If you can’t stand the heat….

No traffic yesterday. For the first time in a long time, my journey north was pretty much unhampered. More often than not, there’s a hold up somewhere – usually around the M5/M6, so it was a pleasant surprise to arrive earlier than normal – although I suppose that just means more time in the office.

I’ve got plenty going on as it happens, so that’s helpful at the moment. In fact, I might be about to shift roles ever so slightly. More on that if it happens, but I’ve got my big-boy trousers to hand should they be required.

In house news, we’ve started thinking seriously about the re-work of the Kitchen. This is such a first world problem, but all the same. It’s 15 years old, and while that’s not bad, and it’s not awful, and in fact neither is it terrible, it really is in need of some TLC. There’s always been a few things I don’t like about it, and so this is going to be the opportunity to put those things right and fix a few other things in the process.

However – this has a knock-on effect that has required negotiation and I’m starting to succumb to Mrs G’s wishes. It all revolves around me wanting to knock the kitchen and the dining room into one – I’ve been saying this since we bought the house, but Mrs G has been adamant that if we do that, the door between the living room and the dining room has to be blocked off; which was something I didn’t want to do. She’s wearing me down though and frankly, for my own sanity, I need to get the kitchen round the right way. We’re coming round to having a bookcase across the doorway in the living room (so blocking it off, but not replastering it out of existence; just in case we want to reverse that decision) and possibly a Welsh dresser (or similar) across the other side of this doorway in the dining room/kitchen…. I can hear the cost going up.

Where it will get expensive, is the new kitchen itself. While we don’t need to do the entire thing, new worktops, will lead to new cupboards, which will lead to a new hob/cooker, which will lead to a new dishwasher, which will lead to a new sink, will lead to new floor most likely…. meaning we’ll end up doing the whole thing.

We’ve been here before. There was that time that I peeled a tiny piece of wallpaper off the living room wall, to see how it would look if was a plain wall. That ended up costing me an entire new living room, including sofas, bookcases and a wooden floor throughout most of the ground floor. So this time, softly slowly, catchy monkey.

I did take an enormous risk last year when I bought a new fridge, but I think I got away with it. I only had to remove one cupboard, but that could have so easily tipped into a new kitchen… Anyone who owns a house will know, it’s a bit like painting the fourth bridge. Rarely do you get to a point where everything is done and doesn’t need anything changing or anything maintaining.

Having heard a few horror stories, I’m not going to shop at B&Q for a kitchen, but I have been quite taken with the simplicity of some of the Ikea options. I’ll keep looking though. The right thing is out there somewhere, and when I find it, then the flood gates will open and a lot of work will ensue.

Now. My evening’s entertainment last night, was a cinema trip to see what was new. I had considered (as I did last week) another trip to see 1917 or The Gentlemen, but then this week, there’s also Jumanji (I’m too old for that), Bad Boys for Life (I need to go back and watch the other two), Just Mercy (underdog lawyer movie) or Bombshell (the #metoo movie) or a last minute addition, a BBC Children in Need preview of The Personal History of David Copperfield. Have a guess what I chose…??

Well. A) It’s for a good cause, and B) It says here….

Master satirist Armando Iannucci (The Thick of It; The Death of Stalin) finds an altogether more heartwarming register in this spirited adaption of the Dickens classic. The author regarded David Copperfield as his “favourite child”, and the film adaptation is stocked with fine actors ready to do the tale justice.

Slumdog Millionaire’s Dev Patel is David, who guides us through his remarkable life story from childhood to adulthood. He’s joined by the likes of Tilda Swinton as Betsey Trotwood, Peter Capaldi as Mr. Micawber, Ben Whishaw as Uriah Heep and Hugh Laurie as Mr Dick.

My verdict…

“It’s Kite Time!!!”

What a pleasant surprise. To my shame I’ve not read a lot of Charles Dickens beyond A Christmas Carol. I now think I have to correct that, and at the very least, read “David Copperfield”. Of course, that’s not what it’s actually called, and neither is it called “The personal history of David Copperfield”, which is the shortened version of the title for the purposes of cinematic brevity.

As I found out when I bought it… “The Personal History, Adventures, Experience and Observation of David Copperfield the Younger of Blunderstone Rookery (Which He Never Meant to Publish on Any Account)” is clearly a work of art. More about that once I’ve finished reading it…. in the meantime….

The 2020 film version put me in mind of those huge adventurous movies of the 60’s and 70’s, but with the polish and shine of the movies of the 21st century. Dev Patel does a stand up cracking job and the four “names” on occasion almost steal the show, (they are masterful performances) but for me, there is just as much amazing talent elsewhere amongst the cast.

Two minutes of “This Country” and Daisy May Cooper will be burned into your memory. Kerry Mucklowe is a force, so to see her turn her hand to “Peggotty” (The Nanny/Maid) was a delight. Just in case you don’t know what I”m talking about, here she is:

And then there’s, Rosalind Eleazar (recently in the ITV Drama “Deep Water”) and now far more sane as Agnes Wickfield, with Benedict Wong (so cool in Doctor Strange) and the port wine as her father, Paul Whitehouse, who could have been taller, (but who can west country accent as if he was born to it) as Mr Peggotty, and the amazing Gwendoline Christie (Brianna of Tarth in Game of Thrones)… in fact, with names like these, and with so many great characters that are so well formed, I’m sure they just had to show up for this film to simply enthral. So it must be of great comfort to Armando Iannucci to know that not only does it enthral, but it also works, really quite well.

Go and see it and be uplifted. Great fun for everyone.

Have a top day all…

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