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Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Lady Barbara

Not content with spending every Thursday evening reliving theHistory of World Cinema, I spent last Sunday on one of David Stratton’s complementary “study days”, wherein we spend no less than 10 hours looking at the work of a particular artist.

This time it was the splendid actress Barbara Stanwyck, who was a big star in her day but, judging by a few recent conversations with friends, is largely forgotten by non-film buffs.

The day suggested that her greatest asset was flexibility. We watched four films in full including an amusingly lurid sex drama, a paranoid melodrama,a turned-up-to-11 feminist western and one of the great rom-coms. That doesn’t include her most famous role as a femme fatale in Double Indemnity.

She was a contemporary of other greats including Joan Crawford, Bette Davis and (my favourite actress) Katherine Hepburn. These women were all A-listers who shared the quality of always looking smarter than anyone else in shot. To find equivalents today, for example Catherine Keener, you have to drop quite a way down the pecking order. What a loss.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

I could be liter'n'this could be easier

So, it turns out that my current weight may be suboptimal in health terms. Who knew?

Anyways, as my list-completion OCD style behaviour suggests, I work best when I have a strict regime to stick to, so my latest stab at dieting is the offensively ungrammatical Lite'n'Easy.

How it works is this. Every Wednesday, a big esky of food arrives containing all that I will eat for 5 days of the following week (weekends are a freebie).

Inside is a vast amount of plastic with some food tucked away inside.

I have set breakfast, lunch and snacks each day and a choice of various things for dinner. Here are my choices for this week:

And here's what last night's rissoles looked like:

Oh dear God.

Avocalypse Now

We had a further guest at Avoca last weekend; Charlie the toy dog, on secondment from B2's daycare The idea is that we show Charlie a good time, take a few snaps, and B2 tells everyone about it when he's back.

Here's a rough idea of what we came up with.

We took Charlie to Avoca Beach:

He made friends with B1's dog, Buttercup:

We had a lovely time together:

We did some digging:

We learned about lifesaving:

We made some friends:

But we still fell in the sea:

And we re-enactedMerry Christmas Mr Lawrence:

Finally, we tried to perusade Charlie to hop on a board and ride some waves. Turns out, Charlie don't surf.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Stormy weather

Long weekend here in Oz, which as usual sent us heading up to Avoca Beach with the kids, this time with friends Garry and Vanessa.

Lots of the usual Avoca shenanigans ensued, much of it based around alcohol and Trivial Pursuit, and I even braved the beach on a couple of occasions. It was an interesting weekend because of the mixed-up weather. On Saturday we were able to enjoy a stroll on the beach and the kids had a swim:

After a big storm on Saturday the place was utterly transformed. Check out this video:

And these photos:

Later, we had some fun with Charlie the dog, more of which tomorrow...