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Welcome to my Blog at The Lair Of The Camrose


It’s my bespoke stomping ground in the Intermatrix. You are very welcome, and thanks for stopping by…

This time, an affectionate look at a true movie superstar, who will be sadly missed.


I don’t need to tell you who is pictured above.

This week I have taken my time to figure out my response to the news of Sean Connery’s death.

Another lost building block of life, alongside Bowie and Freddie and many others.

I grew up with Sean Connery as James Bond. It’s along the same lines as who was your Who (somewhere between Tom Baker and Jon Pertwee for me – I can never decide between the frills and the jelly babies), and Blue Peter presenters (Valerie Singleton and John Noakes were the ones for me, although Shep and Bleep & Booster were my immediate choices).

It’s about anchoring memories and Connery in his tux and cruel mouth was the one for me. He nailed the character. Sadly for him, George Lazenby doesn’t really count, although he wasn’t in my view as bad as many say. Roger Moore was the next closest in time, but he always had a little too much pantomime about him for me. (Oh no he doesn’t. OH YES HE DOES.)

So, the above paragraph ages me like a guided missile has been fired at the calendar.

Connery has been a waypoint in my life.

By coincidence, I was halfway through Ian Fleming’s From Russia With Love when I heard the news of his death. Funnily enough, when I’m reading the Flemings, SC is the image that my mind projects into the reading, no hint of camp raised eyebrow. The killer for Roger Moore’s cred for me when I was younger was that my mum loved him to bits and regarded him as the one true Bond, so game over…

The book is slightly batty but is nonetheless a strangely gripping tale of spies and lovers in exotic locations, in keeping with the rest of the books and the movies. You know the drill, evolving over the years not necessarily in real time to fit in a bit more with modern sensitivities du jour.

Connery fitted his profile perfectly.

Look at his later works, including the outrageously fun The Rock and playing Indiana’s dad, his comic timing and magnetic star power are there for all to see, and in more up to date roles. Hell, I even liked him in Outland, (High Noon in space) and – at a stretch – The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, but frankly only when he was on camera. And Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, the one with his spectacular film-stealing cameo.

There are many others worthy of note, including of course The Name of the Rose.

At the edges, I have only managed to get through around 30-40% of Zardoz (weird sci-fi), but over the course of Lockdown 2 I will give it another try and stick with it. And I will gracefully and swiftly pass over Never Say Never Again which, for the purist, should probably have been called Never Again, And I Meant It, but we all have to earn a living, right? The same with The Avengers, which was a disappointment for me: I never saw Connery as the Scarlet Witch.

I want to end this post with a salute to him, for all the movie highlights, thrills and spectacle that he wove. I’m off to pick up From Russia With Love again and get lost in Red Grant’s fight with the one true Bond.

Cheers!

Alan

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Diet Hard

Welcome to my Blog at The Lair Of The Camrose


It’s my bespoke stomping ground in the Intermatrix . You are very welcome, and thanks for stopping by…

This time, tackling the unthinkable…Yippee-Ki-Ay! Relax, take off your shoes and crinkle your toes, rip open a very small pack of low calorie popcorn.

Warning: Mixing blockbuster references, the need to have seen Die Hard is strong in this one…


Die Hard movie the terrorism of dieting and diets
We have fizzy water, cucumber and everything

Buying a new outdoor pizza oven probably wasn’t part of the ruthless unified direction of travel needed for the Family Diet, but hey ho.

Lockdown has proved to be a challenge on the dietary front, ranging from asking when will our next Waitrose Essentials Lobster be available in those dark early days of uncertainty to: did we really have that extra bottle of wine last night? When I say last night, I’m talking 2:12 pm AND NOT A MINUTE LATER…

Eating and drinking became the new leisure activity to while away an hour between repeats of Line of Duty. It introduced the concept of Zoom Dinners and Skype Snacks, afternoon tea from the early part of Lockdown made from lentils and 2016 gooseberry jam, and pasta for every meal.

Something had to give, and it was going to be either my waistband or my liver or both, hence the New Regime, a group of thieving terrorists locking down the fridge, or at least nicking all the snacks.

Slimfast shakes, bars and snacks, gimmicky but very calorie-controlled and not too horrible. Eight pounds lost in two weeks. Not spectacular but I don’t want to push it too far, especially with a periodic pit stop for a glass of Sunday Bay. The cheeseburger at the drive-in didn’t help. Baby steps, right?

