Note Number 27…We’re Spending the Kid’s Inheritance…

A little poem followed by what we did for Easter Weekend…

We’re spending the kid’s inheritance
And hoping that they won’t mind,
As we fulfil our dreams and ambitions
Keeping our bodies and minds alive
Because, until we reach the end of the road
And hear that inevitable knock on the door
We’re spending the kid’s inheritance,
And, we’re enjoying it, further more

We’re spending the kid’s inheritance
On doing as much as we’re able
Like, city breaks, beach holidays, classy hotels,
Sunshine, roses, champagne and those
Wonderful visits to London to see
The ballet, or theatre, or an art gallery
We’re spending the kid’s inheritance
We’re retired and at last we are free

Don’t worry, we’re not really selfish
And, there’s something I really should add
Most of our kids are now better off
Than their soon to be skint mum and dad!

Ninette Hartley © February 2017

Last Easter weekend we spent in London…a city break. We stayed at the Royal Overseas League in St. James’s where we are members. It’s a wonderful club, where they had a deal; four nights for the price of two. It’s perfectly situated for central London, shopping, theatres, museums etc., We packed in a lot of stuff…

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The Man Enjoying Window Shopping….(nooooo- not another bike!!) 

1. Friday train from Crewkerne to Waterloo. Lunch at the club. Evening a visit to the Dominion theatre to see An American in Paris. A new show, a stupendous show and well worth a visit. The dancing, mostly balletic, is wonderful, culminating in a fabulous pas de deux with the leading characters, Jerry Mulligan played by Robert Fairchild and Lise Dassin played by Leanne Cope. The Man said it was the best bit of ballet he’d ever watched.

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2. Saturday we went to the Regent Street Cinema to watch an uncut version of Novecento (1900) directed by Bernardo Bertolucci and starring Robert De Niro and Gérard Depardieu. An epic five hours and twenty minutes of film plus a forty-five minute, interval. The story covers 1900 – 1945 showing the situation in Italy between the Socialist party and the Fascists, seen through the eyes of two boys, born on the same day, one a peasant, whose family live and work on the estate belonging to the family of the other. I wasn’t sure I could sit through such an epic but actually it was like reading a good story, settling in and not putting the book down until you had finished the whole thing. I loved it.

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3. Sunday we took ourselves off to the Imperial War Museum but only managed to cover three of the five floors in four hours. We’ll definitely be going back. The Holocaust Exhibition was particularly powerful with images, artefacts, interviews with survivors and a lot more. Disturbing, informative and thought provoking.

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Beautiful Tulips in St James’s Park – We walked to the IWM 

4. Sunday evening we were treated to a musical concert at the club. Not something I would normally choose, a soprano, Sarah-Jane Lewis, and a piano, but I have to say, the singing was beautiful and the pianist, Simon Lepper, accomplished and not bad looking. The songs were short, diverse and Sarah sang in three different languages. We were given the programme with all the words translated so it was easy to follow. A glass of wine after the concert and a chance to thank the artists for their performance, rounded off the evening.

The Steinway….and The Programme

5. Monday, we were to meet a couple of our children for lunch at Dishoom in Carnaby. The Man had bought a couple of pairs of shoes on Saturday morning and I had said in a mad moment, ‘I’ve always wanted a pair of DMs.’ Well, we were early for our appointment so had a walk around and lo and behold there was the original Doc Martin shop in Carnaby Street. Had to be done!

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THE BOOTS…photograph credit Will Hartley 

In the evening we went to see The Wipers Times (so called because the British soldiers pronounced Ypres Wipers) a first world war play written by Ian Hislop and Nick Newman, at The Arts Theatre. A completely opposite venue to the Dominion it was an intimate theatre, more like a club, and the production was low key but splendid. Based on a true story about the 24th Division of the Sherwood Foresters who found an old printing press in the burned out ruins of Ypres and decided to print a satirical newspaper covering the war. The main men, Captain Fred Roberts and Lieutenant Jack Pearson, co-editors continued to produce the journal throughout the war. It was an instant hit with the troops but not so popular with the top brass. Spoof advertisements, agony aunts, musical hall jokes and routines and always taking a jibe at those higher up. If you can catch this play it’s a must.

The Arts Theatre Bar – loved the light fitting… The Programme for The Wipers Arms

Back home to Dorset on Tuesday we felt we had crammed plenty of culture into our weekend away in London and hope it’s not too long before we can cram in another. In the meantime, we’re attending as many of the 22 films showing over the next five days at the Bridport Film Festival, From Page to Screen. We’ve already seen, In the Heat of the Night and Their Finest, both bloody brilliant and only a hop down the road.

