Bond: Bond, Bond and more Bond. Fox Classics has ervamped itself into the All Bond All The Time Channel, and I've absolutely no problem with that. At first I sat down to Dr No because I'd been to that Bond exhibition and thought I would, but then I remembered why I loved the series so much, be it the classic sixties cool of the Connery years to the tacky 70s/80s campness of the Moore years (and sadly, Moonraker was the first Bond film I ever saw in a cinema, and I had to lie about being twelve to get in, hardly seems worth it now). So all I've done really is watch Bond. And...loving it.
Been noticing some differences to the old Channel Ten copies I grew up with, like the car going through the alley in Diamonds (it never 'corrected') and in Goldfinger the countdown went down to 003, not 007 (the later, corrected version, again). Ah well. Played spot the Burt, Ed and Shane. Remarked on the work safety violations in Blofeld's lairs (no protective rails around the pirhana pond, etc), noticed the missing stud on M's door in OHMSS (which seems to be an episode of Who Do You Think You Are sandwiched between two episodes of Top Gear) but the thing that is really bothering me, leaving aside James's casual regard for his companions, is Blofeld's cat. I mean there's Blofeld, typical cat owner, never to be trusted, not even by Evil Kitty because in You Only Live Twice when the most excellent volcano is blowing up, kitty is not happy about all the splodey and then kitty breaks free, scuttles behind henchman's feet and that is the last we ever see of Blofeld's cat. Kitty go boom. (Am awaiting the return of kitty, all scarred and out for revenge, no wait, that's Goldeneye).
And we swear we saw a couple of ninjas bounce. And just what regeneration is Felix on now? Oh, for the days when he looked like a young Jack Lord. eh?
Oh yeah, there was a Top Gear marathon on the BBC (yeah, we get BBC stuff now, not proper BBC, but after a fashion) and that was fun. More than fun.
As if that wasn't enough, Fox Classics is also rolling out b/w Saints (one even had Olly Reed as henchman #2) and if that wasn't enough Sir Roger in my life, he popped up in Maverick. I mean, I knew he did, but this appeared to be an earlier guest starring role, just to confuse me. And just when I thought they couldn't top that, the next day up popped Clint Eastwood. If you ever wondered, Maverick totally kicked Rowdy's arse.
And there was still more Bond, as I finally got to see Quantum of Solace, after many an abortive run at it. I loved it. Okay, there was quite a bit of the homage which bordered on 'we've run out of ideas', but I thought it was cool. Sure, it was mainly all Top Gear challenge and splodey splodey, but it's a Bond film. It's its raison d'État, ain't it? And anyone who says Q of S isn't cool clearly hasn't seen Octopussy recently (so that's were the lycra clad girl ninjas came from).
Magicians: as for Merlin, so spake the Peanut Gallery: "Two, four, six, eight, magicians are as good as straight". Well, yes.
Also watched the Thief of Baghdad, which was the ABC's choice of Xmas day fillum, but it was a cracker. I don't think I've ever seen it before, but I gotta say, some of the 1940 FX should make the Mill hang its head in shame (considering these guys really were doing it all with smoke and mirrors). Enjoyed it immensely, though camp barely covers it, especially when the two boys were being sailors together.
Happily this inspired a day trip to the Everglades at Leura, a lovely old garden (well, old for us) with an art deco house to drool over and it was very, very pretty. There was even a peacock, as advertised. It was funny, because I was sitting down having a rink before we heaved off (it was blistering hot) and grumbling that there had been no peacock as advertised when suddenly there's a peacock strutting past. I swear they shoved it up out of a shute ala Westworld. Never mind, I felt I got me money's worth. Better yet, timed it perfectly so the tourist trolley bus swung around the corner at that very moment and we got to ride the bus up the hill (yay) to the park with our beloved old concrete picnic shelters (with outrageous graffitti). Then it was a hike up to the toy museum which featured the creepiest toy carnival (It moved! It had bats with glowing eyes! It played music! It would have given the Winchesters the wiggins) and the most disturbing toy soldier tableau ever. Words fail. And wtf is it doing in the former house of Doc Evatt, one of the greatest peace activists of the 20thC? Boggle. Boggle.
The promised peacock
Dog and gardener immortalised in iron
Recycled old bank portico
Scary red bathroom
Graffitti on old 30s faux stone picnic shelter
We never did get our lemon sorbet because by the time we got up the hill Leura was hot, dusty and overcrowded, but later Himself bought some Weiss lemon sorbet, which we had to finish off the other night on account of the blackout. Gosh darn it.
