lad we are practically increasing the distance daily, not that he seems to notice.

Then there's a pub trip up to the Wainwrights at Chapel Stile. Which isn’t the only pub we visit of course. There are multiple trips to the Old Dungeon Ghyll as well as the Sticklebarn and the New Dungeon Ghyll, which is also the destination for an occasional Full English breakfast.

Everything goes well and the weather is impeccably well behaved. We even manage to enter the London Marathon ballot despite being in such a remote location. The camp site is quiet, with around ten tents all week, but we are warned of the invasion that is due on Friday as the Bank Holiday kicks off. Friday was always the day we intended to head home anyway.

(Friday 4th May)

Saturday, 28 April 2018

Mudded Up To The Eyeballs

So we’re both done with work for a while and on Sunday we will head off to the Lakes for the Lad’s first holiday and our first without Doggo. It could be emotional...

First though we have trip down to Cranford Hall near Kettering for something called Uventure that Daughter’s company is involved in. This is basically an off road obstacle course that specialises in mud and due to the amount of rain we’ve had recently there’s sure to be plenty of that. Oh, and it’s also MD’s Birthday.

We are certainly mudded up to the eyeballs simply supporting and we get quite a workout just walking (well, wading actually) out to the main crop of obstacles that include a spot of lake swimming and a large scream inducing water slide. It looks such fun that I really must make sure I have something else in the diary for next year.

In the evening we're at Broadway and it's my choice, so lets have a bit of 'Beast.

Moll (Jessie Buckley) works as a tourist guide for a coach tour company on Jersey, where the film is set. She is desperately unhappy with both her job and her life in general. She still lives at home with her parents where she is under the thumb of her overbearing mother (Geraldine James), who has a low opinion of Moll compared with her other two children, her brother Harrison (Oliver Maltman) for whom Moll is expected to provide unlimited babysitting services and her sister Polly (Shannon Tarbet).

It is Polly who has the audacity to announce, at Moll’s own birthday party, that she is pregnant with twins. Heartily pissed off at being upstaged by her sister, Moll storms out of the party and ends up at the local night club. At the club she meets a young lad, who later attempts to force himself on her. She is rescued by Pascal (Johnny Flynn) who appears with a shotgun slung across his shoulder and frightens her suitor off. Pascal is a handyman come vagabond and seeing him as a bit of an outcast like herself, she is clearly quite taken with him.

Here Moll is, balancing the attentions of two strangers, while the whole island is being terrorised by a serial killer who has raped and killed several young girls. The latest victim being on the same night as her party. 

Unperturbed, and probably feeling he is the only person who seems to understand her, she starts a passionate relationship with him. She invites him to her home where she flaunts him in front of her family. Being the complete antithesis of her upper-middle class family, they are all horrified, her mother in particular and Pascal revels in the role of disapproved lover.

She continues their relationship even when told of his criminal record by Clifford (Trystan Gravelle), a young police officer who has his own eye on Moll. Inevitably Pascal is soon the chief suspect for the murders but Moll provides him with a false alibi, saying that they had danced all night at the club together.

To complicate things further, Moll has secrets of her own. When she was at school she stabbed another girl who was bullying her and this is partly the reason for her mother keeping her on a short leash, scared that if provoked she could do it again.

Everything comes to a head when the Moll and Pascal meet up at a beach side restaurant and the film delivers a clever final scene that beings the film to a hugely ambiguous conclusion. Leaving the audience to decide exactly what just happened and where their sympathies should lie.

This is a very smart film which constantly overturns your expectations of where it’s heading and of what type of film it is. Backed by excellent performances from Buckley and Flynn, it is utterly brilliant and possibly the best thing I've seen this year so far.

(Saturday 28th April)

Friday, 27 April 2018

Self Inflicted

I’m back in London again on Wednesday as I go down there with our support manager, so that he can witness this customer’s crazy world for himself. It does at least seem to be the case that they are coming around to the fact that most of their problems are self inflicted but it’s early days on that front yet. Later I decide to skip dog training, seven hours in the car is enough for one day.

We have left another member of our staff down there for the rest of the week and I’m on call to provide phone support to her from 6am on Thursday. She calls at bang on 6am. At least it’s a few hours extra overtime to claim for.

I finally head into work at 10.15 after a lot of chucking balls and phone support. I had hoped this extra ball time would tire the lads out but it doesn’t seem to have done.

I am not in work for long until I leave to meet my parents at Pride Park Stadium for lunch, this is for the launch of Derby County’s Golden Rams club which gives free season tickets, a free coat and a free blanket to all their supporters over the age of 85 and who have held season tickets for last five years. They are also getting a free lunch today for which they are both allowed a guest. Hence my attendance and that of my brother. Now, cottage pie or fish and chips?

The restart of squash has now been delayed until 10th May as we are away next week but then he’ll probably say it’s tennis season. So with no squash again, I book my masseur.

Friday and it’s my birthday. Yay. I’m at work obviously although some companies, like Daughter’s, give you the day off. Not that I really see the attraction of being Billy No Mates home alone on your birthday because everyone else is at work. Perhaps a cash bonus instead?

L says she is ready for a stiff G and T to help me celebrate, problem is I’m blaming last night’s stiff G and no T for my headache this morning.

(Friday 27th April)