Carrot cake – carrots, part of my five a day.

And then there’s the exercise, in a string vest for authenticity.

We have an exercise bike (low-slung with one of those annoying counter-thingys that tell you how much you’ve done and whether you stopped for a cheeky Latte). and my favourite piece of indoor gym equipment, an individual trampoline. That doesn’t have a counter thing but does require me to be careful not to bounce up and hit my head on the ceiling while running on the spot, so I need to concentrate exactly half the time. Life’s a compromise.

Jasper’s my favourite outdoor exercise provider, my personal trainer. Always available, has low rates (a periodic Bonio) and will retrieve until he falls over. See below…

golden retriever worn out by too much retrieving, cute puppy
Nothing left to retrieve…

Other integrated exercise systems include carrying the Sainsbury’s delivery to the fridge, extreme plant watering and UFD: Ultimate Fighting Draughts.

My plan is to do what I can, because I’ve still got to live in this thing going forward. Being Draconian seems like as bad a place to be as hitting the emergency slimming gloop…

If this proves to be too relaxed, then there’s always Diet Hard 2: Diet Harder.

Cheers,

Alan

Alan Camrose with beard
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We’re gonna need a bigger car

Welcome to my Blog at The Lair Of The Camrose


It’s my bespoke stomping ground in the Intermatrix . You are very welcome, and thanks for stopping by…

This time, just when you thought it was safe to go back in the drive-in….


drive-in movie, view of the big screen for Jaws
Man-eating shark spotted in Marlow

Drive-in movies. Pure American, right?

No! A beautiful Summer’s evening on a showground on the Marlow-Henley Road for an early evening movie on a massive outdoor screen.

We were half an hour early, third in line to get in (can’t trust the M25), it was like arriving four hours early at the airport for a holiday flight, but this time Lockdown-style. Four of us in a reasonably large Volvo SUV, three of us pushing 6′ 3″. What could possibly go wrong?

We were excited to be out out, albeit in in a car-sized bubble, about to be fed and a classic was waiting for us, brooding in the shallows, filing its teeth.

Jaws was on the menu.

I lined up the car within our parking space, a safe distance from the screen: a perfect view for the driver (me) and Mother. For Twins 1 and 2 in the back? Not so much.

Volvo hadn’t really legislated for this cabin configuration. We adjusted the seats, the rear-view mirror and the passenger-side wing mirror; lived with the passenger-side windscreen pillar and non-detachable head-rests, not having packed a chainsaw; slid the back of the driver and front passenger seats down to about 35 degrees each; worked the front seats far enough forward so that the blood supply to my legs started to flatline; regretted – again – not having a convertible.

Perfect.

Food was courtesy of Tom Kerridge / Pub in the Park: cheeseburger and cheesecake. So ethnic, I nearly wore a cowboy hat. Glad I didn’t, it would have blocked more of the screen.

Fortunately, the food was a manageable size…

Yum yum

After that, time for a fun game before the movie started.

Over six foot driver (me), over six foot nineteen-year-olds in the rear passenger seats; less tall Mother in the front passenger seat. Cue an expert session of a combination of Twister and Rubik’s Cube to position all of us to best advantage to watch the movie out of the available windows.

Bonus sessions of movie re-enactment (feeling like we were trapped in a small shark cage) and Ultimate Fighting Yoga in the back were available at no extra charge.

Duly installed, we attacked the food with the enthusiasm of a Great White vieiwng a tasty boatful of humans. And when it came to the line in the movie,

…what we are dealing with here is a perfect engine, an eating machine. It’s really a miracle of evolution. All this machine does is swim and eat…and that’s all.

Jaws (1975)

it gave me a vision of the kids standing in front of our open fridge.

And of Jasper, our eternally hungry golden retriever with his latest helpless prey (above)…

The burgers added a 4-D effect to the chomping sounds coming out of the in-car speaker.

The experience was brilliant.

And I love Jaws.

It’s good that it’s so topical, the tension between keeping stuff open and fending off a dangerous threat.

All thanks to the magic of the movies; and a film that contains one of the best ad-libs in movie history.

Roy Scheider's ad lib when he sees the shark...

Cheers,

Alan

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