Posts Tagged ‘films’

Recently, I went to Lacock, and spent some time in the Cloisters at Lacock Abbey.  I have wanted to go there for ages – I love ruins anyway, as I have told you about 70,000 times (or thereabouts), and I wanted to see it because it is one of the places the Harry Potter films were, well, filmed!

Here is a shot through from one walkway through to another, and some of you may even recognise it from its role as part of Hogwarts 🙂

Point of View


I am not a Harry Potter obsessive, although I know I’ve talked about the books and films a few times here, but I like to visit places which have appeared on screen because it gives me a chance to view them as ‘live’ places.   We get so used to seeing buildings as historical artefacts that we forget that they were once homes, offices, workplaces.  We forget they were something more than a tourist attraction.

I guess I just like to have a different point of view from which to look at a place.  I also get over-excited when I see somewhere I know on screen – when Dover Castle appeared behind Chris Pine in Into the Woods I was particularly happy because not only have I been there on a few occasions but I’ve also blogged about it, and how it’s part of coming home.  Yes, in some strange way, Chris Pine was at my place 🙂

On a more serious note, I also think visiting these places reminds us how we’ve got where we are – how we’ve changed over time. When I see that places reflecting the history of humanity are being destroyed, it feels as though we’re losing sight of all those people who came before us.

Maybe putting them on screen is another way to keep them intact for the future.

Happy visiting!



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Do you remember the film Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure? It was made at the very tail end of the 1980’s (I hadn’t realised it was as old as that!) and starred Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves. It was a silly film with a good heart.

There was one line in it that keeps springing to mind at the moment – ‘be excellent to each other’.


(image from quickmeme.com)

Isn’t that a great sentiment? ‘Be excellent to each other’. Not be nice, or do the appropriate thing, but be excellent. Be the best you can be, the top of your interpersonal game. Be the one leading the way.

I think of excellence as being something close to perfection, but maybe to be excellent to each other means genuinely doing what we can to help and support the people we meet on our journey through life.

To make it real, to make it our mindset on a daily basis, takes work, but so does everything we really want. How hard did we try as babies to learn to sit, to speak, to be understood? How hard do we strive for the things we feel are important?

We are human, and imperfect, and we shouldn’t be hard on ourselves for that.  But if we all work hard at being excellent to each other, at least we’ll know we are trying to be our best selves, and that’s a great thing in and of itself.

Have an excellent few days and I’ll be back on Sunday.



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I went to brunch (sounds much posher than a late breakfast, doesn’t it?!) with my lovely cousin and her gorgeous son this week.

As is so often the case when I’m with people, sooner or later books come up in conversation. It got me thinking about how sociable books actually are.

My mum taught me to read before I went to school, so from a very early age books were a shared activity. Fast forward to English Literature classes, where we discussed the text in detail, through to university where we would share textbooks, or where I took books into my temping jobs and people would ask about them.

Now, I have a writing group, and a reading group, both of which are, fundamentally, book-based social events. We see films of books, either with friends, or family; sometimes as a date.  We watch them on screen and on stage, we hear them on our ipods.  We have special ones for certain times of the year, or for important events. And we pass them on, sharing books we have loved with our children, our nieces or nephews. They in turn will do the same.

I love escaping to the privacy and quiet of a book, and I love the peace I get sitting comfortably, with a book in my hands. But I love the discussion too – and the joy of books is that you can have both.  When reading is part of your job, you’re a very lucky person. __________________________________________________________________________________________ The reading challenge continued this week with just one completed book:

Book 6 – Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll.  This is another story I half-know, from films.  It’s utterly bonkers, really; there are some wonderful details and plenty of ideas that I can imagine I’d have loved as a child.  The Queen of Hearts is both frightening and ludicrous, as is her husband; the White Rabbit is officious and the Mad Hatter is not as mad as you might think!  The downsides are that Alice herself is fairly frustrating, and that the end just sort of… happens.  I wanted more, and it almost felt as though I’d turned over too many pages and missed a bit.  Overall, I can see why this has an enduring popularity, and I can imagine the delight a child would take in some of the ideas, but I wish the last chapter was different!

Moby Dick has gone from my reading challenge life.  I read a line that made me question why on earth I was persevering, and I stopped.  Other American classics will take its place though!

Until next time,

Happy reading!



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Have you ever seen Gone With The Wind?  Partway through there’s an interval/intermission for people to have a rest and stretch their legs.

That’s what I’m doing now: I’m having a writing interval.  So today there are no updates, no ‘in other news’ items, no quotes to keep you on the writing track.  Just a little clip of a break, if you want to click on it.


Intervals can’t last forever, so I’ll be back with an update next time – until then,

Happy writing



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When I was working on Codename Wedding Belles today, I was a bit frustrated that I couldn’t quite get the tone that I wanted for part of it. As you know, when things aren’t going well I try to do something practical to push myself forward – research, or pretending I’m somewhere sunny, for example!

So today, when I couldn’t get the poem to feel as joyful as I wanted, I watched a segment of one of my favourite ever films: Strictly Ballroom.  I wanted to watch the end – *spoiler alert* the last dance scene, when Scott and Fran dance to the clapping of hands and share a kiss *spoiler ends* – because it’s one of the most gloriously uplifting scenes I can imagine.

After watching it, I went back to writing in a much better mindset, and I think that’s reflected in the changes I’ve made – certainly I feel more confident in it now.  I hope to finish my amended draft tonight and that’ll be a tick on my sheet!

Other than that, I’ve done some more work on The Story of One which is stuttering onwards.  I have no flow, but I have scenes that follow the plan and the chronology, so when it comes to a re-write I can build the missing sections.

Also today – and nothing to do with my October projects – I have been working out the logistics of a Halloween party.  This has been a great contrast to the isolation of writing this week: sometimes writers love silence, but I need to talk to people!  I am determined to build up my sociability quota over the weekend, and hope it’ll last me a few days into next week (to Wednesday would be good as I have a proper night out then: exercise classes just don’t cut it!) – we shall see…

And just in case you thought I’d forgotten, I have the learn Chinese book beside me to read after completing the draft poem.  I’ve learnt one sentence now, so I’m going for a second…

Happy writing,



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