Saturday, 9 February 2013

Quiet Day II or too

Don't know about the weather forecasts, but mine come out accurately…


As I predicted yesterday, we've had a laid back day today. The weather has indeed been pretty nondescript, chilly but not freezing, damp but little actual precipitation (so far) and more or less a flat calm. It looks like we've got it like that, give or take the odd rain or snow shower, for the week to come.

It is noticeable, though, that the birds reckon it's getting on for Spring. Presumably they go by the increasing day length, not the ambient temperature. The Tufted Ducks are looking very sleek and shiny with smart tufts on top of their heads, the mallards have paired off and the coots are knocking seven bells out of each other at the least excuse.

Coots are the Jack Russell terriers of the water bird world.

We walked into the village this morning, after I'd been to the marina shop for the paper and ordered another two bags of smokeless fuel. Being lazy, I paid the extra quid to have them delivered.

This afternoon, we took a brisk walk round the marina and then spent 90 minutes watching another episode of the Inspector Alleyn Mysteries. I recall when they were first broadcast there was some critical discussion about the extent to which they'd been re-written for the telly. The explanation was that Alleyn was too much the perfect investigator to leave them as they were, imperturbable and always correct, but in fact I reckon the production team just wanted to tart them up a bit.

Most of the characterisations are well done, but the plots have been substantially modified.

Both Sheila and I enjoy Golden Age whodunnits, and these programmes leave us reminded of the tale about John Buchan.  When asked in the intermission of the première of The Thirty-Nine Steps how he was enjoying it, he replied "Immensely, I can't wait to find out how it ends."

I'm not sure if that's better or worse than the one about Howard Hawks calling Raymond Chandler whilst filming The Big Sleep because he'd realised he couldn't work out who killed the chauffeur. Chandler replied "I'd always wondered that myself…"

No matter, we're still enjoying the Alleyns; they are worth it just for the sight of Patrick Malahide and Belinda Lang trying to act each other off the screen.

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