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Sunday, 18 December 2011

An Astonishingly Florescent Affair

Another run this morning but just for L. The boys and I are all just supporting today. We head to Bolsover, where we park in the town centre and before walking to the newly rebuilt Bolsover School on Mooracre Lane, where the race starts. There are a few patches of ice on the ground, which I’m sure won’t cause any problems but it’s another reason I’m glad I’m not running.

The start is delayed by about ten minutes; the rumour is this is because of the length of the toilet queue. You would have thought the toilet provision, as this is a race with a long history, is something they would have got right. Also having to filter everyone one through the start only then to start in the other direction was not the brightest thing to do but not my problem, as I’m not running.

Apparently the race always used to start at the school before being moved down the road to Bolsover Castle in 2009, causing the distance to go up to 11k. So they added a 1k walk to the start last year to get it back down to 10k but then oddly ended up not finishing in the castle at all but in the field beside it. This year we’re back at the school.

There’s a bacon butty van for us supporters but unfortunately it’s inside the school grounds, where the dogs aren’t allowed. So instead we stare longingly at it through the railings but not so longingly at the queue. Seems not only do they need more portaloos, they need more butty vans as well.

So instead we walk out across the fields to the 9k point, nearly get run over on the busy road and then walk back. ‘What was the point of that?’ Doggo’s knotted ears enquire. Just a walk, you know, dogs like them, apparently.

When we return to the school, half an hour after the race start, just ahead of the winner, I’m sure the same people are still in the butty van queue. The race winner, Richard Weir of Derby AC, crosses the line in a highly impressive time of 30:43 and a new course record. So he’s £100 better off.

L, still coughing, knocks a few minutes off her Langdale time but is still clearly not back to full speed yet, plus there was those 2-for-1 beers last night... That said, it worked ok for me yesterday. She collects her race t-shirt, an astonishingly florescent affair, ideal for those dark evening winter runs or for directing traffic in. Although they did run out of her size. So organisers... loos, butties and t-shirts. The rest was great.

Then we over head to Sheffield, hoping Daughter and her friend are up, it’s only 1pm, so that we can transport them back to Nottingham for the Christmas break.

In the evening we head over to Quad in Derby but pop into the Silk Mill for refreshment first (Burton Bridge Damson Porter, nice). Unfortunately there’s no Red Arrow as it’s a Sunday, so we have to take the car.

The film we see ‘My Week With Marilyn’ is based on the memoirs of a guy called Colin Clark. Clark was a twenty-three year old who made himself so annoying hanging around the offices of Laurence Olivier’s production company that they eventually give him a job, probably just to get rid of him. It turned out to be some job. When Marilyn Monroe (Michelle Williams) comes to England in 1956 to film ‘The Sleeping Prince’ which was to become ‘The Prince And The Showgirl’, Clark (Eddie Redmayne) is hired as the third assistant director, or general dogsbody, for the film.

This film is not particularly meant to be a biopic of Marilyn Monroe but it does give a great insight into the craziness of her world. Monroe was a total nightmare to work with. The film portrays her as not some much a great actor but as a great star. One that was an immense frustration to Olivier (Kenneth Branagh) as she repeatedly messed up her lines and was constantly late arriving on set, that is when she turned up at all.

When she did she was constantly babied by her acting coach Paula Strasberg (Zoe Wanamaker) who spoon fed her most of her lines.

Meanwhile Clark, who had spent most of his time on set drooling after the film’s star, suddenly ends up being the go-between between Monroe and the production team. She takes a bit of a liking to him and he becomes her confidant, sympathising with her troubles while trying to get her to return to the film set. He gets to spend a week with her, taking her on, among other things, a tour of Eton, which somehow ends up with Monroe skinny dipping in front of him in a river.

We’re like in fantasy land for a young lad of that era or I suppose any male of that era. Unlike everyone else Clark can see through her many flaws and see the vulnerable person she really is. Lust can do this for you.

Of course the last thing you need when you're hoping for a tumultuous one night stand with the biggest sex symbol in the world is for Emma Watson to be hanging around on set, working I think in the costume department.

Clark dates Lucy (Watson) and seems to be in with a great chance of finding the back of the net, she is more his level, which is admittedly still some level but then there’s Marilyn... Would he be able to look the lads in the eye down the pub on a Friday night if he didn’t at least give it a go... Marilyn Monroe or Hermione Grainger? Tough call. It begs the question just how a big a star is it acceptable to cheat on a potential girlfriend with... Lucy doesn’t take his pursuit of Monroe well but she’ll get over it. Perhaps.

It's not really a film that really goes anywhere but it’s the acting that makes this film, in what is an excellent cast that also includes Dominic Cooper and the acting institution that is Judi Dench, as is enshrined in law. She plays Sybil Thorndike, who was in the 1950’s appropriately enough was also a Dame and an institution herself.

The main plaudits though go to Michelle Williams, who really throws herself into the role of Marilyn Monroe and does an extraordinary job. You believe she's Monroe. A cert for an Oscar nomination you would think. Also Kenneth Branagh who’s portrayal of Laurence Olivier was also superb. Loved it.

(Sunday 18th December)

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