I had a nice week off in which I visited my pal Alan down in Gloucestershire. He lives in Cinderford which is in the centre of the Forest of Dean (Dennis Potter country) and while the surrounding area is nice, the town itself is a bit run down.
Alan and I have been corresponding with one another for about 3 years now so it was nice to finally meet him in the flesh. He introduced me to an interesting show from the 1970s called Crown Court which features fictional court cases judged by a real jury of members of the public. It is interesting because it adds an element of unpredictability to the show as the jury’s verdict is unscripted and it means you can’t really predict the outcome. There were some weird directorial choices in one episode with a random pan across a blank piece of set (I think the camera was cued in by mistake) and an odd decision to not focus on the person speaking or indeed to whom they were addressing. We watched three cases which are each split over three 30 minute episodes per story/case.
We also watched a trio of early Hitchcock movies which were “Young and Innocent”, “The Lodger” and Hitchcock’s very first movie, “The Pleasure Garden”. Out of the the three, two are silent movies and were certainly the most interesting to watch. “The Lodger” suffered a little from not even having a score added to the restored print, but we compensated by adding our own “unique” commentary with “Make a ‘orse sick that would” being a particular favourite phrase. “The Lodger” is pretty deemed the first true Hitchcock movie as it is a suspense thriller and features early examples of themes in his movies. “The Pleasure Garden” is a bit of a simplistic melodrama which is not overly engaging but there are little flourishes that hint at the promise that would come from Hitchcock. “Young and Innocent” is a watered down wrong man story which while engaging doesn’t really gel as a whole.
When not watching films we frequented the local pub and I unusually drank cider as there wasn’t any beer I liked on draught. We went to a very nice Indian on Tuesday and had a very nice bottle of red wine.
Thursday we went into Gloucester and indulged in some retail therapy and had dinner at cafe Rene. Service was a bit slow but the food was good and the real ale served directly from the barrel.
Friday I returned home and spent the afternoon with Heather whose eyes are now pretty much aligned, she needs to do a few follow-up visits just to chart the progress but it all seems good.
I managed to catch the Chicago Swing Katz last night as I was only on the day shift at work.