I love being Retired…

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Films…walks…films…

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Walking Across the Farmland – Public Footpaths and Bridleways

It’s been a busy few weeks here in Dorset. Lots of walks, eating, theatre and cinema going and plenty of…RAIN… ah well, you can’t have it all. I’m missing the sunshine and warmth of Italy, that I cannot deny but, the upside is that we have been fortunate in choosing a great place to live. In fact, last Friday in The Times, Bridport came second in a poll of the best places, by the sea to live in England. I’d like to put a link on here so that you can read it but, The Times won’t allow anyone to read anything without subscribing – so you’ll just have to take my word for it.

I am managing to walk everyday for a minimum of 2 kilometres and sometimes more, perhaps five or six. Jpeg and I take a different route each time we go out, there are so many public footpaths and bridleways around here. Last week we dropped The Man off to collect his bike from Symondsbury and he joined his mates for a bike ride…yes he does have mates. I took an hour-long walk, part of which was along The Hardy Way. I rarely meet anyone or any other dogs when I’m out walking but on this occasion we were close to Colmer’s Hill and bumped into several people who were on their way up or down this iconic Bridport landmark. It made me realise that in the summer months I’ll have to be careful where I choose to go, if I want our walks to remain peaceful and private…

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Colmer’s Hill

The Parish Council has been replacing the local signposts, including the one on our corner. So we discovered this week that the junction at the end of our road is Ebenezer Corner…

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I cross here often and go over the style into the field and walk to Pymore. This interesting little village was, I believe, once a Quaker village. There was a rope making factory here, the Bridport area was well known for it’s rope and net making…check it out here and find out about the Bridport Dagger, it’s interesting. The Bridport Museum is on our list for visiting but it only opened for the season a week or so ago.

But, back to Pymore…the village has been redeveloped – tastefully – the factory and buildings converted to apartments and houses and new places also built.

There is footpath which passes beside the reed bed and along the river Brit. Some of the houses are a little bit ‘toy townish’, but that’s just my opinion.

From the 30th March until the 3rd April, The Bridport Film Festival has been running, From Page to Screen  it’s been fantastic. Evening Screenings took place at The Electric Palace, which is an amazing vintage cinema from the 1920s Daytime screenings were shown at the Bridport Arts Centre. The Man and I went to see five films in four days and we loved it. Over the five days at least twenty films were screened, The Man and I managed to get to these:-

The Spy Who Came in from the Cold
Plein Soleil
A Month in the Country
The Big Short
The Lady in The Van

This is not a film reviewing blog so I’ll refrain from writing about each film. For me the whole experience of being able to get to the theatre in less than five minutes by car and see such a great selection of movies together with live interviews from producers, writers, actors etc., was a marvellous opportunity.

On Friday, A Month in the Country was shown at eleven in the morning and it was really strange coming out of the theatre at lunchtime. It put us out for the whole day and then in the evening we went to see The Big Short – two viewings in just less than twelve hours, a bit like a long haul flight.

The Director Charles Sturridge was the organiser of this year’s festival and did a wonderful job. He is of course a well-known director, the TV series Brideshead Revisited and the film a Handful of Dust (shown at this festival) to name just two productions. He certainly put together a great selection of films and arranged some interesting guest speakers, including Alex Jennings who played the part of Alan Bennett in The Lady in the Van and Claire Bloom, one of the stars in The Spy who came in from the Cold. She was at the Bridport Arts Centre for the screening and did a Q&A session at the end of the film. I hope that at 85 years old I will be as elegant and eloquent as she was.

Thank you Bridport Film Festival, Charles Sturridge and all the volunteers who helped the week run smoothly…you must all be exhausted.

For a moment, this week, I became a little nostalgic for my past life and wondered where I would be now had I pursued my career in the theatre…would I have been successful? Would I have risen through the actress ranks and now be rubbing shoulders with Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Helen Mirren and all the other famous actresses of my generation (well I’m actually a teensy bit younger than most of them – I think)? What about all the gorgeous actors too? Ah well, it’s easy to dream but when I think about it, I do have a wonderful life, family friends etc., so probably took the right path. It’s never too late though – is it? Perhaps I’ll get a copy of The Stage next week and see what auditions I might be eligible for…

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Nah..too scary…on second thoughts I’d better stick to the writing…