Swedes: It's all gone Scandanavian, from the Ikea chair to get the special edition dvd of Mamma Mia for my bityhday, with Skarsgard Snr. Skarsgard Jnr popped up for all of ten seconds in the first six episodes of True Blood I was so kindly given the opportunity to see, flouncing the worst fake wig I've seen since Forever Knight. Yo, Alex, romance cover much? Anyway, yeah, True Blood. Despite the way too much porn (it was ultra embarrassing because a friend insisted I screen it after Xmas dinner, somehow inexplicably forgetting all the naked Ryan, and well, nothing says Xmas viewing like hardcore vampire porn, eh?), I do like it, and I'm afraid I'm rather fond of Vampire Bill. The yahtzee moment (so named from the moment I was suddenly hooked by Veronica Mars) was when Sookie gigled and snorked over "Bill!" and poor old Bill just squirmed and squirmed and squirmed some more. I finally got it when I caught an episode of Pride and Prejudice (which I just accidentally typo'd as pide and prejudice, the bread product version) and realised Darcy's awkward attempts to re-ingratiate himself with ELizabeth was not unlike Bill's squirms after a similiar falling out with Sookie. Oh, I get it, Darcy with fangs. Yahtzee.
Nevertheless, it's still going to be the Xmas with the vampire porn. Btw, here's a pic of the wee tree:
Then there was Wallander. First the Swedish version, which SBS was just finishing up playing, then I got me mits on the UK vers. Beuatifully shot, but oh for shame, how did Ken end up all grey and jowely so soon? Ack. The UK vers is, as you'd expect, more overwrought than the Swedish version, with Ken gnawing on every morsel of angst. I also couldn't watch it without the Chekhov goggles as both Ken and Tom had been in that (and I saw it! Squee!) and I couldn't help but think this was why the doctor so loathed Ivanov, because of all that dumpster diving he had to do in Wallander - grin. Anyhoo, loved every minute of it and devoured the dvd in a day (which I had off - yay). Personally I think the sidekick is prettier in the Swedish version (sorry Tom, but you are a bit of a prat anyway, now, aren't you) but I could not choose between the two versions, I liked both. I liked the locations. It sort of filled the Unit One sized hole I have in my heart (lookit! the bridge!). Also, did not see the canonical Inspector love, totally missed that. Well, sorta, just thought I was watching it wrong.
Speaking of which, last night's Maverick and the entirely unsubtle remarks. Tsk. I mean, I was willing to let "I didn't mean to have you hard up against the wall" go by without comment, but pretty much the next lines were about Bart being good with his hands but preferring something slicker (or something like that, I was too busy choking on my cuppa to take accurate notes). The whole scene was wicked and entirely not accidental, nudge nudge wink wink. Well, well, Bart likes bears, then (as it was a burly chap who was making with the mutual man bonding). Don't tell James Garner, but I think Bart Maverick is my favourite. He gets the best (and it seems the slashiest) stories, and I'm awful fond of Jack Kelly now, whom I'd never heard of before. And still with the guest stars, the other night we had Troy Donahue and Adam West.
Tragically, last night's episode of Lost in Space, was all about the robot. Sigh.
Food: Xmas dinner was roast turky with a citrussy dressing, then there was the Coca Cola ham which was just yummy (no, really) and then there was a roast chicken stuff with lemon for New Years. It was something 42C for my birthday so it ended up being just two cartons from the local Chinese, but it was very good (never mind, I got to dine out at the Summit later, which was groovy). It's looking like being 42C again for Burns night, so haggis is right out. Sigh. The there was the most excellent brunch at that cafe in Leura. Whenever I'm served up burnt eggs in British B&Bs I will forever dream of the creamy of indulgences I enjoyed in that cafe. We also had a picnic lunch at the everglades, which was fun. Also had an afternoon tea at the rellies, a rather rushed yum cha with mates (it was a real barn and it was very much eat or out because it was so crowded).
And my birthday cake was a chocolate and cherry number.
Golf: Well, there was golf in Goldfinger, but mainly I just want to squeal about finally be intiated into the sacred and mysterious rites of the Putt Putt, aka the local mini golf course to which I'd been promised a birthday treat when I was six. Finally got there, and I got a hole in one. Whoo!
Wildlife: There was the peacock at Leura, we've also had possums (poor little sweaty ringtail popped out of his dray for a breather yesterday and was attacked by the birds), lizard and the feathered fiends. The legally blind currawong accidentally flew into the back of my head, poor bugger, and Captain Birdseye, the evil parrot, well, there's no end to his wickedness, and I tell you, they're smart enough pull malicious pranks, and it's not an accident if they hang over the gutter going "Did I get her? did I get her?". No sir, it is not.
Polly wants its cracker now, bitch.
Gardening: not a lot. It's been either too hot or too stormy so it's all gone wild. Or wilty as it was last night. Still, the hibiscus and frangapanis are all out, which gives the place a tropical feel, and I had a real yen for a tropical beach holiday after watching Blue Hawaii (they played many a fillum for Elvis Day). Best I got was lying on a blanket under the trees in the sticky heat, and there I discovered one of the cats' kills under the bushes. Eau de dird bird. Lovely. But the flowers were pretty, and it was my only hours of solid sloth all year (2008).
Cleaning: Oh yeah, there was cleaning and scrubbing all through the 'holidays'. Still, the house was halfway decent for a few days. And we got the new kitchen shelves. Magic.
Random pic of fridge magnets. Get down your bad self, Bill.