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

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)

Tuesday 24 April 2018

Yorkshire Yorkshire

This morning I drop the car into Halfords to get a new tyre, I thought this was best before heading up to Sheffield for a gig tonight.

The gig means I miss Derby’s rearranged game with Cardiff, which obviously they were always going to pick a date I couldn’t make, and my brother goes instead. Bizarrely Derby win. They thought it was all but it isn’t now. In many ways it would have been nice to have put ourselves out of our misery tonight but now we haven’t. 

Frank Turner has probably introduced me to more new bands than anyone else through his support slots and tonight he does it again. Arkells Touring Band from Hamilton, Canada. A band with big riffs and catchy choruses, the perfect warm up act. They remind me a little of the Hold Steady although I’m not too sure why. Their boundless energy and enthusiasm perhaps and the way they get the crowd going. They goad the Sheffield crowd to be better than Belfast and are totally bemused when everyone starts tribally screaming 'Yorkshire Yorkshire' back at them. After a long pause he says I’ll take that as a compliment. Yes please do.

It's show number 2158 for Frank and he kicks off with new tune ‘1933’. It's a bit of a political moment for him, comparing our modern world of Trump and Brexit with the political landscape of 1933, the year the Nazis took power in Germany.

It is taken from his forthcoming seventh album ‘Be More Kind’, an album he says urges people to be more kind to each other. Something that isn't really a problem inside Frank Turner World where his live shows really are as friendly as they come. More of a shared community experience for like minded souls.

The live show itself is again top draw with Frank and the Sleeping Souls consistently brilliant music wise and with their usual full on engagement with the crowd.

Aside from the opener, four other tracks are played from his new album and all appear to be future classics in the making.

However, if I may be a little controversial, I do now get the feeling that Frank's gigs are well into a formula and the base set doesn't vary very much which is a shame.

Of the four 'oldies' that appear tonight that didn't last time I saw him at gig 2000 only one is a 'wow' moment. A very rare outing for the excellent 'The Fisher King Blues ' from 'Tape Deck Heart'.

Yes, the playing of 'Love Ire And Song' in the encore is also incredibly welcome but there is so much of his back catalogue that simply never appears any more, not even occasionally. While I'm not a huge fan of the mass stomp around tracks he now tends to favour such as 'Out of Breath' and 'Four Simple Words' ahead of some of the more nuanced numbers that are really his forte.

Still though, can't grumble too much, it was still a terrific night.

(Tuesday 24th April)