Hollywood beckons

One of my sources at the BBC tipped me off that there might soon be a vacancy for a fat, bearded Merseysider for a new cookery show featuring Mary Berry and Mel & Kim. So I made this:

Lemon and ginger thingy

My culinary talents know no bounds.

Carolyn asks me to Bangor


(And, yes, we did have a lovely time, thank you for asking.)

En route to Bangor

EU Madness!

BBC: Visegrad Group of EU states 'could veto Brexit deal'

A group of Central European countries is ready to veto any Brexit deal that would limit right to work in the UK, Slovakian PM Robert Fico says.

He might be ‘Prime Minister Robert Fico’ to you, Slovakia, but to us he'll always be loveable old Suggs.

The art of analogy

I'm a firm believer that use of good analogies is a reliable indicator of intelligence. The ability to convey a complex concept by comparing it to one easier to understand is the mark of a gifted communicator.

So, how would you go about describing the dangers of self-reflection when vexed?

When one is vexed, one must avoid meditating about oneself. One is like a man with jaundice: he must not study the map of the countries he is about to traverse—he would see everything in yellow. Yellow is the colour of Sweden, so he would believe that every country was Sweden, and if by chance the King of Sweden had set a price upon his head, he would be in despair: this despair would be the effect of his jaundice. And such is the effect from which I suffer every time I go to Grenoble; so much so that, on the last occasion, I almost entirely avoided thinking about my future.
Stendhal to his sister Pauline, 17-Sep-1805
To the Happy Few: selected letters of Stendhal (trans. Norman Cameron) (1952)

…I'm reluctantly beginning to accept I'll never be recognised as a literary genius on a par with Stendhal.

Overheard in the pub yesterday

–Do you have any non-alcoholic ginger ale?
–I’ll have one of those with a shot of vodka in it.

Lynch mob

Guardian: Mulholland Drive leads the pack in list of 21st century's top films
BBC Culture poll of 177 film critics around the world puts David Lynch’s 2001 surrealist masterpiece in top spot.
Mulholland Drive

What planet do these so-called film critics live on?

Does Captain America: the Winter Soldier make their Top 100? Does it bollocks! How about Avengers Assemble? Take a wild guess. Any sign of the Jason Bourne films? Enjoy your egg whites.

Jen and I bought Mulholland Drive when it first came out on DVD. We bought it mainly because film critics kept describing it as a masterpiece. We watched it once, then filed it on the Crap shelf next to Moulin Rouge and Mission Impossible 2.

To be honest, I don't remember much about the film—apart from thinking it was incomprehensible crap. There was some woman who thought/pretended/wished she was some other woman. And I think she and the other woman then swapped identities (or something like that). And there was a scene in a diner, I think (or perhaps I'm thinking of Pulp Fiction). And there was (very, very briefly) a totally unconvincing monster. And there was a scene where two pretty ladies kissed each other in a restaurant for no readily apparent reason (see above). In fact, I distinctly remember that bit because: a) it was the only good bit in the film; and b) the photograph of the two pretty ladies kissing each other is the only still you ever see from Mulholland Drive.

OK, so, admittedly, every year or so, I tentatively suggest to Jen that maybe we should give Mulholland Drive a second chance. It's supposed to be a sodding masterpiece, so maybe the problem was with us. We then mull my suggestion over for a couple of seconds before agreeing naaaaah! and reaching for Master and Commander: the Far Side of the World (a genuine masterpiece, by the way).

I mean, if you want to watch an art-house movie with two pretty ladies kissing each other, watch Carol: that's a bloody wonderful film.

I haven't asked her, but I'm pretty sure Stense will disagree with me fundamentally on the subject of Mulholland Drive. She tends to understand and appreciate arty-farty films; I'm just a simple country boy living in Hebden Bridge.

So, what do you chaps reckon? Do you think I should give Mulholland Drive another go? Or would I be better off sticking with Skyfall?

Beam me up, Luke!

In preparation for Star Trek Beyond screening at Hebden Bridge Picture House tomorrow, Jen and I are re-watching the two previous films in the relaunched franchise. And great fun they are too. In amongst episodes of The West Wing, we also recently re-watched the original Star Wars trilogy.

The problem is, Jen keeps getting Star Trek and Star Wars mixed up in her head. “Is this the one with Benedict Cumberbatch as a baddie?” she asked at the start of The Empire Strikes Back. “Have they just gone to warp speed?” she enquired, as the Millennium Falcon finally shot off at light speed. And so on.

To be honest, I'm not entirely convinced Jen is really getting the two franchises mixed-up. I more than half-suspect she's trying to play Jedi mind-melds on me.