Music, murder and mousetraps

I was doing a spot of washing up while waiting for a friend to get back to me, put the radio on, Elaine Paige was just starting a tribute to Angela Lansbury, good timing! Ah, Miss Eglantine Price was singing about The Age of Not Believing and I sang along with her, all the words still tucked away in my head, I loved that song so much! Bedknobs and Broomsticks, a favourite film from my calfhood, just one part of a varied and illustrious career. Another generation of kids loved her as Mrs Potts the singing teapot in Beauty and The Beast; then just a few years ago she was the Balloon Lady in Mary Poppins Returns (three thoroughly wonderful films that should be seen, no matter what age you claim to be).

Of course, many will mainly know Angela Lansbury for playing Jessica Fletcher in Murder She Wrote on the telly, a role that won her many awards. Elaine, of course, was looking back at Angela’s career in musicals that spanned many years, likewise she returned to theatre work regularly (I would have loved to have seen her in Blithe Spirit as Madame Arcati). My, she kept herself busy! A great lady who obviously enjoyed life, there was always that little twinkle in her eye, I bet she was every bit as lovely as she came across. There’s one final film performance still to come in Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (just a cameo), out at Christmas, I’ll look forward to seeing it.

And that brings me neatly on to cinema news – the Edinburgh Filmhouse is no more!! The charity that runs the Edinburgh Filmhouse, the Belmont cinema in Aberdeen and the Edinburgh International Film Festival has called in administrators. Like, what?! I didn’t see that coming. They say it was a perfect storm of rising costs and the lasting impacts from the Covid pandemic, many in the entertainment and cultural sector are in for a bumpy ride, there will be more closures for sure. I didn’t go to see anything at the EIFF this year, nothing appealed enough to me, but I do hope it comes back next year (just not in August, I’m busy).

Last week I did get to see See How They Run, a film that is so Wes Anderson but actually isn’t (with smidgens of Edgar Wright). My friend who I mentioned earlier is off to London next weekend and will be seeing The Mousetrap, I’ve recommended him to watch See How They Run. I thoroughly enjoyed it, the whole cast are excellent and the dialogue is so sharp and funny, so many little clever quips and references. It’s a murder mystery comedy set in London 1953, opening with the afterparty for the 100th performance of The Mousetrap when the director of a potential film adaptation is murdered, dur dur durrrr.

Fun facts, the film rights for The Mousetrap were indeed optioned by the film producer John Woolf and there was a clause that the film could not be made until six months after the run was over – haha, sixty years on and still going strong; also, Agatha Christie was inspired by a real life case when writing it. The plentiful use of splitscreens and flashbacks keep things moving fast, you have to pay attention, everything’s important, but don’t jump to conclusions, leave that to the overenthusiatic Constable Stalker played brilliantly by Saoirse Ronan (for me she is definitely the star of the show).

Its very late again and I promised myself an early night, well, I was up very very late last night because Bad Times at The El Royale came on the telly. I shall away to my bed, but I’ll just mention there’s a wee bit of excitement over in Logan’s Close, things are afoot. I promise I’ll share the news with you tomorrow, or you could check it out for yourself on their website, Facebook or Instagram!

Nighty night, sweet dreams!

I’ve been away, did I miss much?

Hello! I know it’s been a wee while, I’ve been down in the old country doing family things – what a time to be out of Edinburgh, eh! In case you somehow missed it, our queen Queen Elizabeth II died on the 8th September at Balmoral, three days later the Queen’s coffin was brought down to Edinburgh by hearse to the Palace of Holyroodhouse, from where it was taken the following day by procession up the Royal Mile to St Giles Cathedral. Her Majesty’s coffin stayed in St Giles for 24 hours, so that folk could pay their respects, before being flown to London. Many thousands came to Edinburgh to bid farewell to a much respected and admired lady, the queue reached right back to the Meadows apparently.

Queen Elizabeth II will be a tough act for King Charles III to follow, I wish him well in what may well be turbulent times. She was a strong figurehead for the United Kingdom, without her the status quo has been shifted, there may well be a few aftershocks before a new equilibrium settles in. Will some take this opportunity to make the changes that they’ve said would happen after the Queen’s reign came to an end?

So, I was down in Yorkshire for a while, a place name I usually precede with “deepest, dampest”, well it’s not so damp at present and water levels are far from deep, see how low one of the local reservoirs is…..

Yup, seriously low.

When the water level was low was in the mid seventies, the area below the road bridge was littered with looted safes, shot guns and the like! Now if we trot back up to the bridge and look upstream from the dam wall, you can see the much, much older bridge I was standing on to take the above photo.

The old packhorse bridge is usually well under the surface. It’s like a local barometer, can it be seen just under the surface? Oo, the top of the arch is visible; this view of it is extremely rare, possibly the first time there’s only been the smallest of streams trickling below it. It’ll take an awful lot of rain to refill the reservoir, anyone know any good raindances?

I came back up to Edinburgh on Friday after a longer stay than I’d intended, the Scat Rats were playing Stramash so it was definitely time to head north. What a gorgeous day for travelling (unlike the journey down) and at the end of it a lovely pint of Stewart’s and great sounds, yay! As I was leaving Stramash afterwards I asked the lads if they could confirm a date down in the Edinburgh Gig Guide of a midnight set in Whistlebinkies on the 27th – err, not in their diary! Then I mentioned it was the same night that Fur are playing the Mash House, oo, that perked them up, indeed yeah they’ll be playing that night! Goodo.

The Rats were out to play again on Saturday afternoon in Binkies; a new ale for me to try, mmm, so good I treated myself to a pint. And yay, Mr Marah is out again tonight with The Buccaneers, midnight at Stramash; before them it’s Nicole and the Back-up Crew, so thats four sets for some folk tonight. Maybe one time there could be a big mash-up of the two bands right through, I’d love to see that! To take me up to ten o’clock I’m shortly off to see See How They Run at the flicks, the trailer looks wonderful.

Best be off now, toodle pip!